All is well on Everest but communications on the Nepal side from base camp was disrupted when an early morning lightening storm took out part of the Wifi system. Updates are sporadic now. Teams are all over the region from base camp to Kathmandu to Shanghai!
Packing Up, Heading up and Waiting
All eyes are on the rope fixing team on both sides. Everything is in position to begin the work but high winds continue to slam the peak above 8000 meters making it too dangerous for anyone to enter the death zone. High winds also hit EBC on the Nepal side over the last couple of days for those who are there. The forecast suggested it will calm around the 11th so any day now. Yes “there is a chance!”
Meanwhile some teams have taken this “touching grass” thing to an extreme with the fallback to lower altitude to rest up. Adventure Consultants
said part of their reported that another team went all the way to Shanghai!! “Different teams have different approaches. Some choose to stay at Base Camp, others drop down the valley to Pheriche or Namche Bazaar. Others fly to Kathmandu, but this year’s prize goes to the team who have flown to Shanghai. If nothing else, the Shanghai Drop Back sounds exotic and far-flung.”
On the Tibet side, young Alyssa Azar is holding firm at base camp. She is the youngest female from Australia to summit from the Nepal side in 2016, now she wants to do the Tibet slopes to the summit. Her home team reports :
” We spoke to Alyssa last night. Not too much has been happening. They’ve been resting in Base Camp and just checking gear whilst allowing their bodies to recover. She’s feeling really good and is keen to get on the move again. They’re watching the weather patterns and working in with other teams to see how they can work their rotations in with each other. Base Camp weather has been good with some snow for the past few days. Higher up is still quite extreme winds and once those lift then she will start her summit bid. It will be any time in the next 4 or 5 days that the summit bid will start. Everything she has trained for and worked towards will come down to that one week of effort and hoping the weather holds out.”
The speed team Furtenbach Adventures is planing on heading up soon “Whole Flash team arrived well at our ABC at 6400m today. We entered Tibet 5 days ago. We had an impressive thunderstorm last night with 10cm snow. Still windy up here but should calm down tomorrow.”
On Kanchenjunga, Chris Burke said “It looks like we may have a weather window for our summit push, so our Expedition Base team is getting ready to leave base camp tomorrow, 11th May, to head up the mountain.”
On Cho Oyu, 360 Expeditions at C1, 6100 meters suffering through lightening storms “We are at C1. 6500 m and have been for the last few days. The night before last our tents lit up as if a giant was welding just outside. Then an earsplitting thunderclap heralded an electrical storm which crept like a demented beast up and down the ridge on which we are camped.”
Nick Rice, Ryan Kushner and team on Dhaulagiri have been hit harder than many of the other 8000ers this season with tough weather. Today they were delayed by new snow “Today, we woke up to around a foot of new snow in base camp. Our new forecast calls for extremely high winds low on the mountain tonight through tomorrow morning, so we had no choice but to push off our summit bid by at least a day, as it wouldn’t be safe to climb to Camp I in such high winds.”
Alpine Exposures- Jon Griffith Photography posted a nice image that shows what a professional photographer can do. He added “A stream of headtorches make their way up the Khumbu Icefall and the Lhotse Face in the background. The lights of Base Camp shining brightly bottom left. Heading up tomorrow for our last acclimatisation run with a night at South Col if the weather plays ball….”
I received some amazing photos taken by Prakash Sherpa with Adventure Consultants while they were fixing the rope on the recent Nuptse attempt. Note how steep and exposed it is. This is one reason not many people attempt Nuptse, in fact only 20 have actually summited. In may ways it is more technically difficult that nearby Everest and Lhotse.
Boyan Petrov Missing on Shishapangma – Update Helicopter Approved!
The best news thus far is China has finally approved ,after days of delays, to use three Nepalese helicopters and their pilots from Simrik Air who now have Chinese visas. Chinese border guards will wait for both helicopters to arrive on their territory, so they will not have to go to some of the border posts where only passport control exists. source
The weather seems to be clearing high on Shishapangma and a team of 10 are leaving base camp with the intention to summit, but also to look for missing Bulgarian Boyan Petrov (45), who was climbing solo, without supplemental oxygen or a radio. He left base camp on 29th April but stayed behind as teammates left Camp 2 on 3 May due to poor weather. He was spotted through a telescope on 5 May but nothing since. The rescue team has been put together by Chinese mountaineering officials has not arrived at base camp. And Petrov’s wife, Radoslava Nenova, has made an appeal for donation to fund the rescue attempt on her Facebook page.
STAY CLIPPED IN!!!!
And for the last comment from Nobukazu Kuriki today, this stunning video illustrates why you never unclip from the fixed line and that goes for Sherpas. No one was hurt.
Safe climbing all.
Memories are Everything