News travels quickly on Everest. Teams on both sides are sadden by the avalanche incident and have a heightened awareness of the dangers of high-altitude mountaineering. However, case they push on knowing that danger comes with the sport.
Mike Hamill leading one of the IMG teams on the south side tells us:
Everything is going very well here on Everest. The rope fixing team has put in the route well above C3 and they hope to reach the South Col (C4) within the next few days. The weather this season overall has been excellent, and it looks to remain that way in the near future. All the expeditions have been working well together to keep the mountain safe and to work on the route.
After several days of rest after the first set of rotations as high as camp 2, many teams are now climbing back through the Icefall with the intent of sleeping at camp 3 – more on this over the next few days. The fixed line is now in fact already to the South Col according to AAI:
The Sherpa rope fixing team reached the South Col (Camp 4) so hopefully they will be able to fix the route to the summit in the next few weeks. The weather is set to improve so we are excited to head up the mountain, and we look forward to checking in again soon!
The No Guts Know Glory team has a nice video on their site today discussing a two-part series by National Geographic on the Sherpa Culture and climbing. It is a nice quick look at base camp and excellent publicity for their effort around IBD or inflammatory bowel diseases.
With accidents on a lot of minds, this post from Leif Whittaker paints a vivid picture with his words in the Blog of the Day. He is describing a minor injury to his knee:
The injury did not happen because we were going too fast, or because I was feeling fatigued. No. I was feeling very strong and very focused on our descent. It happened because injuries and illnesses happen here, because this is Mount Everest, because it is high and it is dangerous. The only thing that is invincible on this mountain is the mountain itself. The attribute a climber can have is the ability to weather the inevitable setbacks, to overcome illness and injury, to keep putting one foot in front of the other no matter how hard it gets. For certain, that’s an attribute I know I have.
I thought it would be good to see where the climbers we interviewed prior to the season start where and how they are doing. Click on their link on the right hand sidebar to read more details and in the tags to read their interview.. Here goes:
TA Loeffler: Health issues and down at Pheriche for R&R. Will return. (Peak Freaks)
Cindy Abbott: At camp 2, her first trip through the Icefall (Mountain Trip)
Lei Wang: Heading down to Periche after an acclimatization climb on Lobuche to recover from a severe cough (IMG)
Anne-Mari Hyryläinen: At BC after successful tag of C3 (Altitude Junkies)
Brad Jackson & Sandy Hoby: Climb to C2 complete. At BC ready to go for C3 (Australian Everest)
For teams on the north is has been a difficult few days with the avalanche on the North Col. The missing climber is László Várkonyii a well known Hungarian climber. I contacted Ang Tshering Sherpa who is the Founder and Chairman of Asian Trekking who provided them with logistical support. He sent me this immediate reply for which we deeply thank him:
It is very sad to inform you that while David Klien and Laszlo Varkonyi returning from North Col to ABC, they were hit by an avalanches and Laszlo was buried in avalanche and David was rescued by other climbers. The rescue teams were sent to find Laszlo but they could not find him until now. We are coordinating search and rescue mission but no trace of Laszlo. The search and rescue efforts are still going on. David is slightly injured and recovering at ABC. They are not with Eco Everest Team but seperate team of their own (Hungarian Everest Exp.2010) We hope and pray for safe recovery of Laszlo.
Laszlo was attempting Everest without supplemental oxygen along with his partner David Klein. According to their expedition website the 53 year-old climber had summits of Cho Oyu and Shishapanga plus the Hungarian record on Everest without supplemental oxygen of 8770m.
Bill Burke has provided his view on entire incident via his audio blog. Bill is also using Asian trekking for his logistics. From Bill’s report, David and Laszlo were resting when a cornice broke loose sweeping Laszlo into a crevasse and covering him with debris.
Once again, my deepest condolences to all involved.
Finally on a much lighter note, Alison Levine continues to entertain her readers with her blog. Here is an excerpt and It is the second Blog of the Day.
The rest of us all complain that we have these things called “jobs” that interfered with our training, but everyone did their to get to the fitness/skill level they needed to reach in order to give this bad boy of a mountain a real shot. My teammates asked how I was able to train given I travel so much for work, so I explained that in order to prepare for the climb I watched the movie Vertical Limit. Everyone looked slightly concerned (make that mortified) when they heard my response so I assured them that I watched it multiple times…but for some reason the looks of anxiety remained on their faces.