Everest 2017: Who is left? – updated

To South Col by Ben Jones

It has been a season of wild swings from the weather to information from the mountain. But it’s not over.

Let’s look at who is left and where they are. Heavy snow appears to be arriving on 28 May, so there is a sense of urgency for those still heading higher.

UPDATE: Summits thus far Saturday 27 May:

South: 11+ summits

  • Ferran Latorre – Summit per his tracker, used Os late in push
  • Yannik Graziani – “”Too much snowfall, too much wind, you freeze on the spot … I turned around at 8 500m, too risky without oxygen, now safe on the south pass.”
  • Elisabeth RévolHanz Wenzl, – no info but were with Ferran so probably summited
  • Alpine Ascents summits – Hello everyone team just reported that whole team members (11) peoples made to the summit at 8:15 am. Congratulations to Ben jones, Eric Murphy, Malcom Alexander, John Peterson, Santiago Perez, John Zeckendrof, jangbu sherpa, kami rita sherpa, fur kancha sherpa, mingma tshering sherpa and Dawa nuru sherpa. Great job everyone and have safe descent.

North: 10+ summits

UPDATE ~1:00 am Saturday morning  27 May Nepal time:

  • Teams on both sides are moving well early 27 May
  • Winds have calmed on south and north
  • Alpine Ascent headed up

Update from late Friday night:

  • NEPAL: there were summits on south side by Tim Mosedale and Himex with generous oxygen on 26. David Klein without Os turned back citing high winds on 26. Ferran Latorre,   Yannik Graziani ,  Elisabeth RévolHanz Wenzl, Sherpa Dawa Sangay left 9 pm 26 May.
  • TIBET: No Os climbers –Ralf Dujmovits and Adrian Ballinger, Cory Richards and Alpenglow team, perhaps SummitClimb also, are starting up early 27 May.

South Teams

Alpine Ascents seems to have had perfect timing this year lead by Ben Jones. They have been off by a day or so from all the major movement on the mountain and have not had any of the difficult weather or crowds – in fact few teams have commented crowds on either side.

They are at the South Col preparing to summit hopefully on the 27. but they will need to watch the snow coming in. Ben posted an update with a nice picture – he has posted some amazing photos this year:

Last few minutes to the South Col today. It was unbelievably hot the entire day from Camp 3 to the Col but our team did great. We had some people coming sporadically but for the most part we had the entire day and route to ourselves…..just the way the entire expedition has been! Tomorrow we rest here breathing supplemental oxygen at almost 26,000ft before leaving for the summit the last couple of hours on the 26th. We have mild winds here at the Col right now and look for the wind to be quite calm on our summit day. We are pumped!!

To South Col by Ben Jones
To South Col by Ben Jones

UPDATE: on summit push

Himex with three members, one guide – Bruce Hasler –  and a team of Sherpas are on their summit push. Jeff Smith and Joe Burke are two of the members. It has been a tough season for Himex with early summit attempts by David Tait and Kenton Cool not working out plus some illness in their team. Russell Brice choose not to even post his traditional information filled newsletters due to computer issue but probably more due to all the issues.

UPDATE: Himex got their summits:Kazu,John,Jeff and guide by Bruce Hasler and 4 Sherpas.  – reported no wind at 7:20 am 26 May

Tim Mosedale and crew of three members plus support are pushing to the top. Tim already summited earlier this season with Scott Mac and documented the state of the Hillary Step. All the Irish back home are pumped for another Irish summit, this time by Rory Mchugh

UPDATE: Blake Pension posted SPOT tracker from summit around 8:00 am 26 May


David Klein turned back due to winds

UPDATE: David turned back early 26th, just after midnight, Friday. That was last night. He is already down in camp 2 and descending to EBC tomorrow. source: Laszlo Pinter  www.mozgasvilag.hu

Ferran Latorre is at Camp 3 now Camp 4 headed higher. So is Yannik Graziani who posted:

Reached this morning C3. Beautifull weather but verry warm (35degrees). Tomorrow to South Col, and saturday should be the day! Weather window seems to be great! We are the last team I think.

UPDATE: Yannik posted: “We reached South Col at 12:00 (now time) with a bad weather. Fortunately this is the time to climb to the summit! “Fuerza !!!!

West Ridge

Nobukazu Kuriki  has changed his mind adding my own personal issues with getting credible information from the mountain 🙂

He said he was feeling well, returned from Camp 2 or higher on the West Ridge – back to Gorak Shep, started feeling better and now feels he can summit via the West Ridge and Hornbein Couloir on 31/31 MAy. He will certainly be alone by then. One concern will be if the Icefall Doctors are still maintaining the route. He posted:

Hi, It’s me, Kuriki. Yesterday, on the 24th May, I started to climb aiming for my final camp, but actually on the 23rd, I had been felt like vomiting, so yesterday, I waited until the afternoon to make decisions.

I arrived until the altitude of 7,300m, however my nausea didn’t go away, so to make my condition better, I came down till Gorak Shep, 5,300m. At first, I thought about mountain disease, but my SpO2 is 80 and it’s quite good, and I don’t have headache, just have nausea, and now my condition is much better.

I will stay here for one day, then, I will make my attempt again on 27th. If the weather holds, I will arrive at the summit on 30th or 31st.

The belt of blue ice, on the way to West Ridge from camp2, troubled me. In some part of it, snow sticks on the ice, but that snow has only 3cm thick and I had to go through on the ice.

I will leave the day after tomorrow. I’m sorry for worrying you.

It isn’t over yet.

UPDATE: no info

North Teams

SummitClimb had a horrible attempt where they went up in huge hurricane winds and got smacked. Tents destroyed, mittens flying away. They somehow returned to ABC. Frankly, they are lucky to be alive … and they are going back according to George Kashouh and are at Camp 3. George has a long post but this was key for me:

Our expedition leader left to check on the tents tied to us on either side. He came back in saying we had to bail immediately; expedition over. There were some protests, but all our tents were nearly destroyed, no one had eaten or drunken any fluids. We had seriously been doing things like breaking a snickers into pieces and sharing it with each other. We were all exhausted with missing gear and in an emergency situation.

When I went outside I saw why the expedition leader made the sudden decision. Every single other tent on the mountain was destroyed as far as you could see except ours. Every single one. I was told to go to the neighboring tent to let them know.

The winds were so bad it was impossible to check the tent properly with it violently flapping around. My googles were missing so I also couldn’t see in the wind either with ice blowing around. We were able to salvage my harness, my sleeping bag, and my backpack. I wasn’t able to find any of my snacks, water bottles, gloves, googles and some clothing.

We still weren’t able to rest because one of our friends hadn’t returned. We could see someone coming down halfway from Camp II but at a slow pace. The expedition leader and a Sherpa went up in the dark for a rescue. The best I could do to help was shovel snow and melt water for their return. Around 1 am they successfully stumbled into camp. Our friend had made a super human effort to get back to the North Col. He descended in horrible weather, completely out of energy, disoriented, blind, and with blackened fingers from severe frostbite.

This morning I found it exhausting to leave my tent. Somehow I’m back in Camp II but we have a ten percent chance of success. Another storm is coming in and if it’s half as bad as before we’re done. Even with perfect weather we’re all exhausted and returning to camp II was twice as hard as before. Sleeping with my harness and boots on tonight to prepare for the worst.

UPDATE: Posted on Mazur’s Twitter feed at 5 pm Friday night 26 May:”Radio call from Tibet Everest high camp: Winds have dropped. 5 Sherpas and 6 members will attempt summit tonight.”

Alpenglow is at Camp 2 Camp 3 hoping to get Adrian Ballinger up without Os. Member George They have laid back for a long time waiting for perfect weather. Again, I hope they get up and down soon. Adrian posted:

“This is all that’s left. Climb. We leave ABC tomorrow. 24th to N Col. 25th to C2. 26th to C3. And 27th summit! The 26-28 window is easily the best (lowest wind) of the season. So let’s see if all the work and prep and patience pays off.” -Adrian Ballinger

UPDATE: at C3, Emily Harrington posted on SnapChat they are leaving for summit early Saturday morning 27 May

Ralf Dujmovits is on his way without Os. He is looking between the  27-29.

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.

UPDATE: at C3, probably leaving with everyone else early Saturday morning 27 May

Finally there is a rumor that Kilian Jornet has started his speed run again. He made the summit already in stunning time but stopped at ABC on the return due to illness so wants to finish the project. Hopefully this can be confirmed if he is trying again.

UPDATE: no further information suggesting that this was a rumor and he’s not trying agon.

I’ll update this page with the latest., Best of luck to all.

Climb On!
Memories are Everything

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45 thoughts on “Everest 2017: Who is left? – updated

  1. Alan, is there any update on George Kazouh, or Summit Climb yet? Count me as one who was horrified reading their update, and amazed that living through what they did during that storm–that they chose to go up, not down. Hope it works out for them and they come back safely.
    I have become hopelessly addicted to these updates, and since Saturday night I’ve been missing the daily blurb! I find myself waking at odd times to check your blog and check to see where teams I’ve followed are. Or aren’t. Have enjoyed and appreciated your coverage since I discovered how fascinated I am with a sport I will never, ever take part in. Too old, too poor, too terrified of heights–but I am thrilled (and slightly nauseous) looking at the incredible photos people post, and I have huge admiration for anyone who has the guts and maybe stupidity to go to the ends of the earth, and the top of the world. Thank you so much for providing me with a new addiction, I look forward to other coverage as it comes available.
    All the best, and thanks again.

  2. Thank you Alan for all the Everest Info. I’ve enjoyed reading it all. Now that your on the mend, I’m looking forward to hearing about your climbs!!! Congrats to Everyone!!!
    A special Thank you to all the Sherpas for there hard work before, during & after Everest season!

  3. No summit for Eli Revol, she wrote on her FB 2 hours ago:

    “At 4h am, one stone of wind and snow. In a few seconds you are caught in a trap. Not so far from the summit, sad ?. I felt good and altitude was not a problem. Grrrrr.”

    Confirmation that Hanz Wenzl (South side) and Adrian Ballinger (North side) have summited without additionnal oxygen this night…

    Congratulations to all climbers !

    1. Yes I’ve been looking for more about Dr. Yearwood and have found nothing since the first articles.

  4. May seem like an odd request, but would love to see another pix posted of Jim’s gorgeous “Jake, the Wonder Dog” …. this time facing the camera, please …. ?

  5. Hi, Alan and thank you for your blog.

    Do you know if the first Kilian Jornet climbing to Everest is confirmed with summit photos, GPS data or something?

  6. Hi, do you know if The Himex team has descended safely yet? Thanks friend from U.K. Asking?

  7. Alan, once again, your coverage of the Everest season is as wonderful as ever. It always makes me want to trek to base camp someday, tho it may be in my dreams. I pray for the Sherpa who plan to retrieve the Indian climber’s body and all those who have anything to do with the successes Everest. I’m a follower for life!

  8. Well Alan, this year you had a ‘break in the action’. ☹️ Then the pause button was activated, while you formulated a positive plan of attack.
    Of course the step back is only temporary as you steadily move forward, rebuilding to your ‘pre-incident’ status, and beyond, to an even better you. ?
    Kind of like Marty McFly, you’ve been living your own ‘Back to the Future’.
    And through it all, you’ve spent untold hours keeping the world informed on all things related to the Everest Spring climbing season. That’s dedication! ?

    A Sincere Thank You

  9. Hi Alan, the highest I’ve climbed is the stairs to bed! but I’m fascinated by Everest and all the climbers stories. I just wanted to thank you for the daily updates that I’ve been glued to since the window opened,great job ?

  10. FYI, summit push on Everest South side is currently underway for french woman Elisabeth Révol, without O2. (https://www.facebook.com/ElisabethRevolexpe/)
    She summited Lhotse without O2 on May the 20th, and Makalu North summit (8445m) the 12th.
    It seems they are currently at least 5 climbers without oxygen on Everest South side : Elisabeth Révol, Yannick Graziani, Ferran Latorrre, Hanz Wenzl, Sherpa Dawa Sangay…
    Good luck to all !

  11. Under the section “North Teams”, for SummitClimb “Update”, the information is misleading. This information was posted on SummitClimb website on May 22nd.

      1. Have they not been posting updates because of the death of Dr. Yearwood, the American climber? I believe he was climbing with them.

        1. And by “because of” I’m meaning out of respect for the family or for other reasons. That comment wasn’t meant to be negative.

          1. Sharon,

            As I mentioned below, as was part of the north team, but left the expedition because of health reasons. I believe the reason why updates from summitclimb from the Tibet have been so few is because the team leader has been with the members at or above the north col. They had to deal with strong winds at camp 2, then retreated to camp 1. Then climb to camp 3, and it appears some of the group has reached the summit. Point is the leader hasn’t or can’t provide updates to be posted.

            Roland was part the Summitclimb team climbing from Nepal. The leader, who I believe did not attempt to climb to the summit, has been posting updates for the Nepal side. The written dispatches stopped after May 20. There are a bunch of photos for recent group who reached the summit. But you probably right in that ompany is holding commenting about Roland’s death out of respect to his family.

            Over the past week, the best source of information for North side has been George Kashouh’so posts on facebook.

              1. Alan,

                Contact me directly at my email address, if you want to continue this discussion.

    1. Posted on Mazur’s Twitter feed at 5 pm Friday night 26 May:”Radio call from Tibet Everest high camp: Winds have dropped. 5 Sherpas and 6 members will attempt summit tonight.”

      1. I was a member of this expedition and left it in late April due pneumonia. It has been frustrating at times for me to monitor their blog to keep up with their progress.

  12. Hi A.A! When climbing is over who’s job is to collect all tents down or do they leave tents on the mountain because I have seen photos of camps and everywhere are collapsed tents. Is Everest the only mountain where climber needs a permit for climbing?

    1. Teams are responsible for removing their tents. The shredded one are sometimes left – not a good practice, but the team may be caught up in the same winds that destroyed that tent so they moved on rapidly, leaving shredded tents behind.

      In Nepal, Tibet and Pakistan you need a permit to climb the 8000m mountains, it varies on the lower ones, especially under 7000 meters in Nepal but not in the other countries – permits always needed plus visas, etc.

  13. Good blog, thank you. Any update about Kilian’s second attempt? Can’t find any info

  14. Hi Alan!
    Do you have any news about Higher than Everest expedition ? The second greek team ?

    Thank you!

  15. Thanks so much for the update. I had been worried about George and his group. Last we heard they were in one tent holding off the wind. That was quite a dramatic way to leave the report. So glad to get this update.
    Do we know who was the climber mentioned in George’s post who came down and had to be rescued?
    I was shocked that they went back up.

  16. Slightly surprised by a comment left, by one of the Benegas brothers, on Adrian Ballinger’s last Facebook post.
    No answer expected as just a mention.

    1. Yes, sadly different styles and promotional approach are rubbing some people the wrong way, feels like disrespect for their history and accomplishments.

      1. Neither AMGA nor IFMGA train or examine aspiring guides at Himalayan altitudes. So far, only personal experience can certify that someone is able to guide there. As an AMGA/IFMGA member, Ballinger of course knows this and is using people’s justified worries over safety standards to generate business for his own operation. Obviously all of the fancier Everest guiding companies make exaggerated claims about safety for promotion. Ballinger is just the most internet savvy (or shameless) at it. Glad you called him out on Twitter, Alan. Really enjoy your reporting every year.

        1. I second that. And in my unprofessional opinion, from all I’ve read through the years, it seems they don’t come much better than the Benegas brothers.

        2. Peter, Are you sure that IFMGA do not train or examine aspiring guides at Himalayan altitudes?
          The Nepal National Mountain Guide Associaton (NNMGA)
          1) is listed as a member of the IFMGA http://www.ivbv.info/en/members/members.html ;
          2) has 45 people listed as International Guides (IFMGA) here http://www.nnmga.org.np/pages/member-international.php
          3) states that the Mountain Guide Exam place at 4000m-6000m here http://www.nnmga.org.np/pages/program.php?id=11

          My understanding is that IFMGA people (from elsewhere) have assessed Nepali (not all are Sherpa, unless I have misread the listing) people in Nepal for the Mountain Guide Exam, the succesul completion of whjich exam gives full IFMGA certification. It appears manadtory to refresh this certification every 3 years.

          1. “Himalayan altitudes” meaning altitudes exclusive to the Himalaya (7000-9000m) with much thinner air and all the problems related to that.

            1. Thanks for that clarification. I imagine that the NNMGA, in association with other IFMGA members, will start the process of adding a “Himalayan altitude” module to the existing IFMGA course, once there is a critical mass of Nepalis with IFMGA certs. As we know from other mountain areas with longer histories of “mountain tourism”, people will still misjudge the risks, have critical equipment failures or simply get caught in the unexpected “mountains making their own weather”

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