High Times: Today's Everest Dirt

2008 will probably go down as one of the most confusing years on the roof of the world. With Everest news trickling in apace on a daily basis, we’ve decided to round up all the happenings on the highest peak in a one-stop package. Think of this as your daily portion of Everest nuggets, served fresh, piping hot, and at altitude.

— Nepal’s Ministry of Culture, Tourism & Civil Aviation issued an official press release denying that they’ve closed Everest. It doesn’t detail their official Everest policy for 2008, but an email from a Ministry of Tourism spokesperson to ExWeb mentions permits and hints at a resolution: “We start to give mountaineering permits from today. Two teams have taken permit for Dhaulagiri & Ama Dablam. Regarding Everest, the government will decide tomorrow (ed: Thursday local) in a positive way.”

— 75-year-old climber Yuichiro Miura leaves today for Nepal to climb Everest. Miura, who skied down Everest first and saw his story told in a 1970 Oscar-winning doc, once held the title of oldest person to climb Everest, but has since lost that title. He hopes to get it back on the Northern route. Miura has a rare permit to climb Everest from the Chinese, since he plans to summit somewhere between May 16 and May 31. He’ll acclimatize in Nepal and then head to Tibet for a summit bid.

— In the wake of Sir Edmund Hillary’s death on Jan. 11, the government of Nepal announced they will rename Lukla Airport as Tenzing Hillary Airport. The airstrip is the closest one can land to Everest, and the name change is in honor of Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary’s climb to the top and their contributions to improve Nepali life. Also, the government has passed a motion to officially declare May 19 International Mountain Day in Nepal. The holiday will celebrate the mountains and mountaineering in the Nepal/Himalayan region, and happens on the anniversary of Hillary and Norgay’s summit.

— Ted Alvarez