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May 152019

We have more summits on Wednesday, May 15 and a few more are trying to get on top of Everest on Thursday morning as well. Overall it was good day with low winds but cold temps. But this window is closing on the 16th and the next doesn’t look great.

Update: Climbers on #everest2019 making good progress this Thursday morning. As of 2:15 am local, most are around 8400 meters /27,500-feet between the Balcony and South Summit. This is when the mind game become important. Weather good.

Big Picture – A Bit of a Wait for Tough Climbing Conditions

I reached out to yet another world-class weather forecaster for his views on these windows. Marc De Keyser is well known throughout the climbing world for being one of the most accurate forecasters not only for mountains but also for the Antarctic. This is his view for Everest over the next week or so:

it has sure been an interesting season, weatherwise. And actually it still is. In my forecast this morning i highlited the presence of the subtropical jet stream (SJT), meandering from East China via central Nepal, NW India across the Indian Ocean towards North Africa. This feature dominates the weather conditions over the Himalayas for this period, probably till the 23rd or 24th of May.

The STJ will constantly be in the vicinity of the Himalayas: the good side of this is that the air mass does not become very unstable and it is unlikely that we will get any significant convective development (thunderstorms) during the next week – so pretty good atmospheric will prevail. However the proximity of the jet generates a situation where it is likely that the +8000mr wind has to be taken in account almost every day again.

I am pretty sure that on the 17th and the 18th wind will be far out of limits, where on the 19th the wind becomes again a bit weaker but still generating an uncomfortable feeling. And that is what i expect also for the period beyond the 19th. Winds varying around 20kt: not strong enough to cancel the climb but not weak enough to be pleasant. So i expect that it is going be tough.

Of course we all know that long range forecast are always prone for significant changes. Lets hope everyone stays safe and no significant accidents happen.

Nepal – Summits and More Pushes underway

More for May 16 Happening NOW!

I’m sure there are more than one teams who are on their bid Wednesday, May 16, 2019 for a Thursday summits but I only know about :

  • Ascent Himalaya
  • Kenton Cool with Michael

May 15 Summits: 30+

  • Seven Summits Trek’s Indian Team: Seven Summits Treks says the team leader, Kami Rita Sherpa summited. at 7:50 am but no word on the rest of the team. This was Kami Rita’s 23rd summit, a record. I’m told the entire Indian team summit and will pas on their names when I get them.
  • Climbing The Seven Summits’s private team summited:

To wrap up yesterday, May 14: 8 Everest/12 Lhotse

Madison Mountaineering‘s Garrett Madison and Himalayan Guides who are hosting/managing the rope team said 8 Sherpas got the ropes to the summit at 1:15 on the 14th. No members were reported to have summited.

Imagine Nepal’s Mingma Sherpa put 12 people on the summit of Lhotse on Tuesday, May 14th including the first Greeks and Pakistani.

A fun video of the Everest rope team on the summit Monday:

“Rope fixing is really hard on Everest. Especially, on the last summit day but we have done the work and we feel really proud”, Ang Purba Sherpa, member of the rope fixing team told Dream Wanderlust today from Everest Base Camp.
“But the weather was so nice,” he added. Summit Video from Ang Phurba Sherpa, one of the member of rope-fixing team.

Tibet – Planning

That side is preparing. Rolfe Oostra Mountaineer at 360 Expeditions gave us their plan:

Very loosely dated between the 22- 28 May on the hope that the winds blow themselves out.

1. BC (5,100m) to ABC (6,400m).
2. Rest day.
3. ABC to North Col (7,100m).
4. North Col to C2 (7,700m) Starts O2 this morning. @3 liters p/min. Sleep on O2 @2 liters p/min.
5. C2 to C3 (8,300m) @3 liters p/min. Once arrived: rehydrate and sleep as much as possible.
6. Summit attempt. Allocated 3 cylinders of O2 per person @4 liters p/min. ** Additional cache of spare O2 at 2nd step.
After summit (inshallah) Descend as low as possible (ABC ideal)
7. Descend ABC – BC

And Morten Emil Rasmussen gave a nice first person update on his Summit Climb team:

Thanks for all the birthday wishes – Would like to reply everyone but access to Facebook in Tibet is limited. We are at Base Camp 5200m preparing for our summit attempt. We were sleeping at North Col 7100m beginning of May and all were feeling fine, though in the morning we got hit by 40-50knots gusty winds. Feelt like a small earthquake every time these winds from Cyclone Fani hit. We lost a few tents as Well.

Right now our Belgian weather forecaster Marc De Kayser expect High winds until 21th May and we hope to make our summit push 23-25th May, though still uncertainty about the weather. The Chineese with better weather forecasts are expected to move for summit 21th/22nd. We have fixed ropes to Camp 3 and sherpas have prepared our Camp 2. So starting to look promishing. O2 saturation is at 87% and eating like a pig 🙂 so Cannot be any more Happy. Though the waiting is cumbersome I enjoy my Daily Walk to Rongbok monastary 9km.

Others 8000ers

Makalu Summits! At least 20!!

Update for Wednesday May 15:

Summit by Sarah Strattan and Brad Johnson in what Brad described as “perfect conditions.” With base camp logistics provided by Seven Summtis Treks they gave this update:

Congratulations to SST Makalu Expedition team, this morning at least 5 international members and 2 Sherpas from Seven Summit Treks made successful ascent of Mt Makalu, the fifth highest peak in the world.

1) Brad Allen Johnson – USA
2) Sarah Elizabeth Stratton- USA
3) John Nicholas Jacoby- Australia
4) Yuan – Chin Chang- Taiwan
5) Chung – Han Lu – Taiwan

1) Thawa Chhiri Sherpa – Solukhumbu
2) Lakpa Dendi Sherpa- Solukhumbu

Also a team with Pioneer Adventures summited Makalu. They included:

  • Mr. Eichul Chung Korea
  • Mr. Phurtemba Serpa Ms. Chiao-Yu Chan Taiwan
  • Mr. Lakpa Sherpa (MD) Ms. Priyanka Mangesh Mohite India
  • Mr. Pemba Sherpa Ms. Magdalena Kataezyna Gorzkowska Poland
  • Mr. Dawa Sherpa
  • Phurtemba Shepra
  • Lakpa Sherpa
  • Pemba Sherpa

Plus Maya Sherpa climbing with Peak Promotions. Sophie Lavaud also summited along with multiple Indian climbers, name not known. No Sherpa names are available.

And Tracee Metcaf who posted “We left for the summit at 10 pm last night, reached the true summit at 8 am, back to C3 around 4. Goin g to sleep here.” Also Chris Warner summited. She was with Expedition Base. Only know the first names of the Sherpas: Lakpa and Chhiring.

May 14:

The 5 Sherpa rope team from Seven Summits Treks on Makalu got to the summit at 8:45 on the 14th. Other climbers turned back due to extreme cold. It was reported to be -18F/27C!!

Kanchenjunga Summits May 15!

Shangri-La Nepal Treks said they had summits by

  • Hernán Leal Barrientos of Chile
  • Lhakpa Chhiring Sherpa
  • Cheten Dorji Sherpa
  • Rajan Bhote

Rescue Underway on Kang

Nirmal ‘Nims’ Purja and Mingma David Sherpa and Gesman Tamang made the summit for his 3rd 8000ers, after Annapurna and Dhaulagiri, as he looks to climb all 14 in 7 months … if he can get funding. Seven Summits Treks posted this update on a rescue underway.

Congratulations to the team of Elite Himalayan Adventures and Seven Summit Treks for Successful Ascent of 3rd Highest Peak in the world, Mt Kangchenjunga 8586m. As a part of Mission Project Possible 14/7 three climbers Nirmal Purja , Mingma Gyabu Sherpa and Gesman Tamang climbed Mt. Kangchenjunga this morning at 11:19 AM.
On the way down from the summit, 2 Indias climbers are in difficulty, the team of Nirmal Purja is now in the progress of Rescue above 8000m; considered as death zone ! Hope for good news

Dream Wanderlust gave additional details: This is all that is known right now.  Biplab Baidya and Kuntal Karar

Bad News coming from Kangchenjunga. Kuntal and Biplab are injured; rescue is underway.
We have just been informed by the leader of the expedition team, Giripremi that Indian climbers Kuntal Karar and Biplab Baidya are badly injured somewhere above Camp-4 on Kangchenjunga. Kuntal is suffering from HAPE, as reported.

Nirmal Purja with two Sherpas Gesman Tamang, and Mingma David Sherpa are now actively performing the rescue operation from an altitude of 8200m. They (Purja’s team) were on their way down from the summit of Kangchenjunga. We spoke to their agency, Elite Himalayan. They have confirmed it. Details of the progress are awaited.

Meanwhile, three Sherpas from Peak Promotion left the upper camp (Possibily C4) to join the rescue operation, as reported by Giri premi from the KBC. They are also carrying oxygen bottle and water with them for support.
However, the health condition of the climbers are still unknown. Their GPS location is static at an altitude above 8000m. As per the base camp report , Kuntal is believed to be suffering from HAPE.

Apparently the two climbers have membership with Global Rescue who gave me this update:

I wanted to let you know about an unfolding situation on Kangchenjunga that we believe involve some of the same individuals as the recent Annapurna events. Earlier today, two of our members were unable to continue their descent from near the summit due at least in part to altitude ailments, hypothermia and snowblindness. Based on his social media feeds, Nimral Purja “Nims” was nearby and he and his team are involved in the rescue.

At present, they are bringing the climbers to Camp 4 planning to spend the night there and then attempt to bring them to a location in the morning from which we are standing by to evacuate them – likely camp 2. It’s notable that at last count, Global Rescue has performed 478 operations in Nepal including 278 evacuations since 2013 so our teams on the ground in the area are monitoring this very closely. We can provide you with information as it becomes available.

Update from Dream Wanderlust, and Indian website that tracks all things Himalayan, especially for Indian team:

The Sherpa team, trying to rescue two injured Indian climbers Biplab Baidya and Kuntal Karar, have reportedly returned to Camp-4 of Kangchenjunga, as reported from the Base Camp. Even after the herculean rescue operation, performed by Nirmal Purja and his team yesterday, it is yet to be determined whether or not they are going to resume it in the morning. Unfortunately, their sincere effort seems to have yielded no positive outcome yet.

Ramesh Ray, another climber from the same team, was also rescued by the Sherpas and brought to Camp-4 at around 10 PM. His health is also on the verge of critical deterioration, suffering from altitude sickness leading to HAPE (high altitude pulmonary edema) and snow blindness. He would be evacuated by rescue heli from near camp-3 tomorrow.

Now that the fate of Kuntal and Biplab is yet to be known, the Base Camp is still in hope that Harnan Leal, a Chilean climber, who has reached the summit of Kanchenjunga yesterday in the evening, would be able to help the ill-fated climbers on his way down to Camp-4.

Biplab Baidya, Kuntal Karar, and Ramesh Ray were part of a five-member team from West Bengal for their Kangchenjunga expedition. Four (Sk Sahabuddin, Rudraprashad Halder, Ramesh Ray, and Biplab Baidya) amongst them, have reportedly reached the summit point yesterday in the morning. Afterward, Biplab and Kuntal fell sick on their way down and asked for help from an altitude above 8000m. It was believed that Kuntal was suffering from HAPE. One team member (possibly Rudraprasad) sent an SOS to their family at around 3:00 PM via GPS device asking for urgent help. Device read an elevation of 8271m.

Nirmal Purja with two other Sherpas Gesman Tamang, and Mingma David Sherpa, are said to have responded promptly to the request for the rescue operation from an altitude of 8200m. They (Purja and his fellow team) were on their way down from the summit of Kangchenjunga. Also, by then, three more Sherpas from Peak Promotion Agency, had left Camp-4 to join the rescue operation, with life support as reported by Giripremi from the Kanchenjunga Base Camp.


And 6 Sherpas stood on the top of Mt Kangchenjunga at 15:10 on the 14th from Seven Summits Treks. And the success continued on the 15th with 5 members with 5 Seven Sumits Treks Sherpas (no names provided for the Sherpas!)



Climb On!
Memories are Everything!

  8 Responses to “Everest 2019: Summit Wave 1 Recap, Wave 2 Underway”


    Hi Alan,

    Is it conceivable for a team like Myrmidon (who had to turn around on their summit push) to have another attempt in the next summit window? Or, realistically, is that it for this season?


    Hi Alan, any updates on the lady from South Africa?


    Hi, did you get some news about Happy feet expedition with Gabriel Filippi and his Sherpa, Sonam Sherpa ? They also try Everest summit today.
    Thanks for your coverage


    Hi Alan, thanks again for the coverage. Can you point me to the link on your site which shows where each climbing team is expected? you covered this earlier in this seasons coverage but i can not seem to find it, yet have a few people i know that i wish to follow. Thanks, Paul