"The sportive, knightly battle awakens the best human characteristics. It doesn't separate, but unites the combatants in understanding and respect. He also helps to connect the countries in the spirit of peace. That's why the Olympic Flame should never die. (Adolf Hitler, German Chancellor, leader of the Nazi party, 1889-1945). 2007 image of the Chinese Olympic team planting their national flag in Everest BC (click to enlarge).
Body of the Tibetan nun, left in a snow path on Nangpa La. Courtesy of Pavle Kozjek (click to enlarge).

The "Climbers Without Borders" Everest 2008 hotline allows climbers, their relatives and friends to report anonymously from the mountain. Pls call (1) 206-666-2407 (from a sat phone pls dial 001-206-666-2407). State your name and message (your name will be withheld).
"China will not limit the number of expeditions in 2008," said the officials on September 4, 2007. March 10, 2008 the above notice arrived.
You'll need a watch synchronized to local time, and a camera to document your ignition/ascent. The ignitions will be coordinated and subdivided according to geographical areas and local times. Italian climber/artist Alberto Peruffo calls for climbers around the world to light red flares for Tibet; the pics eventually to be put together in his grand art project. Image courtesy of Alberto's Sadsmokeymountains website.
Norwegian Inge Solheim flying the Tibetan flag at the North Pole. Image by Reuters.
They are lying to us! Climbers Without Borders 2008 Everest hotline and Flashback at China's promises

Posted: Apr 16, 2008 10:43 pm EDT
(MountEverest.net) In Everest BC, there are currently climbers from the Americas, Australia, Europe and Asia. Imagine if we banned all Chinese climbers and tourists from Denali, Mont Blanc, Aconcagua and Ayers rock.

Imagine what would happen if we allowed Nepalese climbers in our national parks, but forbid them to bring phones and cameras.

To put it mildly; China and Nepal would view such acts as pretty hostile.

China has not only closed Everest on its side; following the "democratic" election in Nepal (won by the only candidate keeping their own, private army) climbers have swiftly been denied free speech on Everest south side and even their safety radios will be eavesdropped - for any anti-China wording.

Everest "Climbers Without Borders" hotline

ExplorersWeb will use the ban for increased special reports about human rights abuse in China, such as the organ donor business, the treatment of Tibetan and other minorities, the slave force who built the Olympic village and the nation's ties to Nepal Maoists.

ExWeb calls for other adventure news sources to join in these reports; as together we have far more readers that the Everest climbers combined and thus can voice even louder that which they are forbidden to do.

ExplorersWeb will now also accept anonymous reports from Everest BC, provided they are made by sources known to ExWeb.

The "Climbers Without Borders" Everest 2008 hotline allows climbers, their relatives and friends to report anonymously from the mountain. Pls call (1) 206-666-2407 (from a sat phone pls dial 001-206-666-2407). State your name and message (your name will be withheld).

Climbers and explorers wishing to stage a protest for Tibet are offered to either fly a Tibetan flag or write "Free Tibet" on any feature in their surrounding (such as in the snow, on rocks, in the sand etc) and send the image marked with name, date and location to team@explorersweb.com for publishing.

They are lying to us

"What China says and what China does are two vastly different things," ExWeb wrote as late as yesterday. With today's results of the communications meeting between Everest climbers and Nepalese officials, let's take a quick look at what China and Nepal said prior to the current Everest season:

August 23 last year, ExplorersWeb wrote:

"The China/Tibet Mountaineering Association (CMA/TMA ) are now reportedly negotiating with Nepal, asking them to help "close" the peak from both sides during the Olympic torch team's summit push next year."

First story: Can reduced climbing fees save Everest?

In a follow up story, September 4, official word on the above rumor arrived. Ang Tshering Sherpa, Chairman for Asian Trekking (P) Ltd and President of the Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA), flew to Lhasa for a series of meetings with the following:

The President and Vice President of the China Mountaineering Association, the General Leader and Deputy General Leader of the Chinese Olympic Everest Expedition, the General Secretary of China Tibet Mountaineering Association and the concerned government bodies and authorities.

During the summit, a special banquet was held in honor of Asian Trekking and NMA, hosted by the vice chairman of Tibet autonomous government. As Asian Trekking was the official GSA for CTMA, the agency asked Ang Tshering to be their mouthpiece; and forward any news and updates regarding mountaineering in Tibet and China. This is the word Ang Tshering brought back:

"First of all, there are many rumors circulating in our national and international media that Mt. Everest will be closed to climb from the Tibet side. These rumors are false," Ang Tshering reported, "China will also not limit the number of expeditions in 2008."

"The Olympic team has not yet given any indication or mention regarding the restriction of climbing during their summit push from the North Side. We will have to wait for them to make an official decision on this matter. However, there is no restriction on the south side," Ang Tshering said.

Second story: ExWeb Olympic Everest Summit Report - official word from China/Nepal on 2008 climbing

On October 3, 2007, an update arrived.

Back from a follow up visit to China Tibet Mountaineering Association (CTMA) in Lhasa, Ang Tshering reported:

"They [China] have once again assured us that there will be no limitations on Everest, only stricter criteria to fulfill. Also, they have once again assured us that there will be no restriction to climbing during the summit push of the Olympic flame."

Third story: ExWeb Olympic Everest Summit Report - official word from China/Nepal on 2008 climbing, 2nd update

The words - and the facts

So how did it go? On March 10 this year, CTMA sent out a notice to Everest climbers stating that Everest north side would be closed due to crowding and security issues. The ban was at first denied and called "a misunderstanding" to news sources such as AFP - but no permits have de facto been issued for the Tibetan side of Everest except for the Chinese/Tibetan Olympic torch team.

Two weeks later, on March 25, the Nepal Ministry of Tourism told ExplorersWeb that permanent permits for Everest would be issued albeit with "some instructions" to the mountaineers. The instruction would permit all teams to climb up to camp 2 until May 1, then "rest" in BC between May 1-10, while starting May 11, the climb would be unrestricted.

Nepal Everest permits update: no change

One week later (April 3), climbers received the following written instructions. Here goes an excerpt from the official document, signed by climbers at receiving their permit:

- The team shall not carry and exhibit any things like flags, banners, stickers, pamphlets or any audio visual devices that may harm bilateral relationship between Nepal and China. Our team fully agrees to allow the liaison officer to check any things belonging to the team if he thinks suspicious. Likewise we fully agree to the fact that the liaison officer has the right to seize if found such materials and send back the team or any member of the team to Kathmandu. The government may take action to those for violating/ breaching law of land relating to bilateral relations between Nepal & its friendly country.

- The team will deposit all its electronic equipments for lock up in the Police post at the base camp and if necessary use the equipments available with the government units till 10th of May, 2008.

- All the news regarding the expedition must be conveyed to the Ministry of Tourism & Civil Aviation first of all, and only then it can be sent to others. The satellite phone, V.H.G. and U.G.V. wireless sets, and any other communication equipment must not be used for commercial purpose, failure to do so may result in confiscation of equipment, cancellation of the expedition permit and additional penalty according to law.

Ministry of Tourism Everest 2008 south side regulations - no anti China activities and censored dispatches

...and there's more

Today, the final (?) law on Everest according to climbers in BC:

- Radios are allowed, but we have to give them one so they can listen in on our conversations.
- No Sat-phones or Rbgan until 10th of May. They want us to hand them over.
- No cameras or video until the 10th of May.
- We can't climb above camp 2 until the 10th of May, but Sherpas are allowed to fix ropes up to the South Col between 06:00 a.m. and 18:00 p.m.
- Everybody will get a liaison officer, but they are delayed in arriving in BC because of the elections. They will inspect our camp for sat phones, Rbgans, etc., but they will respect the privacy of our member's tents.
- There will be a check post at Gorak Shep: all trekkers will be checked and not allowed to bring their cameras to BC.

The measures were declared official during the meeting held earlier today in BC. A Canadian climber reported, "we shall not mention the words Tibet or Free Tibet we cant speak about the subject, neither can we say anything which could sound offensive towards China. It is also forbidden to wear T-shirts or to show any symbol referring to China or Tibet while in the area.

Everest and Himalaya wrap-up: Everest under the law of silence

A taste of China

It has to be noted that climbers already earlier had subjected themselves to all the criteria set up by the Chinese - such as early permit applications for political screening, no mention of Tibet or other anti-China statements in dispatches - down to abstaining from reporting the Chinese murder of a Tibetan refugee at a border pass between China and Nepal in 2006.

With the latest turn of events, Everest climbers get but a small taste of what the Tibetans are forced to endure: they comply with every single rule thrown at them - and still they are doomed. Imagine what possibly happened to the Tibetans who were asked to report themselves in the past month's uprising in return for leniency offered by the Chinese.

From "no restrictions at all" to a complete ban on speech: welcome to Mao's Communism and the modern Olympic Games.

Yesterday, French mountaineering organization GHM (original Piolet d'Or) was the latest of mountaineers and explorers protesting the Olympic torch in Tibet:

"As representatives of GHM, we declare ourselves attached to alpinism with human values, which means respect for human rights. We oppose resolutely any forces in the world intervening with these ethical principles."

"Because of the serious political disturbances which affect Tibet since its annexation by China in 1959; because of the uprisings, and because of the bloody repression currently exerted by the Chinese military authorities on the demonstrators - we consider that China's plan to hoist the Olympic flame on top of Everest is particularly inappropriate. It is wounding for the Tibetan population and fundamentally degrading for Himalaya in general, and Everest in particular."

"Consequently, we ask all our fellow-member guides and mountaineer amateurs of all countries to take no part to facilitate the realization of this project."

"In the name of true ethics in alpinism which could not adapt to such compromise, we also call national and international mountaineering authorities, national trade associations and UIAGM, as well as all the national alpine clubs to also declare themselves officially against this operation and collaborate in this matter by all means."

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