The Olympic torch reached the top of Mount Everest today. I'm truthfully not very interested in the Olympics being held in Beijing, but as a longtime reader of Everest lore I enjoyed following this particular story.
The climb has been cloaked in secrecy, and there are concerns that climbers who have been kept off Everest during the torch's journey will not be properly acclimated to the altitude when they attempt the summit. Nepal has kept the South Ridge route closed while the torch ascended the North Ridge route from Tibet. Climbers on the South Ridge often go back and forth from Base Camp to the various camps dotted along the route to the summit, gradually building their endurance, but when the route reopens climbers may be anxious to immediately head for the summit. Due to harsh weather, ascending Everest is typically only attempted in April and May.
My favorite story of this Everest season, however, is about an enterprising Sherpa who has figured out a way to bake at Base Camp -- a very difficult challenge between the effects of extreme altitude and the difficulty of transporting equipment and ingredients to camp.