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May 162019
 
Everest Southeast Ridge in 2011 as seen from Lhotse

As the first weather window closed, there have been many summits but also a tragic series of deaths, missing climbers and frostbite and evacuations. The air temperatures have been very cold, even with manageable winds across the Himalaya the last few days.

Big Picture

As expected, once the ropes were set to the summits, climbers took advantage of a two or three day window of reasonable winds to go on their summit pushes. Everest has now over 110 summits of the roughly 700 humans (members and support) who are expected to make a push. The remaining climbers are preparing leave base camp for the next window starting after May 20th or 21st.

For many, these last few days brought to life their dreams, and fears and tested their families all at the same time. Congratulations to all on the Hills and back at home sending love and support.

One disturbing trend already this season are the incidents. There have been seven deaths and two climbers are missing on multiple peaks: Cho Oyu, Annapurna, Makalu and today, Kanchenjunga with two Indian climbers. Also today, one Everest climber on an independent Seven Summits Treks team lead by Noel Hanna was found dead in his tent at the South Col, Ravi Thakar, and Irish climber Seamus Sean Lawless, 39, on a team lead by Noel Hanna is missing now heard dead. High winds have stopped any search Friday, May 17.

Update: Makalu Xtreme, Lhotse: Ivan Yuriev Tomov, died in tent at high camp after no Os’/support summit

In addition, there have been climbers and Sherpas hurt by rock fall, falls down the Lhotse Face and many, many altitude related cases treated by EverestER. Sadly, all of these incidents suggest a level of inexperience and inadequate support for the new demographics of climber across the 8000-meters peaks.

I have done my best to list all the summits by company thus far this season. You  can see individual names by clicking on the common name on the tracker table. If I missed someone, please let me know.

Nepal – 110++ Summits

Everest

  • Arun NSG Indian Army: 7 members, 7 Sherpas
  • Ascent Himalaya: 5 members, 7 Sherpas
  • Satori Adventures: 4 members, 7 Sherpas
  • Madison Mountaineering: 2 members, 3 Sherpas
  • Seven Summit Treks International Everest Expedition: 8 members, 7 Sherpas (Ravi Thakar, India, dead inside his tent at C4,  Seamus Sean Lawless, 39, missing)
  • Seven Summit Treks Chinese Everest Expedition: 15 members, 13 Sherpas
  • Seven Summits Treks: 15 Chinese summits
  • Peak Promotion: 1 member, 1 Sherpa
  • Pioneer Adventure: 1 member, 2 Sherpa
  • Previously a team of 8 Sherpas fixed the ropes to the summit.

Everest Outlook

Teams that have left Everest Base Camp – Nepal for their summit bid targeting May 21 but it may be a day or two later. They  include:

  • Madison Mountaineering
  • Jagged Globe
  • Friends of the Himalaya
  • Summit Climb
  • Imagine Nepal
  • Climbing the Seven Summits
  • Asian Trekking:

The dates are set. Tonight at 2:00am I am heading up from #everestbasecamp for our summit push. I have split the Asian Trekking teams into 3 waves, aiming to #summit on the 21st, 22nd and 23rd of May. If the gods allow it, I will be leading the first wave and hope to stand on the top on the 21st! I plan to stay an extra day after the summit at the South Col to support the 2nd and 3rd waves as they too make their way up! Everything is set, all the members and Sherpas are rested and strong, the weather forecasts are good, so now we just pray. ‘Om Ah Hung Vajra Guru Pema Siddhi Hung!’

Tibet – Quiet

Teams are prepping for a post May 20 effort but are frustrated by the Chinese rope fixing team. Some teams are leaving Chinese Base camp this weekend.

Others 8000ers

Lhotse – 20+

  • Cha Tours (Lhotse): 3 members, 1 Sherpa (they fixed the ropes)
  • Imagine Nepal (Lhotse): 7 members, 5 Sherpas

Makalu – 42+

  • Seven Summits Treks International: 5 members, 2 Sherpas
  • Altitude Junkies summited at 3:30:Phil Crampton with “Margret” Watroba
  • Seven Summits Treks’s Indian Army: 16 members, 13 Sherpas (Narayan Singh died of altitude illness at 8200m)
  • Pioneer Adventures: 4 members, 4 Sherpas
  • Peak Promotion: 1+
  • Previously a team of 5 Sherpas fixed the ropes to the summit.

Kanchenjunga – 28+

  • Peak Promotion: 5 members, 5 Sherpas (Biplab Baidya (48) and Kuntal Karar (46) died and Rodrigo Vivanco missing and Two Indian climbers and a German mountaineer were evacuated with serious frostbite
  • Seven Summits Treks/ Elite Himalayan Adventures: Mission Project Possible 14/7:  3 Sherpas
  • Seven Summits Treks: Internationals 5 members, 8 Sherpas
  • Shangri-La Nepal Treks: 1 member, 3 Sherpas
  • Previously a team of 6 Sherpas fixed the ropes to the summit.

Dhaulagiri

  • Seven Summits Treks/ Elite Himalayan Adventures: Mission Project Possible 14/7:  3 Sherpas

Annapurna – 32

  • Seven Summits Treks International: 15 members, 17 Sherpas (Dr. Chin died)

Best of luck to all the climbers as we look at the next window.

Climb On!
Alan
Memories are Everything!

  2 Responses to “Everest 2019: Quiet after 3 Successful and 10 Dead Thus Far”

  1.  

    Certainly he had been up Mera and Island Peak (from fb), preparation of sorts, but 2000 m lower than The Balcony, I don’t know how charities agree to have funds raised by climbing Everest – just encourages and inflates egos,increases bravado makes people feel like they have to continue for the sponsors, and potentially take excess risk. For Rangers are at least climbing for their own charity, and here’s hoping they get out OK (by the sounds of it making good decisions), without history repeating.

  2.  

    Re: Sean Lawless (the missing Irish climber)… Well, first and foremost, my condolenscenes to his friends, family, and team for his absence and I do hope he is found alive.

    Before he left, the Irish Independent had an interview with him, and reports that he’s “prepared for four years” (this seems to be the entirety of his mountaineering career) including two unnamed Himalayan peaks and a climb of Denali.

    It’s possible the reporting neglected to mention any formal mountaineering training, or the Himalayan peaks were 7,000m+ beasts… but seems unlikely. Sadly guessing inexperience at altitude may be a factor here in the fall.

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