Alpenglow Expeditions Halts Summit Plans As China Shuts Down Tibet Side of Mt. Everest

Industry: Sports

Chinese-side Expeditions Cancelled over Fears of Coronavirus Hitting Base Camps

Squaw Valley, Calif. (PRUnderground) March 11th, 2020

Alpenglow Expeditions announced today the cancellation of this season’s planned Mount Everest summit expeditions on news from China that it is shutting down Tibet-side access of the mountain to climbers.  China is closing access to the Tibet-side over fears of a Coronavirus outbreak in one of the most remote and inhospitable environments in the world.

“This is heartbreaking news, especially for our clients who have trained so hard and invested so much in chasing the climb of a lifetime,” said Adrian Ballinger, the CEO of Alpenglow Expeditions. “While canceling a climb is never an outcome we want, this time, it’s the responsible thing to do. A Covid-19 outbreak at base camp would be dangerous and potentially devastating.”

In high altitude conditions, where breathing is already a challenge, the novel Coronavirus, which attacks the respiratory system, could be life-threatening.  The tight-knit base camp communities where climbers assemble before summiting would also be susceptible to a rapid spread of the viral infection.

“Our concern would be getting someone stricken by the virus safely to definitive medical care,” explained Ballinger. “Receiving appropriate medical attention at a remote site like this would be very challenging, and getting someone home, while ill, a logistical nightmare.”

Switching the climbing route over to Nepal, which allows access to the southern side of the mountain, is also not an option for Alpenglow.

“Nepal may follow China’s lead and shut down their season as well,” said Ballinger. “Even if they don’t, the threat of a Covid-19 outbreak and the underlying issues of ascending from the south side, including the lack of effective management, overcrowding, and an unpredictable icefall, make such an expedition unsafe in our eyes. It’s not a gamble we’re willing to take.”

Alpenglow Expeditions, a Lake Tahoe-area based guide service that offers professional climbing adventures around the world to all levels of enthusiasts. It is offering all its clients the ability to transfer their reservations to next year’s climb or offer the balance of refundable costs.

To learn more about Alpenglow Expeditions visit:

About Alpenglow Expeditions

Alpenglow Expeditions is a world-renowned adventure travel company dedicated to providing unparalleled mountaineering experiences across the globe. With a focus on safety, ethics, and environmental stewardship, Alpenglow Expeditions has earned a reputation for excellence in the mountain guiding industry. Led by experienced AMGA/IFMGA guides and mountaineers, the company continues to inspire and empower climbers to achieve their mountaineering dreams.

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