Wave 4 Recap (updated)

On what could have been the final push for 2010, many climbers summited from the south including a record 12th summit for Dave Hahn who was guiding Leif Whittaker. The weather cooperated for the teams however it was extremely cold at 18 below zero F. Once on the summit, the winds started to pick up so climbers hustled down as quickly as possible.

In addition to Hahn and Whittaker, mind climbing under the First Ascent/RMI banner, the rest of team made it to the top including Michael Brown topping out for his 5th time. They commented once back at Base Camp they thoroughly checked themselves for frostbite and thankfully found none.

In a bit of drama, Robert Hill with No Guts Know Glory, named due to Robert’s Crohn’s Disease, stopped at the South Col after spending two days at the South Col waiting for improved weather. His site Manager did an excellent job of keeping everyone informed throughout the climb and posted this emotional statement from Robert at the South Summit:

8:45 AM Everest: Rob Hill has finished his Seven Summits dream! “I’ve gone as high as I ever will,” said a elated sounding Rob from the South Summit. “John and I have been sitting here for the past 30 minutes talking about all that we’ve done, all that IDEAS has managed to accomplish and all that this 7Summit campaign has done for people fighting inflammatory bowel diseases and living with an ostomy. Even though my Everest summit sits several hundred meters below the true summit, I can hold my head high with pride. I will come home safe to my family and loved ones. I don’t have the energy to continue. The hours I spent in the South Col drained me of everything, I’ve given it my all, my and I am happy to be here with my good friends and climbing partners. Darrell is within spitting distance of the summit now along with our three Sherpas. John and I will sit here and bask in his glory as he, too, finishes his 7Summits dream today.

With Robert safe, his guide John Furneaux and climber Darrell Ainscough made a “quick” run from the South Summit to the true summit.

There were other teams on the South including the young new married Colorado couple Brandon and Kristine Chalk. They stopped an attempt the previous night due to blizzard conditions, stay at the Col and summited last night. Congratulations to them on their perseverance. They were climbing under a Henry Todd permit.

There was finally some information on the speed attempt by Chad Kellogg posted, not on their main site but as an answer on his sponsor’s Facebook page. It simply read:

Here’s the update: Chad is back at basecamp after being on track for the speed ascent, climbing to his high point in ~12hrs. Just below the Balcony, 40+ mph winds and stormy conditions turned him around for a ~7hr descent back to basecamp. Chad is resting for a couple days before making a second summit bid, though this climb will not be intended for setting a speed record. We wish Chad a strong climb and a solid weather window!

On the north side, Summit Club had 16 people attempting the summit but no word from them. Duncan Chessell and Jamie McGuiness were also on their summit bids but no word from them either. I will update this page once I receive any information.

Finally, the First Ascent site posted a teaser saying that Melissa Arnot and Dave Morton assisted in a rescue in the Icefall. There was a report of a Sherpa who was hit by a falling serac and broke an arm or leg but he was evacuated to Base camp.

I have heard of other rescues as well but thus far no details. To be clear, there has been one reported death, Sergei Duganov, on the south side this year, actually on Lhotse, another, Laszlo Varkonyi, on the north near the North Col and a third of a north climber, Tom Jørgensen, suffering from HACE who died a few days alter in a Tibetan village.

It looks like the weather is slowly deteriorating however there may still be a few small teams to summit from both sides. Once the camps are clear on the South, the Icefall Doctors will remove the ladders thus ending the season; this usually happens no later than June 1st. There is no such restriction on the North and summits can go as long as the weather holds.

update: Summit Climb reports 5 members and 4 Sherpas summited on the 25th in windy conditions. Duncan Chessell also reported summits of 8 climbers. he did not mention the Sherpas. They had already returned to the camp 3/2 levels. Congratulation to all these climbers.

On a personal note: It’s been great covering another Everest season. Congratulations to all the climbers, regardless of their results. There are a few more updates and my annual summary later this week and then I am going to start some climbing of my own. Thanks for all the comments and emails throughout this Everest season.

And thanks everyone for your support of my Alzheimer’s efforts and a special thanks to those who made previous donations to the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund and also during this season. You are making a difference (you can make a donation anytime). It goes 100% to research, none to me.

Climb On!


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20 thoughts on “Wave 4 Recap (updated)

  1. Alan, thanks so much for your coverage of Everest each year. I follow it daily, or more often when the summits begin. Five years ago I wrote you that, with hemachromotosis (low red blood cell count), my bucket list included trekking to Everest Base Camp. Three years ago I did it (along with Kala Patar and Gokyo Ri), and turned it into a fund-raiser. Five of us raised $64,000 for needy kids to attend summer camps in a program we called Everestforkids.com. Six weeks after EBC I successfully climbed Whitney. I would be climbing Whitney again this weekend but a slight break of my C2 vertebrae four weeks ago prevents it. I will be there at base camp, nevertheless, cheering on the group of 15. Thanks again for your great coverage! I recommend your site to my friends and on my blog (www.travelblog.org/Ron-the-belated-traveler)

  2. Thanks Alan for giving so many of us a ‘virtual’ climb and summit of Everest. Like many following this years climbers, you give us the oppertunity to ‘be there’ for those of us unable to actually try to climb ourselves (my arthritic knees would have trouble just getting to the icefall).
    Thanks also to all the climbers and Sherpa for generously keeping everone so regularily updated on what’s happening so quickly (need more video clips though).
    Next year my wife and I plan to ‘try’ the treck to base camp, as close as we can get to climbing.
    Thanks to all.

  3. Great Job, Alan. Your coverage this year was like reading a novel– absorbing & addictive !

    Where are you climbing this year ?

  4. Alan, I just heard from Henry that the rest of his team all summited yesterday…Fi Ramsden, Dr Richard Birrer and his son Richard (at 5.30a.m.) and James…as well of course as Brandon and Kristine…

  5. Thanks for all the hard work providing updates Alan, since my return to Canada following my Everest summit May 7th, I have been a regular viewer. I was wondering if you have a gender breakdown of the climbers who made the summit this season. Thanks.

  6. Thanks for the seasons coverage. Its been such a great read from right from the begining on the history and the people right through to the climbing.
    The iPhone app is a great little addition.

  7. Hi Alan,

    Congrats on your fabulous coverage – it’s greatly appreciated. You say you’re going off to climb yourself. What are yours plans – where are you headed ?? Good luck with your planned routes.

    … M

  8. Hi Alan
    My son Lance Metz had a succesful summit and is down safely with the Adventure Dynamics Team South Africa. I just want to take time out to thank you for this incredible website that kept me going right through this 2010 Everest Season. The time and effort you have put into this website keeping us all so up to date is an absolute amazing achievement in itself. Again I would like to make a donation to your Alzheimers fund and if you could let me know how I could do this via paypal in South Africa I would appreciate it. Thanks again for your amazing work Vivienne Metz

  9. thanks for such a nice coverage.congrates to all summiters,and to all of u ,who responded so well to alan ,i wld say just CLIMB ON !!regards -sudhir 089 7500 7500 (india)


  10. Thank you so much Alan for taking the time to compile all this information and to write it up in such a handy way for us. These updates have been a joy to read these past few months, and made a great start to every day. All the people mentioned are such an inspiration and motivate me to reach for my dreams as well. Hopefully one day I’ll climb something on my own. Good luck to you in your support of finding an Alzheimer’s cure.

  11. thanks alan ,for such a lovely coverage,i always felt that i m with u altime ,as it was so lively,congrates to those who summited,and better luck next time for them who could not,i would just say climb on -regards- sudhir !!

  12. Thanks you Alan, for your incredible coverage of this climb and for your prompt response. We will try to be and await word that they are well.

  13. I agree w/ Alan, I am a native of Vail, CO and have climbed some big mountains in South America and Asia as well. B and KO likely have had their batteries go dead. There are many people up there as well to assist if anything were to go wrong, but it is my suggestion that they are fine, just resting in C3 and getting prepared to get down even though they may be exhausted. Congrats to all!

  14. I am reiterating what Dianne Oelberger wrote. We are Concerned about Brandon & Kristine Chalk- They are under Henry Todd’s permit- They should be at Camp 3 or Camp 2- Summited at 6;45 AM- Heard from them then, but not since. – Hopefully their phone is just dead. If anyone has any info- Please let us know. Thanks, Ann & John Chalk

    1. I looked/asked around for info on Brandon and Kristine. It is thought they slept at C3, not typical bit not unheard of, after their summit. it was a tough night, especially given it was their 2nd attempt, so they were probably very tired. I did this on my first attempt in 2002 as well. It has been cold this year so their batteries are probably dead, this has happened several times this season creating worry for families. It is midnight in Neapl so they should be down to C2 in about 12 hours or so. This is my best guess and I would advise not to worry about them especially since they climbed with Dr. Rob. Have you tried to contact Henry?

  15. Thanks for providing such great coverage. I’ve looked forward to getting your updates throughout the season!

  16. Has anyone heard from Kristine and Brandon Chalk, or anyone else in their group, since they were at Camp 4 after their ascent. We had a call from Kristine and they were planning to go down to 3 or 2 then call us. That was 12 hrs ago. Needless to say we are more than a little concerned.
    Thank you very much,
    Dianne and Ken Oelberger (Kristine’s parents)

  17. Updates are on summitclimb’s website. They have had multiple people summit on the North as well. -18F is not too bad if that was the low. Last year the thermometer we had stopped working once it went below -37F.

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