We have the first summits of 2013 as the Sherpas have fixed the line to the summit from the South Col opening the gates to all the teams. Similarly, view the Tibetan rope fixers on the North are reported to be close.
On the South it took 13 Sherpas from 8 different teams worked together to get to the summit. I will have their names and teams later today. They are reported to be returning to Camp 2 now. The winds were reported to be moderate and temperatures cold.
According to Asian Trekking, the Sherpas included (update 2):
- Adventure Consultants: Kami Rita Sherpa
- Alpine Ascents: Kami Rita Sherpa and Phurba Kancha Sherpa
- Asian Trekking: Pemba Tshering Sherpa and Sera Gyalzen Sherpa
- Astrek: Pemba Tshering Sherpa
- IMG: Pasang Kami (Phortse) and Tsheten Dorjee (Pangboche)
- Himex: Gyalzen Dorji Sherpa, Nawang Tenzing Sherpa, Phurba Tashi Sherpa and Nima Tenzing Sherpa
- also summiting: David Tait with Lhakpa Nuru
They were able to put anchors in for a second rope on the Hillary Step to avoid delays associated with this notorious section.
David Liano and Samden Bhote arrived at the South Col at 12:30 pm. Now they are resting and at 9:00 pm tonight, Friday, they are planning to leave for summit attempt.
Eric Simonson, IMG, provides the south details from today (update 1):
Ang Jangbu reports that eleven sherpas from the fixing crew reached the summit today including IMG’s Pasang Kami (Phortse) and Tsheten Dorjee (Pangboche). Congrats to all these guys for a job well done. Sounds like the winds stayed pretty low and conditions were decent. The sherpas reported knee deep snow across the Traverse to the Hillary Step, so it is good—they broke a good snow trail across there (as opposed to rock slabs).
The team was able to establish several additional rock anchors for the alternate descent route (climber’s left of the Hillary Step), so that will enable the second rope to be put in place up there. We are hoping to send the first wave of climbers up from BC in the next couple days, depending how the forecast looks.
He gave this update from Thursday when they reached the Balcony with the fixed rope:
Good news from up high. The wind dropped, and the rope-fixing team with our IMG sherpas made it to the South Col. While some of the sherpas prepared Camp 4, the others managed to get the route fixed up the Triangular Face to the Balcony. Now the fixing crew are ensconced back at Camp 4, planning to head out at 3am for continuing the fixing up the Southeast Ridge above the Balcony.
Phil Crampton, Altitude Junkies, discusses the north:
Twelve of our Sherpas made a load carry to camp three at 8,300-meters yesterday and today they will once again repeat this carry. Upon reaching high camp yesterday they watched the Tibet rope fixers close to reaching the summit. We have no official word if they fixed all the way to the summit but we hope so. If not completed yesterday, the Tibetans should finish the job today.
Now climbers from all the teams shift their focus to the weather. They are looking for a 4 to 5 day period of low winds. They will leave Base Camp, spend a night or two at ABC on the North or Camp 2 on the South, then the high camps over the next two days before their summit attempt. The return usually takes two nights.
The team from Himalayan Ascent is already at Camp 2 trying to get a jump on everyone else. The big question is if the winds allow an early attempt. Most teams are looking at mid next week when the next lull spot begins.
Congratulations to all the climbers today and best of luck to those on their way.
Memories are Everything