Teams on Everest seem to be taking the day off and sending best wishes to all their mom’s back home. Most teams are down valley looking to stay for at least 3 nights. But Peak Freaks has issued a call for their climbers to return to base camp by May 11th thus portending the start of a summit bid. However more than likely we will see the next wave of summits around the 19th.
Victor Vescovo with Alpine Ascents (AAI) has a nice post today describing his time down at the Khumbu village of Tengboche. The big concern is interacting with other people and running the risk of catching a cold or virus. Victor comments:
It feels like being in a safe house, in many respects, since our team is really the only occupants of this particular lodge. It isn’t the nicest one in the area, but it is fine and is isolated enough to protect us from whatever illnesses other trekkers or climbers might bring through the busier inns. The objective right now is to get healthier and stay healthy, so we can be as strong as possible for the summit attempt.
Victor also mentions that one of their guides, Vern Tejas is on track to complete a 7 Summits run in record time. He is going directly from Everest to Denali to wrap it up.
Becky Rippel from the Peak Freaks’ home team says they have taken extreme measures to protect their climbers back at base camp:
We have news that some of the trekkers had colds and because of this potential and our willingness to want to share this adventure with others. We establish a dinning tent separate from the climbers at this stage of the climb. They have their own sleeping tents, toilet tent and shower that no one else will use. All the dishes will be hard boiled and everything that they may come into contact with will be scrubbed and disinfected and if it can’t be it won’t be used used again in the time remaining of this expedition. There won’t be any hugging or even hand shaking and visiting will be outside in the open air only. This action is critical at this stage of the game.
Those still at base camp are spending time repairing tent platforms. Base camp is pitched on the moving Khumbu glacier and starts to melt in a significant way in early May. So tents need to be adjusted and sometimes moved to more stable ground and out of the way of running water.
An interesting video is from Jamie Clark with the Hanesbrands team. He discusses the weather forecast with their climbing Sidar, Kami Tshering. He is the lead Sherpa for the climbing team. Jamie tells Kami of high winds through May 12th and no team going to the summit through the 20th.
Kami then explains to Jamie it is best to go the high camps and see for yourself. It is an interesting example of how decisions are melded between traditional methods and high technology. I can remember Sherpas simply saying, go for the summit when the moon is full. In the end, Kami and Jamie agree on a plan: leave on 10th looking at a summit on the 15th. It is a good video to watch.
Climbers will spend the next week staying active with walks but mostly resting and eating as much as possible.
Correction: The Kazah team is reporting today on the death of the Lhotse climber. He was not on their team but a Russian team:
May 8th day the sad news of the Russian team of tragedy, after the storming of the top of Lhotse died – Sergei Duganov from St. Petersburg … Kazakhstan team brings their condolences. Gore picked up yet another cherished memory of Sergei … lost in the mountains.