Everest: Number of Climbers Now Up to 105, Including More No-O2

Plus: Nuptse’s surprising popularity, two climbers aim for lonely Makalu, and high-speed internet coming to K2.

Two more climbers, Sanna Raistakka  and Roeland van Oss, are the latest to join the list of those doing Everest without supplementary oxygen. The pair also intend to use “no Sherpa support above Base Camp,” which probably means that they will pitch and supply their own camps. They are currently acclimatizing on Island Peak.

Roeland van Oss, left, and Sanna Raistakka. Photo: Project Everest 21


The number of other Everest climbers continues to grow, too. Currently, 105 foreigners distributed over 11 teams have permits, according to the latest release from Nepal’s Department of Tourism.

The document also shows a remarkable number of permits for Nuptse. This beautiful 7,861m mountain shares Base Camp with Everest and Lhotse, but it usually receives far fewer visitors, because it sadly lacks those last few metres to become an 8,000’er. All its routes are harder, too.

In fact, some of the permits may actually correspond to climbers who want to climb the lower part of Everest without reaching the summit, which requires a much lower fee, a source (who obtained such permit recently) told ExplorersWeb.

Climbing permits issued as of April 2.


Meanwhile, Archil Badriashvili & Giorgi Tefnadze of Georgia are heading to Makalu, reports RussianClimb. The pair have set some new lines elsewhere but this time they are climbing the “Big Black” via its normal route. However, they might be able to pursue their usual self-sufficient style since so far, no other teams have signed up for Makalu.

Two Dhaulagiri teams are already in Kathmandu. Carlos Soria and Sito Carcavilla arrived yesterday and will acclimatize in the Khumbu valley. And the Ecuadorian couple Carla Pérez and Esteban “Topo” Mena are preparing to tackle the NW ridge, in what Pérez describes as “one of our greatest mountaineering dreams: climbing a new route on an 8,000m peak without oxygen.”

She adds: “Imagine 4,000m of unknown terrain with technical difficulties, dangers of all kinds, the height and cold of 8,000m, no fixed ropes, no oxygen, the very essence of adventure.”

Peter Hamor, Horia Colibasanu, and Marius Gane are also bound for Dhaulagiri’s NW ridge, hoping to finish the line they started in 2019. Since the Ecuadorians specifically spoke of doing “an unclimbed route,” they might be eyeing a different line from the Slovak-Romanian team.

Eight-thousand-metre climbers in Nepal should find their base camps cleaner this year. Last September, Dawa Steven Sherpa led a group that spent 47 days removing over 2.2 tons of garbage scattered around Cho Oyu, Everest, Lhotse, and Makalu, according to the Indian Express. “When we take away garbage from the mountains, it must feel to the gods like taking a thorn out of their finger,” Dawa Steven poetically put it.

A documentary series released yesterday summarized the operation. Here is their footage on Everest.

Meanwhile, in Pakistan

When the monsoon strikes at the beginning of June, the climbing attention will shift once again from Nepal to Pakistan, and especially to K2. In the meantime, SCO, the largest telecom network in the K2 region, plans to provide internet connectivity to K2 Base Camp, in order to promote tourism in the area. High-speed internet could vastly change how expeditions operate and especially, how they communicate their progress on the mountain.

Current communications at K2 Base Camp: satellite phones.