Kuwaiti Flag Man Goes to Everest; Himalayan Climbers Still on Weather Hold

The number of commercial clients who will attempt Everest without supplemental oxygen continues to grow. The latest is Yousef Alshatti of Kuwait. He was one of the Kuwaitis on Nirmal Purja’s team who in 2019 summited Ama Dablam, then unfurled a gigantic flag that covered a significant part of the mountain. Nepal disapproved of the controversial gimmick.

The gigantic flag hangs down Ama Dablam's summit, covering dozens of meters of the peak's upper section.

The infamous flag on the summit of Ama Dablam, now in a museum in Pohkara. Photo: The Himalayan Times


Alshatti, 39, takes part regularly in Spartan Races, a kind of obstacle course, according to Federico Bernardi of Montagnamagica.com.

guy with six-pack abs carrying log

Yousef Alshatti in a Spartan Race. Photo: Yousef Alshatti


Patience on Manaslu and Annapurna

The Manaslu team has decided to wait for safer conditions before venturing beyond Camp 1. Kristin Harila retreated to Base Camp with the rest of the team. They will likely remain there for several more days, since more bad weather is in the forecast.

“We will wait here until we see a sunny window,” Gelje Sherpa wrote.

A climber among tents semi-buried in snow, in a cloudy day.

Fresh snow at Annapurna’s Camp 1. Photo: Naoki Ishikawa/Instagram


The team will not be alone on the mountain much longer. A Canadian team from Quebec, led by Dominic Asselin, is already in Samagaon while the porters set up Base Camp. Members include Frederic Desmarais, Edgar Leonardo, and William McCarvill.

There’s little news from Annapurna, but the climbing teams are rotating between Base Camp and Camp 2. Beyond this, there’s deep snow and no reports that the route is fixed yet.

Meanwhile, Base Camp is getting busier, all waiting for a summit window. Conditions remain precarious. Several climbers witnessed a major avalanche that fell between Camp 2 and Camp 3, the most exposed area.

“Our team was at Camp 1, and we were planning on moving toward Camp 2 when we heard a deafening roar from the mountain,” Shehroze Kashif wrote.

Powder dusted the camp but no harm came to the tents or climbers. See the video below, shot by Noel Hannah.

Mingma Tenzi of EliteExped noted that conditions on Annapurna are particularly tough this year, with more crevasses than ever.

“To navigate these treacherous crevasses, we had to fix ladders in some sections of the route,” he wrote.

Mingma Tenzi poses in a yellow high-altitude suit on snowy mountain terrain and with a semi cloudy sky in background.

Mingma Tenzi of EliteExped has climbed 30 8,000’ers. Photo: Instagram


Other peaks

Climbers heading to Kangchenjunga this spring include Domi Trastoy and Gonzalo Fernandez Garcia of Andorra. Trastoy has already climbed Everest, Cho Oyu, Manaslu, and Lhotse.

Mexican couple Badia Bonilla and Mauricio Lopez will go for Dhaulagiri.

Bonilla raises her hand, seemingly touching Dhaulagiri's summit.

Badia Bonilla of Mexico during a previous attempt on Dhaulagiri. Photo: Facebook

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides graduated university in journalism and specializes in high-altitude mountaineering and expedition news. She 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 local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.