Everest Update: From the Olympics to Yak Difficulties

Posted on: October 26, 2007

I am just back from my follow up visit to China Tibet Mountaineering Association (CTMA) in Lhasa, Tibet. On our agenda was the following issues: the impact of the Olympic expedition on other climbers, theft and misconduct on the mountain and the difficulty of managing the yaks.

They have once again assured us that there will be no limitations on Everest, only stricter criteria to fulfill. Also, they have once again assured us that there will be no restriction to climb during the summit push of the Olympic flame.

Beginning spring 2008, CTMA and the Chinese authorities will become involved in any unsporting activities on the mountain, especially theft. They have agreed to station one liaison officer at ABC to monitor and act upon any complaints of misbehaviour. We welcome this positive step to improve the reputation of mountaineering.


One of the issues that climbers face when climbing on the north side is the problem with the unfair allocation of yaks. We have raised this issue on numerous occasions. I requested them to allocate a flat weight limit per person, regardless of the spring or the autumn season. This is also a better system than to allocate by yak. They need to discuss this with the local governor of the Qomolungma region. Only then will they be able to give us a response.

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