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Yes, that Sting. He’s arrived with Trudy and the kids for some adventure trekking in Nepal, which he’s apparently done three times before. Last year, he sang some of his hits in a Kathmandu nightclub on a lark; one can only hope he brings “Fields Of Gold” to Advance Base Camp this year.
Speaking of base camp, the first few reports are trickling in from climbers arriving in Kathmandu, and the climbing season seems to have normalized after all the hubbub about closed routes and such. Climbers on the Nepali southeast route will only be able to go as far as Camp 3 for May1-10, but other than that, expeditions are proceeding as usual. Flights are planned to Lukla (the jump-off point for Everest), and the famous Icefall Doctors are reportedly fixing ropes and ladders in the treacherous Khumbu Icefall as they do every year.
But that’s not to say Everest climbers are out of the woods yet. A few preliminary, unconfirmed regulations have trickled down from Nepali sources, indicating that there would be an increased governmental presence at ABC and a crackdown on photography, filming, and communications. With the mountain above Camp 3 shut down until May 10, most expeditions will still probably face down a late-May rush of summiting parties. Things could still get really interesting, and maybe even dangerous.
Needless to say, we’ll be watching this Everest season closely until it’s over. — Ted Alvarez