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May 252012
Everest Plume

Everest Plume

We saw many successful summit climbs on Everest overnight, May 23/24. I estimate about 115 combined on both sides. This was a typical Everest summit day and more representative of how Everest is climbed in modern times.

Teams carefully considered the winds as they arrived at the South Col, some choose to go up, hospital others to wait for the forecast of yet lower winds Friday night; neither decision was wrong.

The dire predictions of crowds, death lines and a re-occurrence of last weekend didn’t materialize, thankfully. To be fair, the events of the last window had everyone on edge but this window had more experienced leaders who worked together to make the summit push work for everyone.

The weather worked out fine, temps were called “warm”; there were high wind gusts but overall very acceptable conditions with no snowfall.

Those teams that summit included:

  • Kenton Cool: with 2 climbers and 1 Sherpa
  • Adventure Consultants: 2 climbers, 4 Sherpas
  • Peak Freaks: 5 climbers, 6 Sherpas
  • Jagged Globe: 6 climbers, 4 Sherpas
  • Benegas Brothers: 4 climbers, 2 Sherpas

Of note this was Willie Benegas’s 11th summit  and Kenton Cool’s 10th. Warner Rojas became the first Costa Rican national to reach the top of the world.

Kenton Cool’s summit was a bit unique. He and cinematographer Keith Partridge and Dorge Sherpa, were the first on the summit and carried the 1924 Olympic medal given to the British team who attempted Everest in 1922. They had asked for it to be carried to the summit one day and Kenton fulfilled that request. Quite a story. He had wanted to do a live interview from the top of the world but his laptop succumbed to the cold. He was to do a live broadcast from the South Col upon his return.

The Indian Army had a good day as well:

“One male officer along with four women officers, three NCOs successfully summited the Everest in the morning. One of the Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs) reached the summit without using oxygen cylinders,” Army officials said in New Delhi.

On the North, Adventure Peaks was on their summit push but their home team reported their sat phone battery was low so we will not know the results until now but put 8 on the summit and are back safely at the High Camp. They reported low winds throughout the climb but they picked as they left the summit.

There were also many summits on Lhotse that I will try to summarize on a later post.

Tonight we will see another wave, perhaps the last of this season, with teams from IMG, Asian Trekking, RMI, SummitClimb and others. I will post another update later today.

Climb On!
Memories are everything

Comments on/from Facebook

  19 Responses to “Everest 2012: Summit Wave 4 Recap”


    I’m wondering about Chad Kellogg made his speed attempt? Hoping he will be successful.


    Congratulations to all the climbers, successful or not. Alan maybe you could talk a little bit about what motivates people who climb it 10 times or more. I mean I have my favorite place in the mountains and I go there repeatedly. So I understand the desire to return to a beautiful place. But it doesn’t cost me $50,000 or more and I’m not risking my life. So what is it that makes you want to return to Everest year after year? And thanks for all you do.


    Thank you for all the updates this season Alan! We’ve been so focused on Big E climbers, but have forgot the person who’s page we’re on. What YOU climbing this year?


    hope kumaran summits, he’s climbing with img, he climbed ama with me in nov 2011


    Safe travels and my best to the IMG Classic climbers.


    Delighted to hear that summits on 23/24 have gone quite smoothly and of course being British I am thrilled Kenton has honoured the promise made so long ago and taken the Olympic medal to the top of the world. So fitting in our Olympic Year.I hope these next few hours bring Everest season 2012 to a calm conclusion. I have just re read your mother’s story and listened to your interview with her once more. It’s sad but endearing.She would be very proud of her son’ achievements. Thank you so much Alan, I can’t say it often enough.Cheers Kate S


    So sorry about the auto correct!

    Thank you for all your incredible coverage!



    The Argentine team reported on their site that they summited Everest and Lhotse as well on May 25, the national day of Argentina. Unclear if Damian Benegas summitted Lhotse for the second time this season, following his summit last week to fix ropes for the teamsl. Do you know if he actually made it this second time?.


      Damian Benegas now confirmed he did not go for Lhotse again as he had to stay back supporting a fellow climber. He might try Nuptse tomorrow to complete all 3 Khumbu peaks this season for the Argentine team.


    Very Happy in Costa Rica for Warner Rojas !!!. Congratulation to him and the rest of the group.
    Good luck to the rest of climbers that are still in the mountain.


    Congrats to Cian O’Brolchain who was climbing as part of the ireland to everest team with Jagged Globe. He summited at 6am nepal time!!
    Great updates Alan. Was glued to this website for the last few weeks! 🙂


    congratulations -INDIAN ARMY WOMEN


    Thank you so very much for the updates! Waiting on re IMG


    Congratulations to Summitters of Indian Army for their success. After a lull & precise forecast of weather conditions conditions became favorable for the summit. Hope there would be more summits today night & tomorrow morning.


    Good to know about the Indian Army summits. Well done I say. And the fact that things were so much more organised this time. The presence if experienced climbers helps a lot. Now await tonight’s summit push and hopefully successful summits tomorrow morning.


    Morning Alan from Virginia, USA. Whats the record for number of summits during one climbing season?


      Not 100% positive but fairly certain last year (2011) was the most in a single season as reported by The Grand Dame of all Everest statistics, Ms. Elizabeth Hawley with a total of 537 summits, 371 south 166 north by 525 different climbers.


    They should be going tonight unless Dave feels it is unwise but weather, crowds, route, etc should be in good shape


    Thanks for the update, Alan. Awaiting news from RMI. Keep us posted.