Today appears to be the day when even the most optimistic expeditions gave up hope. Why has this come about?
Obviously we have had a tragic accident with 16 deaths and multiple injuries. Some Sherpas no doubt feel that the mountain should close in honour of the dead. Some may feel the risks are too high to continue. Some see this as an ideal time to extract concessions from the government. Some are struggling to balance loyalty to their employers with solidarity towards their families, friends and community. There are some rumours of intimidation as well. Decisions taken now whilst feelings are raw may not be in the long term best interests of the Sherpas. Some western tourists will no doubt be revising their choice of Nepal as a trekking destination.
It has been a big disappointment to miss out on climbing Mount Everest. But I now understand much more how such an achievement would have depended upon massive logistical support to compensate for my own lack of strength and experience. The Sherpas would have provided most of that support and borne most of the risk. If this is the year that they re-balance the risk/rewards in their favour then good luck to them.