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In July 2008, Kevin Gill and Vincent Carruthers, both members of the Magaliesberg Protection Association (MPA) who were checking the conservation status of the Magaliesberg from a Bateleurs flight along the range, noticed a massive new development that was taking place inside the Magaliesberg Protected Environment (MPE) at Olifantsnek.

For the second time in recent years, a plane headed for Lukla crashed in the mountains, this time killing 3 crew members and 11 passengers, 6 of of them being foreign tourists. More on the previous disaster which happend in 2008 can be read here: Airplane crash on Everest route kills 18. Lukla is a popular jump-off point for the Everest trek and is one of the busiest airports in Nepal.

The pilot apparently reported generator failure en route to Lukla and decided to return, but the backup generator also later failed. Without cockpit avionics the plane would be flying blind in rugged terrain and heavy rain. The cause of the crash would seem to be a combindation of technical failure and bad weather.



In the wake of the controversial ascent of Everest by 13 year old Jordon Romero, China has set a new age limit in effect for the forthcoming season. Climbers must be at least 18 years old to climb any peak in Tibet. An upper age limit of 60 was also set, but with a loophole that a medical certificate stating the climbers fitness could be presented.

Nepal has only set a lower age limit of 16 years. Pemba Dorjee Sherpa, who holds the current speed record on Everest, has recently announced his intentions of training an 11 or 12 year old Nepalese boy, to beat Romero's record. It seems the Nepalese authorities may allow this attempt as an exception.


On successfully summiting Everest via the standard route from the Nepal side on May 22nd, Mandy Ramsden became the first South African woman to climb all Seven Summits. She reached the top at 7:45am, as a member of the Adventure Consultants team.

Read more: First South African Woman to climb 7 Summits

May 21, 2010, marks the day Jordan Romero, 13 years old, became the youngest person to have climbed Mount Everest. The team successfully climbed the North-East Ridge Route on the Tibetan side of the mountain. They are reportedly safely back down at Advanced Base Camp.

Read more: Jordan Romero

On May 17, 2010, Spanish climber Edurne Pasaban completed her final 8000m summit  - Sishapangma, in Tibet - one she had attempted several times before. Only a month ago she summited Annapurna I in Nepal, another of the 8000ders. She is now the second woman to have completed the world's top 14 peaks, a race which she apparently lost to Korean climber Oh Eun-Sun on April 27, 2010 when the latter gained her final summit, Annapurna.

Pasaban is currently disputing the validity of Oh's Kanchenjunga summit claim - the exact outcome remains to be seen.

Read more: Edurne Pasaban

Various Everest climbing blogs have reported numerous summits today (around 30), as reportedly large numbers of climbers push up from the south side, with the usual reports of resulting bottle necks and delays along the route. Climbers have been waiting for the window of good weather around this time of year during which most of the summit attempts are made. It seems this window has begun.

The Maoists of Nepal have officially declared that their protests and forced shutdowns (bandas), will not affect tourist activities during the Nepal Tourism Year in 2011. This declaration was formally released on a document. The strikes have crippled and hampered the country severely lately.

Read more: Maoists will not disrupt 2011 Tourism Year

13 year old Jordan Romero, from California in the USA, is currently resting at the northern Everest Base Camp, on the Tibet side, and poised for the window of opportunity to attempt the summit. Camp 2 has been established just below 8000m. The final camp will be at 8300m. If he succeeds, he will be the youngest in the world to have climbed Everest, and this via the more challenging North-East Ridge. He has already climbed Mt McKinley, Aconcagua and Kilimanjaro.

Read more: 13 yr old poised for Everest summit attempt

Chinese Mountaineers and researchers from China climbed Mount Everest in May 2005 and concluded that the rock height of the peak was 3.7 meters less than the estimates made in 1954. This means the summit is 8,844.43 meters as opposed to 8848m, which is the height Nepal seems to be sticking to. Another widely quoted height, which takes into account the snow, is that of 8850m, which was recorded in 1999 using Satellite technology.

Officials from China and Nepal who met this week said both heights were accurate.

More: Nepal, China recognize two heights of Mount Everest