A Lone Ukrainian Will Climb Everest; Plus Updates From Makalu, Kangchenjunga, Lhotse, Annapurna

Climbers on most of the spring Himalayan mountains are now approaching their base camps, including one Ukrainian climber bound for Everest. The latest tally shows 689 permits issued for Nepal’s mountains.



The Himalayan Times reports that 33-year-old Antonina Samoilova of Cherkasy, Ukraine has just arrived in Nepal from Mexico. She wants to plant a Ukrainian flag on the summit of Everest. She will be the only national from her stricken country on Everest this spring. After the climb, she will rejoin her family back in Ukraine.

Lhotse South Face

Lhotse South Face. Photo: Tashi Sherpa


Hong Sung-Taek‘s team continues its approach to Lhotse Base Camp. Today, they arrived in Lukla. The members are Hong Sung-Taek (leader), Jorge Egocheaga, Myung Suk Koh, Byoung Tae, Jupil Park, Nakjong Seong, Jae Chul Kim, and Vadim Druelle. Fourteen Sherpas from Seven Summit Treks will accompany the eight foreign climbers.

Since the first ascent of this side of the mountain in 1990, 25 other expeditions have tried unsuccessfully, including seven attempts by Hong himself. His last try was three years ago.

Kangchung Nup – North Face

Japanese duo and their Nepali liaison officer during their trek to Base Camp. Photo: Toshiyuki Yamada


Takeshi Tani and Toshiyuki Yamada of Japan are also nearing Base Camp of 6,090m Kangchung Nup. They hope that the recent good weather will continue when they begin their attempt on a first ascent of the North Face. Yesterday, they reached Gokyo via 5,300m Renjo Pass. Gokyo is the last village before Base Camp.

Kangchenjunga, Everest, Lhotse

Trek to Kangchenjunga. Photo: Horia Colibasanu


Kangchenjunga, Everest, and Lhotse are also waiting for teams to arrive.

The trio of Peter Hamor, Horia Colibasanu, and Marius Gane expect to reach Kangchenjunga Base Camp today. To avoid camping on the glacier, they will trek 12km and climb 700m. They planned for an eight-hour day.


Pokhara and Phewa Lake. In the background stand all the Annapurna summits. Photo: Wikimedia


Yesterday, an Indian climber reported an avalanche en route to Annapurna that buried some Sherpas’ equipment. However, Pemba Sherpa, the head of 8K Expeditions, told ExplorersWeb that the avalanche didn’t affect anything.

8K Expeditions has scheduled its summit push for April 19-22 for its six clients and nine veteran Sherpa guides. Another team plans its push for April 16. Two climbers with 8K Expeditions, Allie Pepper of Australia and Trifish Chan of Taiwan, will go without supplementary oxygen.  Another member, Kristin Harila of Norway, is on her 14×8,000m quest.


Trek to Makalu. Photo: Laura Gonzalez


Finally, teams are approaching Makalu Base Camp. One of the clients with Seven Summit Treks, Mexico’s Laura Gonzalez, shared some images on social media. She described one section of the hike as a stairway to heaven. “From Num to Seduwa, we first descended 902m, then climbed 823m,” she wrote.

One familiar face on Makalu this season is Jackson Groves. The Aussie photographer became famous last fall when he flew his drone at more than 8,000m on Manaslu. His images showed the world the difference between the foresummit, where everyone had been stopping for years, and the real summit. Given that the summit of Makalu has also been a source of much confusion in the past, we hope that Groves and his drone are able to repeat their performance.

Makalu. Photo: Archil Badriashvili