Climbing in China and Tibet was compromised in 2008 by the Beijing Olympics and a major earthquake in Sichuan. Writing in December Elizabeth Hawley noted, “Plans for expeditions in Tibet continue to face uncertainty, despite the end of the Olympic Games, which caused the Chinese to cancel all expeditions in the spring. Most organizers this autumn decided not to wait for Beijing to give a green light for Cho Oyu and substituted Manaslu or Baruntse. Some organizers are seriously considering not sending climbers to Tibet in the foreseeable future. They know that Everest will likely be closed next March, as the 17th will mark the 50th anniversary of the Dalai Lama’s flight from Lhasa, and demonstrations by citizens of the Tibet Autonomous Region and Tibetan-populated adjoining provinces can surely be expected.” In 2009, expeditions that planned to enter Tibet and Sichuan before the end of March were refused permits.
Lindsay Griffin, Mountain INFO