Embassies Summon Their Climbers Home

Homeward bound: Sito Carcavilla (left) and Carlos Soria are leaving Dhaulagiri. Photo: Luis M. López Soriano

Carlos Soria’s hopes for a Dhaulagiri summit are over, but not from bad weather. The Spanish embassy in New Delhi (the nearest embassy to Nepal) is hurrying all its nationals out of the country on charter flights. Spain’s Foreign Affairs Ministry has arranged an Iberia Airlines plane to fly to Nepal with aid materials. On its flight home, it will take as many Spaniards (and European citizens, if there is space) as possible.

This past weekend, Soria and his team confirmed that everyone remaining in Base Camp had tested negative for COVID: Soria himself and his two climbing partners, five Sherpas, six kitchen staff, and Vibeke Andrea Sefland of Norway. She is the only remaining member of the Women who Dare team, also decimated by COVID.

Soria adds that according to his embassy, the situation is Nepal remains serious and will likely not improve soon. It’s unlikely that flights will resume at the end of May. Here is Soria’s report (in Spanish) from Base Camp today.

What of Kilian Jornet?

The measure also affects Kilian Jornet, currently at a lodge in Pheriche with David Goettler and a film crew. Although currently based in Norway, Jornet is a Spanish citizen. Goettler, a German, lives in northern Spain for part of the year. They have not moved from Pheriche in the last seven days.

A relieved Stefi Troguet of Andorra has confirmed that she has tested negative on two consecutive PCRs so she is able to fly home with the Spaniards.

Jonatan Garcia also tested clean both in Dhaulagiri Base Camp and Kathmandu. He says that the plane from Spain may reach Nepal on Wednesday and leave on Thursday. Alex Txikon and his team will join them, assuming that they test negative. For Juanito Oiarzabal, also in Nepal, the risk of contracting COVID is low since he wrestled with the disease earlier this year.

Ecuadorians Carla Perez and Topo Mena landed in Kathmandu today, after reluctantly ending their attempt on Dhaulagiri. An unconfirmed report suggests that they will try to fly to Madrid with the Spaniards on Thursday.

Other embassies may be sending similar messages to their citizens. Today, planes are due to leave with mainly U.S. nationals, and an Aeroflot plane will take Russians home. This is crucial news for all climbers currently attempting Everest and Lhotse.

Many hikers and climbers have returned to Kathmandu from the mountains. Those who test positive for COVID won’t be able to leave immediately. Antonios Sykaris of Greece and his partner are improving after days of fever and fatigue, but they are still awaiting a negative test.

Other climbers who recently arrived in Kathmandu from Everest and Dhaulagiri may be also infected, according to sources. It is also likely that some who left a base camp with a negative test may develop symptoms in a few days.

Despite the risk, several climbers from Dhaulagiri, mostly Nepalis, have transferred to Everest Base Camp and joined in the parties there.

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About the Author

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides

Senior journalist, published author and communication consultant. Specialized on high-altitude mountaineering, with an interest for everything around the mountains: from economics to geopolitics. After five years exploring distant professional ranges, I returned to ExWeb BC in 2018. Feeling right at home since then!

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Vincent Krause
Vincent Krause
6 months ago

At least some good News! Small detail David Göttler is from Munich, Germany.
Maybe some of the rapid Test in Daulaghiri Base Camp were fände positive . Because its strange that Sefi Trouget was tested negative only short after she was evacuated because of the positive Base Camp test?

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Blabla
Blabla
6 months ago
Reply to  Vincent Krause

they don’t like small details on this webpage

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Max Madera
Max Madera
6 months ago
Reply to  Blabla

They also don’t give their postal addresses. Lame!

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Adrian
Adrian
6 months ago

How will the aircraft takeoff if they exceed the takeoff weight thanks to the weight of all the ego-inflated individuals onboard???

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Blabla
Blabla
6 months ago
Reply to  Adrian

You should be co-authoring these articles. Seems like you’ve got the spirit.

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Benny Smith
Benny Smith
6 months ago
Reply to  Blabla

Ah, there he is, the long lost brother of Damien Francois!
You might wanna stop bashing Angela’s articles, because that is simply lame. Why don’t you come up with something original and informative?
The Circus happening at the 8000ers during this point of pandemic is not understandable any more. Sure, many people make their living with those expeditions. But you gotta know when it’s time to leave as long as you still can.

+2
barbara
barbara
6 months ago
Reply to  Benny Smith

the important point is always that the ‘critics’ here – like blabla – need reading the supposed ‘woke trash ideology’ on and on to confirm their own position and phantasma. they are in such a funny way addicted to evry liberal articles being contrarian to their simple constructed imagination and ‘values’ that they will never get the blank irony of their projective-constructive behaviour. not worth to discuss anymore. it’s what it is: non arguing, non-reflecting bla bla – with an ongoing looming on the horizon of a primitive black and white painting defense. their implicit rule of survival of the… Read more »

Blabla
Blabla
6 months ago
Reply to  barbara

well barbara, now you know why you never got that degree in psychology 😉
I’ve never criticised the articles on this webpage until this Everest season.
I just miss objective journalism where all the articles are is being strictly informative, instead of focusing on who met who where, that was earlier I don’t know where and wasn’t tested before he got I have no idea where, shame on him, lets throw a rock or something.

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barbara
barbara
6 months ago
Reply to  Blabla

😅 you caught me redhanded… 😉

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barbara
barbara
6 months ago
Reply to  Blabla

But dont you think the not as objective as normal articles are just an effect of the strict abandoning of objective informations about the situation in bc or upper camps? you are blaming the author but the author of misinformation or noninformation is the nepalese government. all the secrets and hiding of real numbers of infections or healthy people give no other ways of sonehow turning into speculation. i didnt read these articles as pure truth but as hints about a partly chaotic, complex and authoritarian ruled situation. no pure mountaineering possible this season. for me the approaches of angela… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by barbara
Gaga
Gaga
6 months ago

Blabla & Barbara you pathetic, stop your private fight and contribute to the discussions

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Gaga
Gaga
6 months ago

All you critics if you really care about Nepal and Nepali people donate $ for oxygen and hospitals
Bravo to all climbers showing courage in those difficult times & providing employment to many people

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