update 7: Summits!! With late news, as expected, discount there are more summits Monday morning on the north. Adventure Dynamics reports 6 members and 7 Sherpas on top. 7 Summits Club put their second team up with 6 members plus an undetermined number of Sherpas, they do not list their Sherpas unfortunately. A foot of new snow was noted at the North Col making conditions difficult.
update 6: Summits!! I would estimate we had at least 50 summits tonight on both sides making season total approaching 400. Still more on the north and a few on the south for tomorrow, Monday night.
Specifically Monday, May 24th on the south. AAI reports 9 members and 8 Sherpas summiting around 8:00AM Nepal time. This means it took 10 hours to reach the summit from the South Col. They note:
… this has been a very challenging summit day. It has been snowing heavily between Base Camp and Camp 2 for most of the night, which has drastically interfered with radio communications. Up high the Ice Ninjas had less snow but more wind. But they persevered and pulled it off. We’re really, really proud of them.
IMG reported 5 members and 4 Sherpas summited as well with this report on the conditions from Eric Simonson:
The weather up high on Everest has been light winds with some clouds and a few flakes. Down lower there was more snowfall overnight, but the sun is now starting to burn through. We have a group of Sherpas on their way to the Col from C2 to start carrying down the empty oxygen bottles and equipment. We’ll keep you posted on the team’s progress.
Gabriel Filipi reports his summit from the north side.
PS: Je suis au sommet d’Everest! PS: I am on the summit of Everest!
Also AC Sherpa summitted from the south at 9:00AM Nepal time. As always check the team’s website for details and all the names. Hearty congratulation to all the climbers, regardless of their result.
update #5: AAI just noted they are at the South Summit! They are pushing hard and I would assume the IMG more senior team is right there. However, it appears the conditions are getting tougher on the south side. A couple climbing under a Henry Todd permit just reported:
Brandon and Kristine started their summit climb early in the morning but had to return to Camp 4 three hours into the climb due to blizzard conditions (heavy wind and snow). They will try to summit again tomorrow.
If there is heavy snow, it could interfere with sat phone connections so don’t worry if you are expecting one.
update #4: In spite of tough conditions, AAI and others, I assume (dangerous) are making their way to the Top of the World! AAI names each team with a ‘cute’ name, thus the Ninjas. This from AAI:
Our little Base Camp community has come together in a big way to track down the Ice Ninjas. The 4 or 5 inches of snow we received last night and the clouds up through the Ice Fall have made communications a bit of an interesting project, but we have managed to get direct word from the Ninjas! They are currently at the South Summit and steadily making their way to the top!!
We have certainly been juggling radios around down here; calling to other expedition base camps, relaying messages through Ang Tshering at Camp 2, and running around camp with our antennas out to find the radio reception. Ellie has an 8 battery ?super? radio that, as it turns out, seems to get optimal reception from inside her tent. I brought her a giant thermos of Sherpa Tea and she is nestled comfortably into her sleeping bag, backing up my communications here at the Base Station here in the Comms tent. It?s not uncommon for her to receive a message that doesn?t make it through to the Base Station at which point she will radio the message to me across the snowy 60 feet that separate us 🙂
Up near the summit the climbers are, perhaps, not quite as comfortable as Ellie, but they are progressing well. The sky is still cloudy up there, but the snow has stopped and it is now daylight. There is a steady wind with some stronger gusts but nothing strong enough to phase the Ninjas. The South Summit is at 28,700 feet and it generally takes a few hours from there, traversing to the Hillary Step and then onto the summit!
On another note, the Altitude Junkies home team reports all members are fine and an update on their site will happen soon. They are descending to camp 2.
update #3: There is progress on the north via the 7 Summits Club:
At 7 a.m. local time, the second group is in the “snowy triangle”, an hour from the summit. Snow is strong, there is no wind at all. It seems that this is the first day of the monsoon. Alex Abramov. Group members: Guide Sergey Larin, Ma?gorzata Pierz-Penkala, Daniel Mizera (mother and son from Poland), Lena Gorelik (Moscow), Zdravko Dejanovic (Macedonia).
Summit Climb and Adventure Dynamics are also headed up on the north but no word from them.
It appears the only major teams on the south are AAI and IMG, and they have not reported any problems. There are other team wanting to summit but they do not update websites so there is no way to track them.
update #2.5: Teams continue to be mixed early Monday morning on Everest on the south side. RMI has postponed their summit bid for 24 hours similar to Robert Hill. Meanwhile AAI continues to climb led by Vern Tejas. IMG’s second team is at the Balcony saying the weather is good. Dave Hahn and Leif Whittaker stated their intentions on their summit bid tonight. Hahn and Whttaker have now decided to wait 24 hours due to the snow and winds.
On the north Gabriel Filipi just reported that he is at 8625m and there is 15cm of new snow. Stephen Green with Adventure Peaks reached 8650 before having to turn back after given an empty oxygen bottle. He is looking at a second attempt from camp 3. They are/were both past the 2nd Step so we should see some north summits in a few hours.
Gabriel now reports he is above the 2nd Step:
We just past the infamous “second step” at 8577m. It is a difficult technical part on the north side. It is snowing quite a bit, and it is still dark. I can’t see much, but I feel good! The last 300 meters should take another 3 hours…
Sounds like the weather is holding for all the climbers on their bids. Conditions change fast up there and it appears the wind and snow continue at the South Col
Note: Please remember that my Everest coverage is to raise money for Alzheimer’s research. Please read my story. Please make a donation that goes 100% to research, nothing to me. Alzheimer’s can hit anyone at any age. there is no cure or means of early detection. It is devastating to the individual, family and finances. Researchers are making progress but need to get there faster. Can you imagine summiting Everest and not being able to remember it?
update #1: AAI has left the South Col:
Well, folks, it’s SHOW TIME! It’s 10:00pm in Nepal and I just got the radio call that our first group has already left the South Col and Michael Horst will be leaving in about 20 minutes with the last group. It is snowing in Base Camp and it sounds like it is also beginning to snow at the South Col. There is an increased chance of precipitation from what was previously forecast, but it still doesn’t sound too bad. So we are going to give it a shot.
For those watching carefully, AAI does an excellent job of real time updates. However a few teams are delaying or holding.
RMI just posted:
11:00 p.m. Nepal Time We just heard from our team at Camp Four. They have been watching the weather and have decided to hold tight for a little while and hope for clearer skies. We will let you know when they depart Camp Four.
Robert Hill’s No Guts Know Glory team has postponed their summit bid tonight:
Weather Update @ 9:45 PM: It is still snowing at the South Col, in camp two and at base camp. The team has decided to not go to the summit tonight. They are confident they have enough oxygen to remain in C4 for another 24 hours and try again tomorrow night. Radio communications have been very challenging due to weather.
This may be the impact of the cyclone that was predicted for Monday. Snow is the usual result of cyclones/monsoon at this time of year.
For those wondering about Altitude Junkies summit bid last night, we know 2 have reported a safe summit. I’ve been told that they have not reported any problems and may be dealing with comms issues. Several teams have commented on difficulty getting sat phones to work with cold and windy conditions.
Don’t look for a lot of information from the north tonight based on comments on several sites. They are focusing on their climb and will report once they are back down.
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The final large wave is set for Sunday night. The winds have calmed from the bashing the teams took late Sunday afternoon.
Adventure Dynamics are leaving from camp 3 on the north at 1:15Am Monday morning, May 24 and said they will update their progress upon their return and not in between. Gabriel Filipe is at looking at leaving around midnight.
Teams usually leave later on the north than the south since it is a bit shorter summit night on that side; especially if they are at camp 3, 8300m
On the south, look for AAI, No Guts Know Glory (Robert Hill) , Brad and Sandy from Australian Everest, RMI, Summit Climb and Dave Hahn with Leif Whttaker to go up tonight. There are others as well.
The weather forecast still looks good according to the teams there.
I will update throughout this push.