The ‘Mountain Trip’ team has released this statement after ending their Everest season early:
“Our team in Nepal has made the extremely tough, but necessary call to end our 2021 Mount Everest Expedition.
“While it’s a difficult decision to make when considering all of the work, years of preparation, sacrifice and resources that have went into the expedition, it’s the only sensible outcome from a risk management standpoint.
“While we did our best throughout the expedition to be as COVID responsible as possible (and at the beginning of the season it looked like COVID was on the decline) there has been a sharp spike of cases throughout Nepal that we couldn’t predict or fully avoid, even with being cautious.
“Six of our Sherpa team have been evacuated to Kathmandu with COVID symptoms, and while they are all thankfully doing well, they are no longer available to help progress the team higher and carry essential resources to the upper camps. Moreover, a summit push this late in the season would put our Sherpa sweep team on the glacier in June—later than ever before—with a very active and rapidly warming Khumbu Icefall to contend with. Given the conditions this year that situation would be fairly unconscionable.
“Additionally, with many teams prevented from going up throughout a long typhoon storm cycle with dangerously high winds, our team would undoubtedly face long lines of climbers going for the summit, a risk we always try to avoid as best we can with strategic summit pushes. In this short of a window, such avoidance would not be possible.
“We want to thank you all for following along with the expedition, and we’re certainly disheartened to report this outcome. Aside from the earthquake season in 2015, all of our Everest seasons have led to a successful summit push. However, the summit is NEVER a guaranteed part of any expedition, and our number one priority is always doing our best to ensure that everyone comes home to climb another day.”
“Until next year, Chomolungma/Sagarmāthā/Mount Everest 🙏🏻.
“Thank you to our amazing team of climbers, guides and Sherpa.
“In the meantime please consider donating to Nepal NGOs that are fighting to contain the latest outbreak with very limited resources.”