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Climbing the World to End Alzheimer's
Mar 282018
 
Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Icefall from Pumori

As teams are slowly making their way to their base camps, a common question asked every year is “When will they summit?” Of course, we never know for sure but looking at the historical data starting from 1953 to 2017, we can make a very good guess.

The Himalayan Database is a treasure trove of data but it takes some work to find what you want. I spent a bit, actually a lot, time looking at how many people summited each day from both sides, all routes. And there were a few surprises.

May Days!

The spring season accounts for 96% of all summits on Everest while summer and winter are less than 1%. But the real action takes places on both sides during third week of May, every year. Specifically 80% of all Everest summits occur between the 15th and the 27th of May. Slicing even finer, May 21st is THE day when climbing from Tibet as is May 19th on the Nepal side.

All Everest summits from all routes by day from 1953-2017. source:Himalayan Database

Other Days

We know that Everest has been summited in all seasons, however you define “seasons”  🙂

Remember that climbing from the Nepal side effectively ends at the end of May when the Icefall Doctors stop maintaining the route through the Khumbu Icefall. As summer approaches, it gets hotter and the monsoon moves in with heavy rain and snow. It becomes too dangerous to be climbing as the Icefall becomes even more unstable. However, since there is no equivalent Khumbu Icefall on the Tibet side, climbers can continue climbing into June or until the monsoon hits that side. As a result we see summits as late as June 14 on the north side.

Summer is miserable with heavy snow up high and sweltering monsoonal rain down low, as a result there are few summer summits, only 9 ever! There are a few days that seem to be significant in the Autumn. Around mid October there is a spike on the Nepal side and slightly earlier on the Tibet side.

Everest summits from all routes from 1953-2017. source:Himalayan Database

For the Visual Readers

This chart shows all the days when all the Everest summits have occured.

All Everest summits from all routes by day from 1953-2017. source:Himalayan Database

So as you can see, summits occur often on Everest but there are a few “auspicious” days.  A few more trivia items for you:

  • Everest has been summited on 86 different days of the year: 48 from Tibet and 74 from Nepal
  • 29 May – first summit of Everest
  • 17 February is the earliest, or latest, day that had a summit.
  • 27 December is the latest, or earliest, day that had a summit
  • There has never been a summit in January, March, July, or November.
  • May 11 – 12 people died when a storm took them by surprise
  • April 18 – 17 Sherpas were killed  when a serac released onto the Icefall.
  • April 25 – 19 people died at base camp when an earthquake caused an avalanche

For those of you looking to set a record, here’s your chance  – an Everest summit in January or July or…. 🙂

Climb On!
Alan
Memories are Everything

  8 Responses to “Everest 2018: When Will They Summit?”

  1.  

    Alan, I have never replied before but just wanted to let you know how much pleasure you give through your hard work in maintaining this website. This is my Everest year, for at 64 years of age I will be fulfilling my childhood dream (I hope) of seeing Everest in person from the EBC. I will be doing the EBC trek via Gokyo and the Cho La pass in November. Thanks again!

  2.  

    Thank you SO MUCH for all your work to keep us informed!

  3.  

    That was a lot of work! Good job! I found it super interesting.

  4.  

    Alan, wonderful work on the stats, thank you! I tried only yesterday, for hours, to find past summit dates, but didn’t manage to uncover a comprehensive list. Your presentation is also great. More generally, thanks for your informative, well-written blog!

  5.  

    Alan… Any info on Kenton Cool’s summit attempt with Ben Fogle and Victoria Pendleton…? Keen to keep an eye on their progress, amongst others…
    Thx