Things are not as they seem: Kobler & Partner have not fallen off the face of the earth! We are here for you, especially during these difficult times, just as we have been over the past 35 years!
It is true though that the virus has put an abrupt end to our fantastic winter season which saw the launch of a few new exciting trips: Ruedi Kellerhals discovered pristine conditions for backcountry skiing in the Zagros mountains in Iran, while Andreas Neuschmid explored the beauties of Limone Piemonte together with a group. He also returned full of enthusiasm and excitement from a trip to the stunning Aladagla National Park in the Turkish Taurus mountains.
Covid-19 put a brutal stop to this promising season. At first the borders gradually closed; then airlines started to cancel their flights. At the beginning, we were still trying to find alternatives, however, it became clear very quickly that not only the Alps were affected, and the virus had also forced our service providers to close down for safety reasons! This meant that we at Kobler & Partner had a busy time ahead of us. We had to repatriate members who were on a current trip; we had to inform members of upcoming expeditions and tours; we had to discuss this new situation with our many partners around the globe; and we had to cancel hotel and flight bookings. These were hectic times at the Neubrückstrasse in Bern. Being a global tour operator, we had to take responsibility towards our members as well as our partners on the ground; our mountain guides; the Sherpas; the hut wardens; the hotels; the travel agents; the car rental companies; and last but not least our very own employees.
We of Kobler & Partner would like to thank you for your patience and your understanding during these days of unprecedented turbulence! Our team is currently working from home and is still there for you via email at email@example.com. If you would like to speak to us, please send us an email with your questions and your contact number, and we will give you a ring.
But let’s not forget: every cloud has a silver lining! Once this situation is over, we will be able to enjoy the mountains together again.
We have not lost our optimism and are still expecting our summer expeditions to Gasherbrum II and Pik Lenin to go ahead. We assure you that we will continuously assess the situation in Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan and will announce our carefully considered decision for or against a trip nearer the time.
Just before I go, I would like to remind you that the cancellations of all our trips in the Himalaya this spring do not only affect Kobler & Partner; they have severely affected our Sherpa guides, their families and their livelihoods. As we would like to continue the training programme for the Sherpa community after the times of Corona, we would hugely appreciate your support of the Swiss Sherpa Foundation.
Thank you for trusting us, and please stay healthy!