Reports of a serac release in the Icefall are coming in. There are no injuries.
It appears a towering ice serac in the Khumbu Icefall just before the “Football Field” released burying the fixed ropes. The conditions were already tough on Monday, 10 April 2017 with very cold temps and high winds. There were around 30 Sherpas in the area who turned back due to the conditions then the route damage.James Brooman, climbing with IMG, was doing his first rotation thru the Icefall when they were stopped. Visit his very well done site for more pictures and a nice write up. He posted:
Today was a trial run up to a relatively flat and shielded spot 2/3 the way up the icefall, called the ‘football field’ at 19,000ft. About 500ft short of this goal Ang Karma, my Sherpa companion, stopped.
‘No more rope’.
An avalanche or collapsed ice tower (called a serac) had buried the route ahead under thousands of tones of ice. A few hours earlier and maybe we would have been under it – a sober and very real reminder of the danger here. Nothing for it but to turn around. Our goal, to dust off the cobwebs, was done in any case.
While any serac release is concerning, it is also not unusual. The Icefall Doctors will repair the route and climbing will continue Tuesday or Wednesday.
Overall the season, while extremely early, has a very normal feel to it. Everest Base Camp is coming together and the Khumbu is filled with climbers headed that way.
See the Weekend Update: 9 April that I posted yesterday.
Memories are Everything