We are going home!
Yesterday morning a delegation from Kathmandu arrived to address all the Sherpas and climbers in Base Camp. Most of the delegates spoke in Nepali, so it was difficult to follow, but one of the most important statements made by the Ministry was that they would extend climbing permits for a further 5 years, if you choose not to climb this season. I got the sense that they did not want anyone to climb this year. We had a meeting with all of our staff after lunch and agreed that we would check in with the last of the bigger expeditions to see what their plans were.
Bottom line: everyone is going home. And so today the packing has begun. This is a very complex and sad situation and a day that will not be forgotten in the eventful history of Mt Everest.