More Bolts on Everest plus Mobile Phone Antenna

© Kenton Cool / Dream Guides
Last May regular UKC contributor Kenton Cool reported from Everest that several bolts had been placed in the Yellow Band to replace old pegs and safeguard Sherpas and Western climbers (UKC News). This year he reports on more bolts being placed and of a new mobile phone antenna.

One of the old pegs now replaced with a bolt  © Kenton Cool / Dream Guides
One of the old pegs now replaced with a bolt
© Kenton Cool / Dream Guides

The Dream Guides Cook Bhin talking to his wife in Kathmandu from Everest BC  © Kenton Cool / Dream Guides
The Dream Guides Cook Bhin talking to his wife in Kathmandu from Everest BC
© Kenton Cool / Dream Guides
Kenton Cool of Dreamguides reports:

Over the weekend a number of Sherpas from Russell Brices' Himex team placed a further 3 bolts on the route between Camp 3 and the South Col. These were placed on the Geneva Spur at around 7800m.

Last year a total of 6 bolts were placed on the Yellow Band above Camp 3 by Willie Benegas and Adrain Bellinger. The bolts replaced old rotten pegs that had been placed by unknown sources some time in the past. At the time this action came under criticism by much of the climbing community but ultimately it was done to safe guard the passage of the Sherpa Teams who carry the loads for the Western climbers and therefore pass through the area many more times than the Western climbers themselves.

Adrain Bellinger together with Sherpas from the Himex team plan to add further bolts above the South Col. Again this will safe guard passage through areas which until now have been considered dangerous to Sherpa and Western climbers alike.

I have no doubt that this news will once again ruffle feathers with in the climbing community and rightly so, but please remember where these bolts are being placed and for what reasons. Everest is currently considered (rightly or wrongly) a commercial mountain and these bolts will help safeguard the local Sherpas who earn a living from working on their mountain.

Mobile Phone Coverage:

On Sunday 2nd March Namasta Mobile switched on their latest cell phone antenna in Gorak Shep, close to Everest Base Camp.

This means that the Base Camp on the South side of Everest now has cell phone reception. Reports are that the signal stretches to about Camp 1(6100m) on the mountain but not (as yet) to Camp 2.

In the past the North Side has had cell phone signal most of the way to the summit, and I personally have made a call on a cell phone on the summit, again using the Chinese network. Until this year the only place on the South side where there was any signal was part way along the Geneva Spur at just under 8000m, this was a little known fact, made use of by only the Sherpas.

Although with UK roaming charges it's still cheaper to use a Sat Phone!

  • You can keep up with Kenton's current Everest attempt on his blog: Dream Guides

Gorak Shep, the frozen lakebed covered with sand that sits at 5,164m  © John Hamer
Gorak Shep, the frozen lakebed covered with sand that sits at 5,164m
© John Hamer

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4 May, 2010
I think it is unfair to use the Sherpa's safety as an excuse to bolt everest. My gut reaction is that it is being "progressively" (i.e. there will be more bolts to come) bolted by certain companies to increase buisness by reducing costs, turn around time and accessibility to clients. Sherpa's and climbers should accept the danger as part of the intrinsic nature of Everest, and should respect it as a wild environment. And to pre-answer certain responses; 9 bolts in almost 9000 metres does not make a sports route but where is the line? Sherpa's do have a right to earn money from their own country, but again where is the line between a few bolts and 20 Starbuck's at base camp?
4 May, 2010
The Nepalese government (though naturally they were not self-appointed).
4 May, 2010
Surely Everest is a ``sacrificial lamb'' in much the same way that Snowdon is?
4 May, 2010
eh? I was on Snowdon at about 8 ish last night, bank holiday monday, and saw very few people and no one on Crib Goch at all. A stunning mountain
4 May, 2010
Did you not notice a large building with a railway leading to it ?!
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