Nepalese banned from Tibet - Everest Noth closed 2009

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Nepalese banned from Tibet - Everest Noth closed 2009

by radson » Sat Aug 30, 2008 8:23 pm

From various reports including this one from IMG, the Chinese have made some last minute changes that require an all Tibetan Staff (porters, cooks, climbing support e.g. 'Sherpas') for Fall 2008 Cho Oyu expeditions. Also they required that all expeditions submit their passports to the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu which is then sent to Tibet (I assume Lhasa and the CTMA). Then their visas will be issued.

All this means delays for climbers and serious uncertainty for both climbers and operators. Most operators have developed relationships with Nepalese Sherpa and Staff for many,. many years and now it appears that they cannot employ them for Chinese expeditions. This will be a huge blow to the livelihood of these individuals.

All this will have serious impact on climbs to Shisha Pangma, Cho Oyu and Everest - north. I also understand that it is now official that Everest North will be closed for cleaning in the spring of 2009.
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by MTN Trader » Sat Aug 30, 2008 10:59 pm

And do they hang on to those passports for minutes, or days, or weeks?

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by Damien Gildea » Sat Aug 30, 2008 11:31 pm

Actually I think organising Tibet expeditions from Nepal, with Nepalese staff and supplies, was always a strange situation and one that was bound to change (yes, I have done it myself).

China/Tibet/Lhasa/Shigatse have plenty of suitable resources for Tibetan expeditions (agents, transport, yaks, supermarkets) so it is only natural they would want Tibetan expeditions based out of Tibet - not a neighboring country. It's a leftover from a time when Tibet did not have such logistic resources and is now just a convenience for western climbers and commercial guiding companies. Those times have passed and we should adapt. All that hard USD flowing into KTM does not seem to have improved the place much for the average people over the years I've been there (1989-1996-2005).

Imagine if to climb Denali, you flew to Whitehorse, bought all your food and gear there and used Canadian transport and staff to drive into Talkeetna. Not only would the Alaskans not like it, I don't think Homeland Security would be wild about it either.


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by radson » Sun Aug 31, 2008 9:08 pm

Yeah I agee that a country/province has the right to choose who works within its borders, I guess if Tibetan 'sherpas' have reciprocal legal opportunities to work in Nepal thern guiding companies can choose Nepali/Tibetan based on merit rather than nationality.

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by lefty » Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:22 am

I just got back from Cho Oyu and Nepalese Sherpas were allowed on the mountain. The commercial team I was part of included Sherpas and Tibetan climbers. I understand the chinese require the expeditions to pay additional fees to bring in Sherpas, but I also understand that many expeditaions still think the estra cost is worth it for more experienced Sherpas than there Tibetan counterparts.

The visa system indeed was a hassle with the Chinese taking five days to process appliciations (which last year took one day) and requiring all teams to travel through Zang Mu instead of through Llasa as was previously allowed.

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