We are entering the sixth week of the #Everest2018 season and overall it’s going quite well. Today, Monday 7 May saw climbers on both sides mostly at their base camps waiting for the ropes to get set to the summit but a few tried to go higher and were thwarted by high winds. The rope fixers are waiting for high winds near the summit to abate but we should see them summit later this week.
Furtenbach Adventures suggests the ropes will be to the summit around 15 May, which would be a couple days later than the last couple of years but still enough time for everyone to do their summit pushes without rushing. Almost everyone is at Chinese Base Camp but a few are at Advanced Base Camp and even a couple at the North Col. The Sherpas continue to take oxygen bottles to the Col in anticipation of the summit push.
IMG, one of the largest teams on the south side said one of their sub teams will head up for their last rotation on 8 May. They said all the rope, hardware and oxygen is at the South Col for fixing team when the winds allow. Other operators say the rope fixing team will also leave EBC tomorrow, 8 May and target the Friday 11th May for the summit.
Right on the heels of the rope team will be the Imagine Climb team of Dawa Gyalje Sherpa and Mingma G along with Chinese double amputee Xia Boyu . They are aiming to start the summit push 8 May with the 13th in mind to summit.
The largest team on the Nepal side has 100 members! Seven Summit Treks, known for offering low prices to attract large number of members said they have over 200 total people in their camp due to the support ratio of 1 Sherpas for each member. All of their members have completed their first rotation and many of them touched C3. In a sign of how the schedule is run, now some 0f their members are at Basecamp, others went lower, much lower all the way to Kathmandu but a few are in Namche; however, they said that ALL of their Sherpas are in the mountains. They are ferrying oxygen bottles and stocking the high camps for the next round of rotations this week. Look for the Lhotse Face and Khumbu Icefall to be extremely crowded this week just with the SST group. Finally they are looking at member summits from 2nd to 3rd week of May.
David Snow, who is with SST, posted that they left Camp 2 hoping to tag Camp 3 Monday morning but after a few hours turned back due to high winds. David’s wife, who made the post, said they got 22,700 ft and are now back at Camp 2 and will head back down to basecamp on Tuesday.
As usual the helicopter companies are busy. Now that they can reach Camp 1 and 2 fairly easily – not suggesting its routine but better than a decade ago, “rescues” have become quite normal. Climbers suffering from an altitude related issue and feel that they cannot manage a descent through the Icefall often use their evacuation insurance to get a helicopter to ferry them back to Luka and on to Kathmandu where the end up in the hospital for evaluation. Lakpa Norbu Sherpa posted a series of great pictures taken by a GoPro, I assume, lashed to one of the rescue helicopters as it was going to Camps 1 and 2. Here they are picking up a passenger at Camp 2 – 21,500’/6550m
Gyaljen Sherpa with Alpenglow posted some nice pictures of their Cho summit. You can see the snow blowing sideways in this one! At one point Adrian Ballinger expected windchill as low as -45C. Again, congratulations to that team
OK, that wraps up Monday. All seems well and coming together for summits, more summits and a lot of summits over the next two weeks.
Memories are Everything