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May 252012
Everest Plume

Update 3

The SummitClimb team that turned back last week made it this morning in outstanding time. This from Arnold Coster:

This morning Jangbu Sherpa and John reached the summit of Everest at around 3:30am. Sandra, Richie, Steve, Chauwang, Lakpha and passing followed at around 5:30 am. The weather was beautiful and quiet. No winds and not too much people. They are all back at the Southcol taking a rest, before they will descent further. Depending how tired they are; some will continue to camp 2 others will decide to descent only to camp 3.

Of note with this team, Jon Kedrowski summited this morning. He helped many people last weekend and returned this week to summit.

Mike Moniz who summited Everest this morning with IMG is now taking a brief rest before going over to attempt Lhotse. That will be two 8000m climbs in 24 hours. After that he is off to Cho Oyu for his third 8000m.

There has been no update on Chad Kellogg. This is not unusual as in previous attempts he was very slow in updating his site. Also no update on Dave Hahn and the RMI team but I assume they summited and are headed back down tot he South Col. I will update int he Wave 5 Wrap-Up tomorrow.

Update 2

RMI’s Dave Hahn reported in at the Balcony at 4:30AM Nepal time, right on schedule for a midnight departure from the South Col for them. Look for their summit in about 3 hours or around 8 Nepal time.

Mountain Trip’s Scott Woolums led team reported 5 climbers plus 5 or more Sherpas on the summit at 6:55AM. They left the South Col at 10:50PM last night.

Eric Simonson let me know that some of the IMG climbers summited as early as 4:00AM – an incredible time indicating climbing conditions were about as good as they ever get on Everest. IMG just posted their summit list – an impressive showing of 12 climbers and 14 Sherpas. This list included Mike Moniz and my very own Ang Chhiring (Kami) Sherpa, Pangboche whom I summited Everest with last year. I believe this is his 14th summit.

Thanks to Joel Norvell for letting us know that Hungarian mountaineer, David Klein – climbing without supplementary O2 – is headed toward the summit on the North. He had planned to leave from Camp 3 last night, Friday at 10pm Nepal time.

Congratulations to all tonight.

Update 1

IMG reported the first summits of Saturday, May 25, as early as 4:00AM in what Eric Simonson called “excellent conditions”:

The first IMG climbers are reaching the summit now, and the rest are not too far back. Conditions are excellent. The eastern sky is just starting to get some color. It’s going to be a fantastic sunrise up there this morning. We’ll post the complete summit list once everyone gets up there, and we have a chance to send the list to the Ministry of Tourism (which gets notified first, per the regulations).

For perhaps the last time in the spring of 2012, the upper slopes of Everest are filled with climbers trying to fulfill their dreams. Leaving around 9:00PM on Friday, May 25, teams left the South Col and maybe the High Camps on the North. They should summit early Saturday, May 26.

Dave Hahn, RMI, reported their plans but no further word as of 3:00AM Nepal time. Dave is known for leaving very late and climbing fast to avoid the initial crowds – that is how a 13 time summiter from the West does it!:

We are going to go for it tonight. We’ve got the forecast in our favor, the winds are supposed to drop down. There are other people going for it tonight but manageable numbers and we feel pretty good about it. It’s a sunny day up here at 26,000’ and we are hanging out, making plans taking care of our selves, getting ready because tonight we want to start up for the roof of the world.

IMG‘s Classic team climbing with personal Sherpas are also on their way:

IMG guides Max Bunce and Eric Remza report that the Classic climbers left the South Col about 8:30 PM and are now climbing towards the Balcony. Each climber is accompanied by a personal Sherpa, and we also have some bottled-oxygen carrier sherpas going up too. Weather is good. We’ll keep you posted!

Mike Moniz, with IMG is updating his home team often on their website. Mike had hoped to climb Lhotse immediately after Everest – while still on the upper flanks, and then move quickly to Cho Oyu in Tibet and climb with Charlie Mace. I hope these ambitious plans are still intact. Will keep everyone informed.

The remaining climbers from SummitClimb are also on their way up including Coloradan Jon Kedrowski. Visit his site for some insight on assisting the climbers last weekend. They were one of the few teams that chose to turn back last weekend, thus avoiding the delays and weather.

I am not aware of any North side attempts tonight but there are still independent teams on both sides that do not make their progress public.

Peru's Alpamayo 19,511'/5947m

Peru's Alpamayo 19,511'/5947m

There are reports of melting in the Western Cwm and Icefall but this is quite normal for the end of May – even more reason to get off the mountain as quickly as possible. If everything goes as planned, the Sherpas will have cleared all the camps above the Icefall in a few more days.

I will update this post as news develops, post a wrap-up tomorrow and then my season summary where I share my views on everything that transpired this season in the next few days. Meanwhile I am in full training for my next climb to Peru’s Alpaymayo in June. I’ll post dispatches directly from the climb so I hope you become a regular visitor once Everest 2012 is over.

It appears Everest is closing out quietly, which is just fine with everyone this year.

Climb On!
Memories are Everything

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