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May 252012
Everest Plume

Everest Plume

We saw many successful summit climbs on Everest overnight, May 23/24. I estimate about 115 combined on both sides. This was a typical Everest summit day and more representative of how Everest is climbed in modern times.

Teams carefully considered the winds as they arrived at the South Col, some choose to go up, hospital others to wait for the forecast of yet lower winds Friday night; neither decision was wrong.

The dire predictions of crowds, death lines and a re-occurrence of last weekend didn’t materialize, thankfully. To be fair, the events of the last window had everyone on edge but this window had more experienced leaders who worked together to make the summit push work for everyone.

The weather worked out fine, temps were called “warm”; there were high wind gusts but overall very acceptable conditions with no snowfall.

Those teams that summit included:

  • Kenton Cool: with 2 climbers and 1 Sherpa
  • Adventure Consultants: 2 climbers, 4 Sherpas
  • Peak Freaks: 5 climbers, 6 Sherpas
  • Jagged Globe: 6 climbers, 4 Sherpas
  • Benegas Brothers: 4 climbers, 2 Sherpas

Of note this was Willie Benegas’s 11th summit  and Kenton Cool’s 10th. Warner Rojas became the first Costa Rican national to reach the top of the world.

Kenton Cool’s summit was a bit unique. He and cinematographer Keith Partridge and Dorge Sherpa, were the first on the summit and carried the 1924 Olympic medal given to the British team who attempted Everest in 1922. They had asked for it to be carried to the summit one day and Kenton fulfilled that request. Quite a story. He had wanted to do a live interview from the top of the world but his laptop succumbed to the cold. He was to do a live broadcast from the South Col upon his return.

The Indian Army had a good day as well:

“One male officer along with four women officers, three NCOs successfully summited the Everest in the morning. One of the Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs) reached the summit without using oxygen cylinders,” Army officials said in New Delhi.

On the North, Adventure Peaks was on their summit push but their home team reported their sat phone battery was low so we will not know the results until now but put 8 on the summit and are back safely at the High Camp. They reported low winds throughout the climb but they picked as they left the summit.

There were also many summits on Lhotse that I will try to summarize on a later post.

Tonight we will see another wave, perhaps the last of this season, with teams from IMG, Asian Trekking, RMI, SummitClimb and others. I will post another update later today.

Climb On!
Memories are everything

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