Threading the Needle on Everest

Threading the weather needle and taking a gamble that paid off, view Domnhall O’Doughartaigh, an independent climber, and Lucille deBeaudrap from Tim Rippel’s Peak Freaks team along with their personal Sherpas Tshering Sherpa and Pemba Sherpa made the summit of Everest on Friday, Nepal time.

She used her SPOT tracker but it stopped sending a signal somewhere on the Southeast ridge leaving many followers in doubt. But Tim posted this report on his site:

We just received confirmation that Canadian climber Lucille de Beaudrap reached the summit just after 06:00hrs May 7, 2010 (Nepal Time) with her Personal Sherpa Tshering Sherpa. With her is her friend Domhnall O’Doughartaigh and his accompanying Sherpa climber. They are on their way down and sherpa support is on their way up to the south col should they need assistance. We don’t know what happened to her Spot Tracker earlier. There is still a mountain ahead of them in getting down. I’ll save tipping that glass of wine till I hear she is off the mountain. Congratulations Lucille, Tshering and the other two!!!

Last report had them safely back to the South Col being extremely tired. They left at 7:00PM, summited at 6:00AM and arrived back at the South Col approximately 1:00 PM – overall an 18 hour day. Congratulations to all. This may be last summits for several days as the weather forecasts calls for increased winds starting on Friday, Nepal time.

Their summit was quite out of the ordinary. Robert Hill  posted this update which represents the thoughts of most teams on the south side today:

The No Guts Know Glory team is following weather patterns closely. We’ve received mixed reports – some calling for another opportunity as early as May 12, while others predict high summit winds preventing any attempts before May 17. We have to watch storm activity and the coming monsoons from the Bay of Bengal closely, as well as the position of the jet stream relative to the summit of Everest. When the jet stream is near, as it’s expected to be over the next week, summit winds are high, often times 100 kilometres per hour or more.

“There is no way we can climb in those conditions,” explained John Furneaux, Canada West Everest Guide, from Dingboche. “We need low winds, less than 40 kilometres per hour, and hopefully clear skies. We can climb with a few clouds around, but too many clouds usually means snowfall, which will tire us out and perhaps prevent successful summits. We’re hoping for crystal clear weather of course, but the primary concerns to us are low summit winds and little or no snowfall. We need at least three days of good weather up high to be successful. For now, we’re in a holding pattern.”

On the north, climbers are progressing with their acclimatization but no summits for now. Summit Climb’s Dan Mazur commented:

Wow, it’s been a long day. I’m on the North Col with the team. Today David, John, Jangbu, Lakpa, Elizabeth, Gordon, and Laval went up to camp 2 at about 7600 metres/25,000 feet to get acclimatized. It was a beautiful day, especially in the morning, with no winds. There was lots of new snow, maybe about 30 centimetres.

A big group of 20 sherpas broke the trail and pulled out the old ropes, so it was super safe.  This afternoon a big storm came in with a lot more snow and wind, so they went back down to basecamp.

Now there’s a second wave of us up here at the North Col with a lot of people. I think there are 13 of us including sherpas and members. We’re going to get up really early and check the weather. Things are looking good. We’re going to try to head up to camp 2 for acclimatization.

Bill Burke reported in from ABC on the north that the fixed lines are not in to the summit thus no summit push for him and David Liano. The lines are only up to 27300 or camp 3. The China Tibetan Mountaineering Association (CTMA) is responsible for fixing lines on the north.

Bill suggests the recent spate of bad weather has prevented the route from getting fixed and forecasted high winds may prevent summits on the north for another week – or more. So it is a wait and see on that side.

For now the villages of Periche and others in the upper Khumbu are filled with climbers eating momo’s and breathing easily while dreaming of the days to come. They will get anxious hanging on every new weather forecast. And then one day, someone will say “Let’s go” and they will return like migrating birds back to base camp casting an eye to their upper right every few steps along the way.

Climb On!


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One thought on “Threading the Needle on Everest

  1. Congrats to Lucille deBeaudrap and the others, followed her on SPOT for awhile which was quite interesting. Ahh the gadgets we have now days.

    As always thanks for the report Alan

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