Updated: Two Teams in Pakistan, but Hope Fades for Nepal Action

As September approaches, COVID-19 cases continue to increase in Nepal. The government’s policies remain hesitant and contradictory, and regulations change constantly. Local guides and climbers have all but abandoned the fall season.

After tentatively opening the country to international flights, rising coronavirus cases forced Nepal to postpone foreign flights again until at least September 1. Even if they resume then, it’s unclear whether visitors will have to quarantine. The uncertainty was too much for Mingma G. “The Nepal government ended a three-month lockdown without proper planning, which resulted in a rapid increase of corona cases,” he said earlier this week. “We plan to cancel all our upcoming expeditions till the situation improves.” Tashi Lakpa Sherpa recently posted that his Seven Summit Treks is ready to operate, but the situation is not in their favour.

Several international operators are also throwing in the towel until next year.

Sergi Mingote on the summit of Greek Mount Olimpo last week.

 

Independent climbers such as Sergi Mingote of Spain have not given up entirely. Mingote has just completed a 48-day cycling and climbing trip across Europe, training and promoting Catalonia’s bid to host Winter Olympics in 2026. He is fit and ready to go. “I still hope I will get a chance to go there,” he told ExplorersWeb, “although possibilities are fading every day.”

Pakistan

However, in Pakistan, there is a modest amount of action. The country has officially opened Gilgit-Baltistan to foreigners, and the local team on Rakhiot Peak that we reported on earlier is progressing up the Nanga Parbat massif.

“A bright and sunny morning from 5,310m on Rakhiot Peak,” tweeted Sa’ad Mohamed yesterday. They initially had some bad weather while they set up base camp and Camp 1 but have otherwise progressed swiftly. Their live location can be tracked here.

German climber Felix Berg on a previous expedition.

 

In addition, German climber Felix Berg is in Pakistan with a party of five to attempt a 6,500m unclimbed peak in the Shimshal Valley. Berg is a seasoned 8,000m climber and high-altitude guide. He teamed up with Adam Bielecki for the first ascent of the west face of Gasherbrum II two years ago and for an attempt on Langtang Lirung and Annapurna last year. Berg reached Islamabad earlier this week. Further details are expected soon.

Angela Benavides is a journalist specialised on high-altitude mountaineer and expedition news working with ExplorersWeb.com.

Angela Benavides has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of national and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporates, press manager and communication executive, radio reporter and anchorwoman, etc. Experience in Education: Researcher at Spain’s National University for Distance Learning on the European Commission-funded ECO Learning Project; experience in teaching ELE (Spanish as a Second Language) and transcultural training for expats living in Spain.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
2 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Khan
1 year ago

Keep up the good work and exploring peaks and creating awareness among the masses. We welcome guest in Gilgit Baltistan as in other parts of Pakistan.

Hari
Hari
1 year ago
Reply to  Khan

Isn’t gilgit baltistqn disputed region?