About 265 climbers are attempting multiple peaks but Manaslu stands out with 106 climbers. This is a result of China closing Tibet ostensibly due to road damage after the April Nepal earthquakes.
The Sherpas from Himex and Altitude Junkies are doing all the hard work for many of the other commercial and independent climbers by fixing the route to at least Camp 2. The heavy snow has now passed and a few teams are looking to do acclimatization rotations to Camp 2 in preparation for their summit bid. Others are sitting tight, not sure the weather has calmed.
Phil Crampton, here Altitude Junkies posted:
We started today with perfect weather, but now in the afternoon, the conditions have detoriated just like the past four days. We will continue to sit tight at base camp until we believe the weather to improve and the snow conditions to allow some safe climbing. We have observed several teams ascending to camp two to complete their acclimatization schedules through our scope but visibility was lost very early this morning to continue to follow their progress. Hopefully, they do not endure too much snow this evening.
Adventure Consultants has a solid team on the mountain lead by Guy Cotter – fresh off his work as safety adviser and location scout on the Hollywood movie “Everest”. AC reports warm conditions:
Yes it was hot at times grinding up the glacier and our packs did seem heavy enough but we ground it out arriving at Camp 1 around 1.45pm. Our sterling Sherpa crew had erected tents for us so we had little to do but climb inside and brew up, preparing for our first night at 5,735m. The plan is to stay here two nights then move through to Camp 2.
Other teams are posting Facebook and Twitter updates for their progress but …
Editorial: It always bothers me when an individual or expedition claims they are “@ C2 6400m / 21,000ft. 7-8 hour walk. Route in good shape. Strong ropes, ladders.” without acknowledging the work done by others to get them high up on the mountains.
But I hope they paid the $100 or $200 to pay for the ropes, ladders and Sherpa-power to do the work.
On another subject, some “climbers” chartered helicopters to do R&R in Kathmandu during the bad weather. This is another move that baffles me and goes against my sense of mountaineering. You go to the mountain to climb it, to stick out bad weather or inconveniences. It seems that those with money can simply “” their way out of uncomfortable situations. I hope they know that when they get into the real high altitude and a surprise storm moves in, money can’t but them safety. – end of rant.
The sole team, Aplenglow, on the world’s fifth highest peak (27,825’/7828m) have tagged 24,500′ but are concerned that winter weather is moving in thus stopping their ambitions.
Japanese Nobukazu Kuriki has acclimatized on Lobuche Peak to 20,000 feet and is now getting ready to enter the Khumbu Icefall. The route has been set by the Icefall Sherpa Doctors
Speaking of Everest, the movie “Everest”, as it begins to get broad exposure, is getting mixed reviews. If you are looking for entertainment, it is a fun watch. If you are looking for a climbing move, there are better choices, like Meru. This tough review says: “Everest” is a good movie, but it could have been a great one.”
Remembering the Dead on K2
Extensive controversy broke out earlier this year as South African/Swiss adventure Mike Horn showed the decapitated head of a climber on K2 in a promotional video for his K2 attempt. Sequoia Di Angelo who lost her father, Marty Schmidt, and brother, Denali, in 2013 from an avalanche at Camp 3 took to social media to express her disgust.
She trekked to K2 Base Camp a couple of months ago in an attempt to identify the remains found this year. This interview describes her journey. I hope she can now find peace.
Kami Sherpa Update
As many of you who follow me regularly know, Kami Sherpa was severely injured this past summer on K2. He was hit by rockfall just below Camp 1. It broke his helmet, then dislocated his left shoulder, broke his left forearm and a finger. He was evacuated to Skardu, Pakistan for an emergency operation then eventually to Kathmandu for two more operations.
Kami is special to me, and to so many others. We summited Everest (2011) and K2 (2014) and were together on Lhotse (2015) when the earthquake hit. He is an amazing individual who supports his wife, mother, sister and five children though being a Sherpa Guide. Through your generosity, you raised over $12,000 to cover his medical costs plus lost wages. He also lost his home in the spring earthquakes.
I spoke live with Kami this week. He is still in Kathmandu recovering from his injuries. He is doing well and wanted me to thank everyone for their generosity. He was beyond words – and so am I. Thank you. Namaste.
Memories are Everything