Lhotse’s first summit of the season; Xia Boyu back to Everest Base Camp

The first 8,000m summit of the season goes to a team from Imagine Treks and Expeditions, led by Mingma Gyalje Sherpa. The group had six climbers, including four Sherpa — Kili Pemba Sherpa, Tamding Sherpa, Nima Jangmu Sherpa and Mingma Gyalje Sherpa — and two Chinese clients, Liu Yongzhong and Hong Dong Juan.

The team made it to Lhotse’s 8,516m summit on April 29 at 11.30am, without supplemental oxygen. This marks the second spring in a row that Mingma Gyalje Sherpa has led the first team to summit an 8,000m peak.

The Lhotse summiters have now returned to Everest Base Camp, rejoining the Imagine Everest team and waiting for a weather window to make for the summit of Everest. The Imagine team has already set up oxygen and tent deposits on the South Col.

After a series of interviews in Kathmandu, Imagine’s double amputee client Xia Boyu, 70, has likewise just returned to Everest Base Camp.

Xia Boyu hopes that his seventh attempt on Everest will be the lucky one. Photo: AFP

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Himalaya Spring 2018 Season

Martin Walsh is a freelance writer and wildlife photographer based in Da Lat, Vietnam. A history graduate from the University of Nottingham, Martin's career arc is something of a smörgåsbord. A largely unsuccessful basketball coach in Zimbabwe and the Indian Himalaya, a reluctant business lobbyist in London, and an interior design project manager in Saigon. He has been fortunate enough to see some of the world. Highlights include tracking tigers on foot in Nepal, white-water rafting the Nile, bumbling his way from London to Istanbul on a bicycle, feeding wild hyenas with his face in Ethiopia, and accidentally interviewing Hezbollah in Lebanon. His areas of expertise include adventure travel, hiking, wildlife, and half-forgotten early 2000s indie-rock bands.

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