Apologies for the silence over the last few days. We have been working hard to come to terms with the events of the past week here in the Khumbu; sad and complex events which have led us to make the decision to cancel our Everest Expedition this spring.
Adrian has been in base camp for 24 hours and after meeting with our Sherpa and getting a grasp on the situation in situ, he was able to make the decision with little room for doubt.
Our Sherpa are grieving the loss of their friends. They are a tight-knit community with family and friendship ties that link them closely across villages throughout the region. They need time to mourn their losses and their families want them at home.
In addition to this, the ambience at base camp is becoming increasingly tense. There is a small group of renegade Sherpa from peripheral teams who are threatening violence towards anyone who chooses to stay and climb. The Minister of tourism and a delegation of government officials are flying to base camp today to try and negotiate with this group; but they are requiring a military escort as they fear violent reprisals from the extreme faction.
We are devastated to have to cancel our expedition and understand the huge disappointment of our team members who have worked so hard to be ready for the chance to climb; but under the current circumstances attempting to climb Everest would undoubtedly be unwise and unsafe.
We will post updates as frequently as possible, and when time allows, Adrian will write a more detailed piece with his impressions of the situation he has experienced at base camp.
Thank you for your support.
Monica Piris, Expedition Doctor (now in Kathmandu)