March 29, 2021
IMG Teams 1 and 2 have been doing a fantastic job taking care of themselves in Kathmandu as they prepare to head for the Khumbu Valley. IMG Guides Andy Politz and Kevin Kayl went to the Ministry and have now received the IMG climbing permits for Everest and Lhotse. We are official now! Team 1 members have all now passed their required COVID tests and are ready to go….but wait, there is another challenge for them!
There have been a great number of forest fires occurring in Nepal as a result of a very dry winter. Due to the smokey air, all the Lukla flights have been grounded in KTM for the last three days with little sign of improvement. The IMG Leaders put their thinking caps on and decided to pack up, load up into vehicles, and head east to Phaplu where the smoke conditions are better and from where they will have a better chance to fly into the Khumbu Valley. It was all smiles this morning as they loaded up and drove out of town. Team 1 is now in Phaplu (7,918 ft / 2,413 m) for the night and they will be up before first light to catch an early morning flight into the Khumbu. IMG Trekking Sirdar Sonam Sherpa is now in Lukla arranging porters and he reports some light rain which we hope will help to push down the smoke. Team 2 will be getting their required COVID tests tomorrow and hopefully will be departing Kathmandu the following day.