China shutting down access to Everest over COVID-19 concerns
While the NBA was postponing its season and the United States decided to cancel all inbound travel from European countries, news broke that China is moving to stop access to the north, China/Tibet, side of Mount Everest, sending tremors through the international climbing community.
The mountain can still be accessed via the south side through Nepal, which began its climbing season last week. Currently, it has been reported the climbers must provide a 14-day travel history as well as a medical report.
Many feel the south side is the much riskier route due to the Khumbu Icefall.
Major expeditions are being cancelled as a result of the north side closure.
California-based expedition company Alpenglow Expeditions formally cancelled its 2020 Everest trip via a blog post on its website.
Founder and climber Adrian Ballinger wrote, “While I am saddened for all the hard work our members, guides, Sherpa, local staff, partners and office have put in, and that they and we won’t get to test ourselves on the highest playground in the world this year, I am in agreement with China’s decision. It is responsible, and the same one Alpenglow Expeditions was inevitably leaning towards in the past days. Climbing a mountain is not currently worth the transmission risk in the Base Camps, nor upon returning home.”