Everest Base Camp. Image: istockphotoA leading Everest outfitter, Himalayan Experience, is cutting short the 2012 season because of the increased risk due to the warming climate. Stephen Lacey writing for Climate Progressreports on the company’s decision:
Russell Brice, head of the leading Everest climbing operation Himalayan Experience, announced that he would pull his team off Everest, citing unprecedented temperatures that made climbing too dangerous. Heeding advice from experienced Sherpas worried about the warmth, Brice decided to cancel his 2012 expedition because of unstable ice.
Himalayan Experiences’ Billi Bierling, writing from Everest Base Camp notes:
While I am writing this basking in the unseasonably warm sunshine, the Himalayan Experience base camp is slowly being dismantled around me. “The last Sherpa loads were carried down from Camp I this morning and now all our equipment is off the mountain,” Russell said feeling relieved that all his Sherpas have been up and down the Khumbu Icefall safely. “It was hard for me to send the Sherpas through the icefall after I had made the decision to cancel the expedition due to the looming dangers there, however, we had no choice as we had to bring down around 250 loads,” he continued.
To Apa Sherpa, who has climed Everest a record 21 times, the warming trend over the past 20 or so years is readily apparent:
In 1989 when I first climbed Everest there was a lot of snow and ice but now most of it has just become bare rock. That, as a result, is causing more rockfalls which is a danger to the climbers.”
Also, climbing is becoming more difficult because when you are on a mountain you can wear crampons but it's very dangerous and very slippery to walk on bare rock with crampons."
Let it snow.