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May 242012
Everest Plume

Everest Plume

Update 1 – Summits

Kenton Cool has reached the summit on Friday morning, May 25 abut 4:45 AM. He is preparing to send a live video update from the summit to the BBC. Check his Facebook page for more information.

Update 1.5: I just spoke with Kenton Cool’s home team and the laptop went down due to the extreme cold so they will do an interview from C4 when the get down in a few hours. Kenton reported the winds were picking up bit overall a great day on Top of the World!

Adventure Consultants summited at 5:10 AM as they passed the Hillary Step, medicine making excellent time, they reported the winds have picked up a bit, but again this is semi-normal as the sun rises.

Also Peak Freaks reports their first summits at 5:15 with the rest of their entire team close behind.

The fourth wave of summits is underway. Teams have cleared the Balcony and are currently climbing the Southeast Ridge on the south or just below the Steps on the North.

Expect to read a lot of alarmist statement about crowds and more death (non reported) but let’s see how the evening plays out. I hope it will return to the Everest of recent years. There is a lot of mis-information, and hype that is serving purposes other than climbing mountains right now. (my opinion)

The first wave was on May 16/17 when the ropes were fixed and the Chilean team summited. The second on 18/19, the third on 19/20 – these were just last weekend with the crowds and sadly 6 deaths between both the North (2) and South (4) sides.

Today, May 24 the fourth has started with summits expected tomorrow morning, May 25. The last wave will occur over May 25/26 wrapping up the season for most teams. There may be some final small team efforts on the North but unlikely. High winds are expected to return on Sunday.

For an overview of today, please visit my previous post I put up earlier today.

General Updates During Summits:

Please note I may update the site a few times a day during these summit pushes so you will receive several emails if you subscribed to receive updates. If you are wondering about a specific team or climber, please understand that I cannot follow everyone because most of the climbers and teams do not have websites or are not providing updates.

The normal practice is once the team summits, they report the results to the Nepal Ministry of Tourism and they eventually publish a press release or report – this can take days or months for the official report. Hopefully the team you are interested in will publish something through their hometown press if/when they summit.

Weather and Team Updates

Higher than wanted winds hit the teams as they were leaving the South Col but still within some teams safety margins. Others felt it is too strong and will wait for Friday night.

The reports are coming in of good progress thus far with good weather, clear skies and manageable winds. Adventures Consultants says they are at the Balcony in 4 hours which is excellent time and indicates no crowd issues for them. Kenton Cool reported in at the same spot a bit earlier.

The Benegas Brothers reported in that their team of 10 are at the Balcony and this post as they left the South Col:

The time has come! It is 8:45pm local time in Nepal and the BBE Everest Team of Willie Benegas, Hernan Carracedo, Pablo Betancourt, Fernando Grajales and Fernando Rodriguez de Hoz are soon to depart Camp 4 at the South Col of Everest. They are in the finest company of Climbing Sherpas Tendi Sherpa, Phurba Gyalgen Sherpa, Funuru Sherpa, Lhakpa Sonam Sherpa and Mingma Tenji Sherpa.

Peak Freaks reported their team of 12 has passed the Balcony and this earlier:

the forecasts looks really good. Climbers don’t like to climb in wind over 20k and 30k+  is pushing it but some still do. Our forecast is showing to be wavering around 5 to 10k on the 24th night, and the team is reporting that they feel it calming considerably tonight already.

But Chris Klinke’s home team posted he will wait 24 hours and go tomorrow night:

They are waiting one more day for a summit due to high winds (25 mph) and crowds.   Winds at 25mph can really zap energy and put you at risk for frost bite, so they are going to hang out in their tents and attempt a summit early on Saturday morning (May 26th).  Another factor is that there are about 140 people up at camp 4 (south col) and about 100 are attempting tonight.   Hopefully tomorrow will be a bit less crowded.

Mountain Trip also reported they will wait 24 hours for the same reasons. There seems to be a wide range being reported on the actual number of climbers on the route tonight. I have seen from 70 to 150. In any event, with several teams delaying by 24 hours to Friday night, the risk of crowds at the bottlenecks is quickly going down. Dave Hahn’s RMI team have also decided to wait it out at the South Col.

IMG and  Asian Trekking’s large Indian teams are at Camp 3 and will climb to the South Col tomorrow and begin their push Friday night with summits Saturday morning.

Climb On!
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