The last teams on both sides are moving higher and higher and some going for the summit tonight.
IMG reports around 5:00 am Nepal time on Thursday 25 May. They have probably over 20 on this push.
The lead climbers are getting close to the summit, and others are getting close to the South Summit. So far so good!
The Benegas Brothers are also on their push:
It’s 02:50 here, and all the team have already made it to the balcony, nearly half way to the South Summit, and where the South East Ridge takes a left about half way up to the South Summit.
They will take a bit of a break here and change oxygen bottles and drink, before heading up the snow line of the South East Ridge with the enormous Kangshung Face of Tibeten Everest down on their right. It will take them several hours of climbing up the ridge before they cross some rock bands and reaching the South Summit. Stay tuned! Great work all!
UPDATE: Benegas puts 10 on top:
Willie just radioed in – NO WIND, MOST AMAZING SUMMIT EVER!!!!!
Damian Benegas 6th Summit, Willie Benegas 12th Summit, Reagan Rick, Ed MacCollugh and John Oldring 1st Summits!!! Lopsang Sherpa IFMGA, Lhakpa Sherpa, Dawa Sherpa, Pasang Bhote (1st summit!!) and Chedden Lama Sherpa (1st summit!!).
Everyone arrived at the Summit of Mt. Everest by 0810am May 25th 2017!!! 9 hours from South Col to Summit – an incredible effort. We could not have done it without our amazing Summit Sherpas who have not only encouraged endlessly but carried heavy spare oxygen bottles and drinks, and the rest of the team at the South Col and Camp 2 who carried close to 80 bottles of oxygen up (and soon down) the mountain this season in addition to tents, meals, sleeping bags, and stoves! Lam Babu Sherpa IFMGA, Lopsang Sherpa IFMGA, Lhakpa Sherpa, Dawa Sherpa, Khangdu Sherpa, Rinjin Bhote, Yuberaj Rai, Ang Rita Sherpa, Pasang Bhote and Chedden Lama Sherpa. As well as our base camp crew who literally work around the clock in addition to before and after the trip, spending three months in base camp! Shiva, Raju, Laxmi, Jetha and Maila, we can’t thank you enough.
Everest is not climbed by any one individual, we have a huge support team here up the mountain as well as in Base Camp and furthermore around the world that make it possible for our climbers to be where they are now. Most of all we want to give thanks to all the friends and family that have supported us for the last 2 months here and during the entire last year of training and planning, this dream started for our members way back in 2014 and 2015, and has finally come true. You have been with us every step of the way and we could not be here without you. Thank you!!
The weather definitely is improving on the south side according to Ben Jones with Alpine Ascents:
Today we left Camp 2 for upper Camp 3 at about 23,800ft in perfect conditions. Just the way our rotations have gone and with waiting patiently for a weather window we have not encountered a single crowd this entire expedition. We feel good about that continuing through our summit bid as well. It’s definitely still windy up high and we have had some gusts of wind through Camp 3 here but overall it’s been a beautiful day.
The Clearskies team canceled their climb:
Due to the still bad weather forecasts and the stormy winds at Everest, Hannes and Markus decided today to cancel the ascent. The conditions are simply too bad and too uncertain for a climb without oxygen this year. Health is a matter of course!They have returned to the base camp with the entire equipment and will report in detail about your attempt to climb tomorrow.
Looks like Nobukazu Kuriki has called it on this effort:
We are informed that Kuriki got out of condition and he decided to go down. Even though he is out of condition, he doesn’t need to be rescued, and he is getting down all by himself.
Ralf Dujmovits is optimistic he will summit:
Today some still remaining climbers and I started the final ascent of Mount Everest from it’s North side. We hope for a late weather window starting the 26th of May and continuing for some days – low winds and relatively high temperatures are expected.
This picture I took yesterday, 23rd of May at 06:15 a.m. with a 200 mm lens from advanced basecamp at 6,300 m: it shows the final summit snow slope on the Tibetan North side and if you look carefully you can see five Chinese Climbers coming down from the summit.
I’m here to undertake my 8th and definitely last attempt to climb Everest without supplemental oxygen. Everest is the only of the 14 8000m peaks on which I used oxigene during the summit climb (early October 1992). Since then I tried six more times to reach the summit without supplemental oxygen. After a perfect period of acclimatizing this time I’m really positive and optimistic. I hope so much it works out, fingers crossed.
Finally the Nepal Mountaineering Association which represents the operators in Nepal choose to comment on the Hillary Step today instead of the deaths at the South Col – if they even occurred:
Regarding the recent news reports now the Hillary Step has collapsed: We are aware of the reports and are actively seeking more sources of informations to varify this information. Untill our findings (investigations) is concluded, we can not officially authenticate the claims.
The NMA’s charter is:
Nepal Mountaineering Association was established on 1 November 1973 (2030 Kartik 16) Thursday. It is a non-governmental, non-profit and non-political organization working as a national alpine association of Nepal to promote mountain tourism, climbing sports, protect mountain environments and preserve and promote cultural heritage of mountain people. It is the only national alpine club authorized to issue climbing permits for 33 mountain peaks of Nepal.
UPDATE: Very conflicting information out of Nepal regarding the 4 deaths reported by The Himalayan Times at the South Col, I am being told directly that is was a big mistake … after a lot of international coverage. No word from official sources.
More as it develops.
Memories are Everything