Uh-oh — here we go with the complications. Just after Chinese media reported the Olympic torch had arrived at base camp on the Tibetan side of Everest comes news that Chinese climbers are stalled for unknown reasons, unable to begin their climb on April 28 as they'd hoped.
The reasons for this delay are described as a "state secret," but the ramifications could be huge: No expedition teams on the southern Nepalese side can start until after the Chinese summit, and these delays could push the Chinese summit back beyond the original climber ban, slated to end May 10. That means a shrinking season for the already strapped-for-time guides and climbers.
According to unconfirmed reports, the torch arrived by helicopter with high-level Chinese officials and inspectors who came to make sure restrictions were being enforced. After a quick look-see, the bigwigs bailed.
Some Everest pundits speculate that a potential storm system headed toward Everest could be the reason for the Chinese team delay, and climbers laying rope on the Chinese side have reportedly been battling high winds. Progress toward the summit is said to be very slow.
A few foreign journalists, including the BBC, will be embedded with Chinese media to chronicle the attempt to take the torch to the top, but we probably won't hear from them for quite some time.
Who knows? Maybe they're just having trouble keeping the torch lit. I hear it's pretty cold and windy up there. — Ted Alvarez
Via The Adventurist