17

So there's been talk of this for a while, but it seems like the Nepalese government is finally committing and closing Everest to inexperienced climbers. So from now on, as a safety measure, if you want to climb Everest, you will be required to prove you have summitted at least one mountain higher than 6,500m in elevation. This is meant to alleviate much of the traffic on the mountain, particularly the bucket-listers who have money, but no climbing experience and pay some guiding outfit to basically hold their hand all the way up to the top, if not carry them up.

My first thought after reading this news was, "So which mountain is going to turn into the qualifier mountain that people climb first so they can go ahead and do Everest anyways?"

Which mountain is the most likely candidate for guiding companies to use as and easy qualifier for their clients to summit so that the Nepalese government will let them climb Everest? Are they likely to just pick a mountain close to Everest? Or are we going to see an spike in mountain tourism to South America?


References:
The Guardian: Mount Everest to be declared off-limits to inexperienced climbers, says Nepal
The Telegraph: Nepal to ban novice climbers from Mount Everest

  • 4
    I assume there will be an even bigger run on Aconcagua if this happens. The question coming to my mind, are there really a lot people dumb enough to try Everest without summiting 6500m before? That is so insane...even the step from 6500 to 8850 is bloody massive and people have no clue if their body can handle it. Doing trial-and-error on the biggest and most expensive mountain, congratulation stupidity. – Wills Oct 4 '15 at 7:43
  • 1
    @JamesJenkins There are a bunch in South America, but the rest are all in the Himalayas. – ShemSeger Oct 4 '15 at 14:10
  • 1
    I googled for guiding services. The ones whose web sites I hit seemed to have their own requirements for clients that are considerably more strict (higher elevation) than the Nepalese government's. They seem to want their clients to have summited something like Denali or Aconcagua. rmiguides.com/himalaya/everest alpineascents.com/everest.asp#prerequisites – Ben Crowell Oct 4 '15 at 15:55
  • 1
    @imsodin I've added a couple links to news articles. – ShemSeger Oct 4 '15 at 19:52
  • 2
    @ShemSeger Denali is below 6.500m but due to the adverse condition still a good qualifier for Everest I think. – Phab Oct 5 '15 at 6:43
17

If I was a guide and my choice would be Cordillera Blanca(Peru) or something similar. Its highest peak is technically an easy climb, very easy access to the range, good support infrastructure (transport etc) and major town very close by and very cost effective. Its a comfortable days bus trip from an international airport (Lima). It has stable, predictable weather with a relatively long climbing season. There are many choices of non technical acclimatization trips in easy reach. If you want to test the technical skills of the party, there are a number of choices in the range.

In the end though 6500m does not make you an experienced climber, and does not mean you are good to go to 8800meters. The guides know this, the Nepalese know this, and the punters (hopefully) know this.

It won't make the punters any safer on Everest, but who gives a rats rear end about them. Problem is it won't make the Sherpas any safer - after all, its the Sherpa that are expected risk life and limb to pick up the fee paying customers and carry them off the mountain (The death rate of US Soldiers in Afgansitan is 1/10th of the Sherpa on Everest).

14

Well, I'll share a list of peaks that are open and people do in India.


Uttarakhand state:

  1. Panvali Dwaar (6663 m) - Song(RH) - Khati - Dwalio - Phukia - Base Camp - C - I,C - II and summit (Long: 79o57', Lat: 30o17')
  2. Nanda Khat (6545m) - Bharari(RH) - Loharkhet - Khati - Dwali(Vill) - Base Camp,C - I,C - II,C - III summit attempt (Long: 79o58', Lat: 30o18')
  3. Nanda Devi: East (~7430m) - Munsyari (RH) - Lilam - martoli(Vill) - nasanpatti - Bhadeligwar BC - C - I,C - II,C - II and summit attempt (Long: 79o59', Lat: 30o21')
  4. Trishul I and II (7120 m and 6690 m respectively) - Ghat(RH) - Sitel - Sutol - Lat Kopri - Chandniya Ghat - BC - C - I,C - II,C - III and summit attempt(Long: 79o46', Lat: 30o18'), (Long: 79o46', Lat: 30o17'), (Long: 79o48', Lat: 30o17')
  5. Nanda Kot (6861) - Son(RH) - Loharkhet - Dhakuri Pass - Khati(Vill) - Dwali - C - I,C_II and summit attempt (Long: 80o04', Lat: 30o16')
  6. Gangotri I, II, III (6670 m, 6590 m and 6577 m respectively) - Gangotri(RH) - Ruduagira Nallah - BC - C - I,C - II and summit attempt (Long: 78o50', Lat: 30o55'), (Long: 78o51', Lat: 30o54'), (Long: 78o52', Lat: 30o48')
  7. Thalaysagar (6904 m) : In terms of sheer technical difficulty, I would rate this tougher than Mt. Everest. Considered as One of the most notorious mountains in India overall. - Gangotri (RH) - Ruduagira nallah - BC - C - I - C - II and summit attempt (Long: 78o59', Lat: 30o51')
  8. Manda (6568 m) - Gangotri - Chirbas - BC - I,BC - II and summit attempt (Long: 79o00', Lat: 29o55')
  9. Kedarnath (6830 m) (Long: 79o04', Lat: 30o47')
  10. Kedardome (6830 m) (Long: 79o04', Lat: 30o48')
  11. Meru East (6450 m): Does not qualify the criteria of 6.5K m by mere 50 m. But Meru is one heck of a climb. For more info browse: Meru, Conrad Anker. (Long: 79o02', Lat: 29o52')
  12. Bhagirathi I and II (6856 m and 6512 m) (Long: 79o59', Lat: 30o21'), (Long: 79o09', Lat: 30o51'), (Long: 79o09', Lat: 30o51') : Yeah, close. Almost Twin peaks.
  13. Vasuki Parbat (6792 m) : (Long: 79o10', Lat: 30o52')
  14. Satopanth (7075 m) (Long: 79o13', Lat: 30o50')
  15. Changabaang (6866 m) (Long: 79o55', Lat: 30o29')
  16. Chaukhamba I, II, III and IV (7138 m, 7070 m, 6995 m and 6854 m respectively) - Joshimath - Mana Vill. - BC - IBC - II ,BC - III and summit attempt (Long: 79o15', Lat: 30o43')
  17. Nilkanth, named after Lord Shiva. (6597 m) - Joshimath - Badrinath - BC - I and summit attempt
  18. Sudarshan Parbat (6507 m) - Gangtori - Gaumukh - BC - I,BC - II and summit attempt (Long: 79o05', Lat: 30o58')

Jammu and Kashimr state:

  1. Nun (7135 m) - Leh - Kargil - Panikhar - Gulmotongas(RH) - BC - C - I,C - II,C - III and summit attempt (Long: 76o01', Lat: 33o59'): Need Indian Army permission
  2. Kun (7077 m) - Leh - Kargil - Panikhar - Gulmotongas(RH) - BC - C - I,C - II,C - III and summit attempt (Long: 76o03', Lat: 34o01'): Need Indian Army permission
  3. Pinnacle (6955 m) - Leh - Kargil - Panikhar - Gulmotongas(RH) - BC - C - I,C - II,C - III and summit attempt (Long: 76o05', Lat: 34o01'): Need Indian Army permission
  4. Hagshu I (6515 m) - Leh - Kargil - Ringdom - Chibra - Base Camp (Long: 76o27', Lat: 33o32')
  5. Lungser Kangri (6666 m) - Leh – Karzok - Peldo - Kyurchu - BC - ABC - Summit bid (Long: 78o27', Lat: 32o55')
  6. Chamsher Kangri (~6622 m) - Leh – Karzok - Peldo - Kyurchu - BC - ABC - Summit bid (Long: 78o26', Lat: 32o57')

For more, take a look at Indian Mountaineering Foundation Website


Easily accessible peak I would prefer would be Chamsher Kangri and/or Lungser Kangri.
Considering summit plan for both the peaks:

  • Total number of days from Leh to Leh: 10 Days.
  • Nearest International Airport: New Delhi. There are regular flights for Leh from New Delhi. New Delhi to Leh flight duration is 1 hour 30 minutes, fare varying with airliners starting from 100 USD to 200 USD.
  • Leh is a city that has all the tourist facilities that one need.
  • Leh to Korzok is roughly 215 km (133 Miles) by road. Tourist vehicle can be arranged for this distance from Leh.

Note: In name(Vill), Vill stands for Village with no apparent modern facilities, just the food and a non-luxurious accommodation, mostly without any cellphone network or an internet connection.

9

Lenin Peak is another likely candidate. Just quoting from the wiki page (that looks heavily copied from summitpost).

It is considered one of the easiest 7,000 m peaks in the world to climb and it has by far the most ascents of any 7,000 m or higher peak on Earth, with every year seeing hundreds of climbers make their way to the summit.

and

The peak is quite popular with climbers due to its easy access and some uncomplicated routes.

1

As a preliminary peak for Everest, there are several mountains ranging from 6000-8000m peaks. Climbing 6000m peak (Island Peak or Lobuche East) is basically included these days on the Everest expedition itinerary as a part of acclimatization.

However, climbing one 8000m peak such as (Mt. Manaslu or Mt.Chooyu) will be greatly beneficial before attempting the big E.

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