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May 292012

Welcome to Alan Arnette’s Everest 2012 coverage

Last 2012 Everest News – 31 May 2012

  • A sincere and deep thank you to everyone who made a donation to one of the Alzheimer’s non-profits. That is why I do this.
  • Very rough, check unconfirmed estimates: Total at base camps: 446 westerners plus 500 Sherpas totaling 946.  548 combined summits from both sides 57.93% summit to attempt rate. 10 total deaths.
  • If you have a general Everest question, please post here as a comment and I will try to address it.
  • Start or stop email notifications of new posts using the form in the lower right corner of this page.

This table is my estimate each team’s location based on public information. Please refer to each expedition’s site for current information.


South Col Route (map)

32 teams, 337 climbers, 400+ Sherpas
Summit (climbers/Sherpas)
        395 est.
Facebook for AC Twitterfor ACAdventure Consultants (8/4)e     9/13
Facebook for AAI Twitter for AAIAlpine Ascents Int. (9/6)e    8/6
Facebook for AT Twitter for AAIAsian Trekking Eco/Peace/Youth (26)e    30/35
 Chilee    10/10
 Dream Guidese     2/1
Facebook for SC Twitter for SCBill Burke (2/2)e     
 High Adventure Expeditions (2)     ?
Facebook for IMGHimex (24/9 plus: 7 Lhotse, 4 Nuptse)e     
Facebook for IMGIMG Classic (20?/7) e    12/14
Facebook for IMGIMG Hybrid (8/2)e    11/11
Facebook for JGJagged Globe(7/1)e    6/4
Facebook for MT Twitter for PFMountain Trip (5/2) e     5/10
 WMS Everest Experience (5/2)e    1/3
Facebook for MT Twitter for PFPatagonia Brothers (4/2)e    4/2
Facebook for PF Twitter for PFPeak Freaks (12/3)e    8/9
 Project Himalaya (Cris Klinke) (3/1) e    1/1
 Sierra Mountaineering (2)e    2
 Pune (13)e     8/8?
Facebook for SC Twitter for SCSummit Climb (8/1)e    3/3
 others    X+137+ est

Northeast Ridge Route (map)

TEAMS (members/guides)
13 teams, 109 climbers, 100+ Sherpas/Tibetans
       153 est.
Facebook for AT Twitter for AAIAsian Trekking Polish/Japanese (10)e     3/4
 Andrew Locke     
 Adventure Peaks (8/1)e    4/4
 Altitude Junkies (7/1)e    6/5
Facebook for SC Twitter for SCBill Burke (1/2)e     
Facebook for SC Twitter for SCSummit Climb (4/1)e    2/4
 Project Himalaya (Tom Kowpak) (1/1)e     2/2
 7 Summits Club (16/4)e     15/13
 others     90++ est

West Ridge Route/Southeast ridge

 Eddie Bauer West Ridge (Jake Norton) e    T 
 Eddie Bauer Southeast Ridge (Dave Hahn) e    2+/?
 NatGeo West Ridge (Conrad Anker) e    T 
 NatGeo Southeast Ridge (Sam Elias) e     6/?
e= climb ended, x=last reported location, x+ = on summit bid, -x = descending h=high sleep point, T=touched not slept.
Summit number = member/sherpa Locations are estimates derived from public websites

Welcome to Alan Arnette’s Everest 2012 coverage. My coverage is based on my own experiences, research, sources, and public information. I try to provide insight and interpretation of the activities ranging from routes to weather to the challenge of climbing Everest. I did similar coverage of the 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009 seasons. I summited Everest on May 21, 2011 and climbed Everest four times – 2002, 2003, 2008 and 2011.

If you have received value from my work during this 2012 Everest season, please consider a donation to one of these Alzheimer’s nonprofits, 100% for Alzheimer’s, none for me.

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10 Confirmed deaths

  1. 40 year-old Karsang Namgyal Sherpa climbing with Prestige Adventures related to alcohol at base camp
  2. Peak Freaks’ Namgyal Tshering Sherpa fell from a ladder into a crevasse near C1
  3. Dawa Tenzing with Himex from stroke in the Khumbu Icefall and died in Kathmandu
  4. 33 year-old Indian, Ramesh Gulve, climbing with the Pune team suffered a stroke around Camp2 and died back in India.
  5. Dr Ebehard Schaaf with Asian Trekking of HACE near South Summit after his summit
  6. Shriya Shah-Klorfine, 33, a Nepali-born Canadian climbing with Utmost Adventures died below the Balcony after her summit
  7. Won-Bin Song from South Korea climbing with the Korean Everest & Lhotse Expedition died after a fall at the Hillary Step and then at the Balcony after his summit
  8. Chinese climber, Ha Wenyi climbing with Mountain Experience died just below the Balcony
  9. Juan José Polo Carbayo, 43, climbing with Himalayan Guides, died May 20 after summiting from the north, probably of exhaustion. Dr. Polo had been living in the Canary Islands, Spain.
  10. Climbing with Monterosa, a German climber, Ralf D. Arnold,  broke his leg at the 2nd step and has died after his summit

69 year old Italian Luigi Rampini, climbing on a Monterosa permit and logistics, spent 4 nights at 8300 meters without oxygen. He refused to descend a few days ago but was rescued per this report He was attempting the summit.

Comments on/from Facebook

  248 Responses to “Everest 2012 Team Locations”


    I am looking for information on a climber that summitted on May 19th around 8am. On his descent he fell and has lost his memory of the accident. Thankfully his excellent team of Sherpa and guide found him about 20-30 minutes above camp 4 sitting down not knowing where he was. The only visible injury was an abrasion on his forehead. He also suffered two broken ribs and frostbite on his toes. He was helped down to camp 2 where he was taken by helicopter off the mountain. I am happy to say he is home recovering but he has a lot of questions about what happened to him. It is likely that he fell somewhere on the descent, his red and black mountain hardware suit was torn in the back, he was missing his mittens, and the straps to his backpack were cut. If anyone heard of or saw him we would appreciate any information.


    Hi Alan,
    Thank you for the great coverage over the season…we, Ott & Murphy Wines, were following my wine making partner and one one of Alpine Ascents’ guides, Eric Murphy, who summit-ed Lhotse. Your coverage was much more helpful than AA’s “happy talk”.

    I noticed today your recap of the spring season and the below section caught my attention:

    “Very rough, unconfirmed estimates: Total at base camps: 446 westerners plus 500 Sherpas totaling 946. 548 combined summits from both sides 57.93% summit to attempt rate. 10 deaths 1.82% summit to death ratio”

    The summit to death ratio does not seem to be correctly stated. To me it reads 1.82 climbers summit-ed for each death? or for each 100 deaths? or….. based on your rough numbers the ratio is 54.8 climbers summit-ed for each death


    Hi Alan, just a quick question, of the 530 odd climbers that submitted, how many attempted it and failed?


      Simon, that number is always sought and very difficult to obtain and measure. Some teams count those who left home, other those who reached base camp then still others for those who reached the South or North Col. These days, the general rule of thumb I use is around 80% for commercial expeditions, maybe a bit lower for independent or self guided ones. We know there was a mass exodus in early May when Himex left, other individuals left as well, so this year the base camp to summit ratio would be very low on whole; perhaps 50%. Remember that around half of the summits in any year are for Sherpas and not westerners.


        So about roughly about 1000 people tried to summit then?
        I’ve been following you from sunny Durban South Africa, your blog is amazing, thank you.
        How many permits are given each year?


          Based on the numbers I saw at the beginning of the season and my own running totals:


          Very rough, unconfirmed estimates: Total at base camps: 446 westerners plus 500 Sherpas totaling 946. 548 combined summits from both sides 57.93% summit to attempt rate. 10 deaths 1.82% summit to death ratio.

          Westerners Sherpas Total Summits Deaths
          South 337 400 737 395 53.60% 8 2.03%
          North 109 100 209 153 73.21% 2 1.31%
          Total 446 500 946 548 57.93% 10 1.82%


    Incredible year on Everest… am glad to have witnessed it. It wouldn’t have been nearly as cohesive and fullfilling without this blog, Alan, and I appreciate the tremendous effort.

    With that said, I’m relieved it’s over! 🙂


    HI Alan,

    I’m just wondering if you’ve heave unofficially if Andrew Lock has summited or is back at base camp? There’s a couple of Australian’s here pretty keen to know how he is going!


    Thanks for your all round informations about this year’s Everest Expedition. Please let me know whether Loveraj Dharmashaktu of Pune Team of India succeeded in climbing Everest from the south without the help of supplementary oxygen & thus became the first Indian to do that.


    Hi Alan,

    just wanted to know as to how many climbers attempted( this summer) Everest summit and how many actually reached the top.
    also If you can give a figure for Indian climbers seperatly.
    Can you provide me the names with age of the 5 most aged women summiters on Everest till date

    Thanks ,


    Hi Alan,

    I have been watching the season unfold through your blog and must say the information you provide is exceptional. Of particular interest to me is Tom Kowpak’s progess however I have not seen much from Tom or Jamie for some time. I gather they pushed for summit on 25th and noted you updated your summit table from a ‘?’ to a ‘2’ recently for Project Himalaya. Can you confirm Tom summited?

    Cheers, Tony J


      Tony, Just checked Tom’s facebook page and it is confirmed that he summited on the 25th at 10:00am and is now back down safely.


    Thanks again for your work to support Alzheimer’s – just made a donation.

    I encourage everyone to also try and mske a donation to this great cause whichAlan is working so hard to support.


    Hello Aklan and thank you so much for your coverage! Everybody have the feeling that this seasspn is more dangerous than others maybe for the plan of summit attack. We have read Simone Moro or Ferran Latorre saying that this seasson there is a lot of people in the way at the same time. They thinks that thiss is dangerous for his own plans. What do you think about it? Is this seasson so diferent from another? Maybe you are missing Russell Brice as a leader? Thank you


    Hi Alan,

    Many thanks from the depths of my heart for your factual, heartfelt & sometimes emotional telling of this years season on Everest. I have been enlightened, scared & have wept;
    Here in the UK, having followed yor website & experience for many years, I have never seen press coverage & a furore so extreme as this year….. The largest distributed ‘non tabloid’ newspaper in the UK ‘The Daily Mail’ ran a full page spread near to the front entitled ‘Graveyard In the Sky’ recanting this year’s tragedies….. & tv coverage has certainly shall i say been…. ‘Derogetory’.
    Although i can understand the press doing their duty as scaremongereres, often they have not performed there duty of non-Bias, often placing blame & more often than not negletting their duty of explaining certain facts. They commonly disregard the fact that turn-around times were ignored, commonly disregard weather changes & have often placed blame on the expedition operators.
    I would like to openly invite you to talk about your experiences with both Everest & Alzheimer’s in the village where i live upon your next visit to the UK & would like to thank you sincerely for your coverage over the last few months & also thank your for, I’m sure, the many sleepless nights you’ve experienced in the name of keeping us all informed.

    Thank You Alan.

    Climb On!!



      Alan thank you for your updates …your website has been extremely informative for everyone watching a loved one…family member….friend…or even a slight acquaintance as in the case of me. I knew of Kurt Wedberg simply through a couple of Mt. Whitney websites we both happen to frequent and which Kurt posts great information on for hikers and climbers who plan a trek to summit Mt. Whitney. Alan your website is the one I followed when Sierra Mountaineering Inc (SMI) was making their final summit push…in fact anyone and everyone on the Mt Whitney website was watching your website for news on SMI. I will be making a donation to your website soon in honor of your mother and aunts.

      For anyone ing info on Mt Whitney checkout: or


      Thank you James. Yes, I agree with what you say. Everest and adventures is often misunderstood or unappreciated for the purpose it serves. It is not about dying, it is about living. One day, I would love to do a talk in your town. Climb On!



    There has been a lot of talk about this year being “more crowded than ever” on Everest. I’m wondering if based on data you have collected you might be able to put this in context for us?

    It may only be obe way of looking at it-but f you look back at this year relative to previous years could you tell us the ratio of ‘summit days’ to ‘number of summits’?

    I recognize that this is highly imperfect as there are many other factors (weather, number if ropes, etc) but it could be an interesting rough estimate.

    For 2012 is it correct to say there were ~4 summit days and ~537 summits. Leading to an average of about 134 summits per summit day?

    Could you tell us the numbers for previous years?

    Excellent job on coverage.


      Thanks Jeff. I have had some discussions about this season with only 4 days of summits and over 500 people, and 2012 looks in competition for the most summits on any one day. But I need to research it. Our friends at the Himalayan Database ( Ms. Elizabeth Hawley) or could probably answer within a few minutes 🙂 But I went back to the record year for summits of 2007 with 633 and looked at my reporting. I counted 7 days with summits more or less so yes 2012 was more crowded on a daily basis by this simple estimate. But we can;t say for sure until the final numbers are recorded for each day.


    Any news on the last team for IMG. Think they left for summit bid 12 hours ago per a message from a family member of one of climbers that called from camp 4


      26 on th summit. I updated the Wave 5 post a few minutes ago


        Thank you for the great job all season on updates. I trekked up to base camp with the team. Difficult obstacles this year but extremely proud of all. Just saw the update. Thanks again.


          Would also like to thank the incredible sherpa’s that brought my friends up and now down safely. They are incredible human beings! We could not do this without them.


    Hi Alan,

    Any word on where Andrew Lock was last seen?


    Hello Alan,

    Thank you for what is in my mind, simply the best online coverage of the Everest season.
    Your personal knowledge of having “been there” mixed with great writing skills put’s on on the mountain via a computer screen that’s thousands of miles away, great reading…

    Quick question, you stated “82 South side Summits on Friday morning May 25″… How many of those are Sherpa summit’s ?. And by the way, hat’s off to them, they seem to be the force behind all the summits.

    Thank you again for the best reporting for the 2012 season and god speed for those going up and down tonight.



      Thanks Cary for your kind words. We would have to wait for the final summit records to be filed but in general you can assume about a 1:1 ratio of western climbers to Sherpas so that would make half (and I say over half ) of those summits Sherpas. It really is their mountain.:)


    Hi Alan,
    Enjoy the updates and the commentary on the current climbing season as well as the informative observations on preparation, travel, packing of gear and dialogue regarding the climb itself.

    Can you comment on what the process would be for an inexperienced climber to gain the necessary experience to effectively and safely lead to a quest of the top of the world summit.

    I also noticed on the Jagged Edge blog that at 05:00 when the JE team was at the Hillary Step they encountered climbers already descending from their summits. What time would the sun rise and would it be a little disheartening to summit during the dark and not be able to see the dramatic 360 degree view?

    thank you


      Hi Russ, I always give the same advice to this question: gain climbing experience to be as self sufficient as possible, prepare your body to be in “Everest Shape” which is better than the best shape of your life and prepare you mind to push yourself but also to be willing t turn back for safety. I have a page on Everest FAQs that may help at

      The sun rises around 4:30 to 5 and yes, I can’t imaging all that work and missing the view! 🙂


    Hi Alan,

    I follow your blog for some time. It is very interesting and updated. Great work.

    Do you have info on what is happening on the west ridge? Any progress there or they have given up.

    In two of your blogs you wrote about going above South col and down from the top. As probably I will never experience the high altitude climing I wonder how are climbers going to toilet at camp 3 and south col, especially at -30 C degrees.



      Hey Zhivko,

      Both West Ridge attempts were aborted due to lack of snow, exposing ancient blue ice that is extremely difficult to get solid on and also the rockfall hazards in the couloir, they have been marked with a small ‘e’ in the above table with a touch point at C3 but no summit.

      In a perfect world all climbers would take all waste off the mountain with them but you hear of all sorts of creative and not so creative ways (crevasse, behind rocks etc) of getting rid of the ‘evidence’ and many don’t bother. For tent life – a ‘pee bottle’ (1L Nalgene will do) and zip lock sandwich bags are a great way of transporting back to base, zip locked contents get taken down to base and the pee bottle I just empty away from an area where people might be collecting for boiling, ideally I would take that down too but 1L = 1kg extra to haul around so rightly or wrongly I do tip that unfortunately. Personally I don’t tend to need to go when I’m then on the move as I’m usually to focused on putting one foot in front of the other and I just ignore it, too much gear to get through, too cold and probably cant be bothered a lot of the time 🙂

      Thanks for the measured and informative updates Alan!

      Also good luck to TOM KOWPAK from AUSTRALIA currently positioned at C3 North Col ready and waiting, we hear little of his progress due to lack of comms on the North so your blog has been great to keep in touch with where he may be. GO TOM!


    Do you have any info on Chad Kellogg’s speed ascent? Is it in progress?


    I have not seen Apa Sherpa’s name this year – did he go for another summit this year?


    Hi- I was just reading Leanna Shuttleworth’s blog and she mentions seeing “horrific” things that will haunt her on her way to the summit. I am assuming she is talking about seeing bodies, and I know this is a morbid question, but how many deceased climbers’ bodies does one see on their way to the summit? I would think that would take a toll on one psychologically, especially when one is already under duress.


      On the North, many – perhaps 6 as reported this year from many years of deaths. On the South, almost none. This year was the exception and Leanna saw the immediate aftermath including one, per direct knowledge, of a dead climber having to be removed from the fixed line thus allowing them to get by. Yes, horrific for anyone much less an 18 year -old. These deaths should have never happened.


        Thanks for the info! I can’t even imagine what that must have been like.


          It’s Leanna’s father here, Mark, who climbed with Leanna and Alpine Ascents. On our ascent, We actually passed 3 of the dead and another 2 who were in an awful state and one of which was not to survive the ordeal. This was not an easy thing to cope with, even as an adult.

          Alan-Thanks for the excellent coverage, we are back in Dubai now starting the recovery process-at least it’s warm here!


            Maybe you could shed some light on the subject of what the thought process is for a parent to allow their child to risk the Death Zone.

            Did the thought of potential death ever enter into the decision to climb and have Leanna climb with you?

            How much of a vetting process did you go through when it came to guides reputation and the safety approach of each guide company?

            On the mountain did you ever doubt the decision to go on?

            Congratulations on your and Leanna’s Summits and returns.



            To answer your questions
            1- Leanna was going to climb Everest at some time with or without me. (Not sure if you know, but the 7 summits was driven by her, not me, I was not a climber.) Therefore my wife and I took the advantage of being able to influence risk decisions with her at this stage rather than let her go on her own at a later stage
            2-The issue of the risk and deaths is so real that of course you try and address them, talk them through and try as much as possible to mitigate them by ensuring you are with the best guide house, you have the best training beforehand, etc etc
            3- I spent a long while vetting the guide houses. We had many conferance calls with the companies as they also wanted to speak to Leanna as she was only 15 when we started and they wanted to understand how much was being driven by me (nothing at that time) and how much was being driven by leanna. I also took numerous references from their members. I got down to IMG and Alpine Ascents as the best 2 guide houses with the best safety rcord. I then selected Alpine Ascents and have used them on 5 occasions-I believe that they are the best guide house in the world, shown in many aspects on the Everest expedition.
            4-We had trust in the AAI guides and leaders ( our leader Lakpa Rita was submitting for the 16th time, my personal Sherpa was on his 18th summit and Leanna’s Sherpa was on his 15th summitt-huge amounts of experience) this is what we paid for and as such had confidence in their decision making process and never thought about turning round

            Hope that covers the points as best as I can here.
            Thanks for congrats.


              Thank you Mark for being generous in answering this question. Congratulations once again to you and Leanna.


    Hi my name is Tim. I have a huge interest in mountains. I have no intention of trying out something as deadly as everest but just wanted to know how much training is involved. Thanks


      Tim, for Everest it a solid year to train the body and mind but years to gain the proper experience of climbing in order to be safe and as self sufficient as possible. It is not a simple matter. For my year of climbing the 7 Summits in 2011, I spent 2010 climbing over 30 14,000′ mountains with a 30 to 40lb pack. I have some more thoughts on training on my main site at


    Hi, You now note Shriya was with Utmost, before this read HappyFeet so I suppose you were fine tuning this? While in EBC last week I saw a pack in the dining tent of a lady, apparently from Monju, but didn’t meet her as she headed up through the night. Then spoke with a Asian/Canadian lady climber on my exit from EBC (ing advice about another Canadian girl). Interested/alarmed to know how both these girls fared as I’m thinking one of them was Shriya. If you can throw any light on this it’d be appreciated. Cheers, C.


      Craig, it is impossible for me, or perhaps anyone to help with you this question without specific names, etc. By the way, I was not in base camp.Sorry.


    You have done an amazing job and we are all thankful for your effort and hard work..Very informative and reliable.
    Truely appreciated and highly respected



    What’s the probability the same gridlock will happen in the second window? Do you know how many climbers will be in this second wave?


      Initial posts said there were only 70 or so climbers, but Jagged Globe, at the South Col now, just reported up to 150 climbers, and the weather sounds ominous with 30mph winds. I hope we don’t see the same kind of desperation and disregard for turnaround times like we saw last week, but from what it sounded like and based on the photos on Leanna Shuttleworth’s latest blog post, the jetstream returned.. I highly recommend reading her account of her summit. Outsideonline has a great article about it as well…


    Hi again Alan,

    The papers here in Toronto are full of stories that a Sherpa party is going to attempt to recover Shriya Shah’s body for repatriation to Canada. Is this even possible where she is? Has this ever been done before?


      Yes. Last year a Japanese man who died from HACE (I passed his body) was retrieved from almost the same location. I tis dangerous for the Sherpas, physical, expensive and very risky but often what families want. The body will be taken to camp 2 and then flown back to Kathmandu by helicopter. Usually the Embassy gets involved at that point.


    Alan, Thanks again for all of your hard work with these updates.

    Great news about the rescue of the Italian.


    News report that Luigi Rampini has been rescued…


    Somebody asked earlier, and I’d also seen the article, the Turkish cab driver from New York who was traveling the world with his scavenged 1 speed bicycle did summit, but without the bike. Rather remarkable, I’d guess, and gives a boost for the inexperienced.


    Hello Alan,

    On (Dutch newssite) there is a message that a 16 years old Nepal girl reached the summit, can you confirm this? They also report 3 deaths last weekend in the same article, and that isn’t correct as known of your reports.



    I am very sorry to hear about the death of Dawa Tenzing. Do you know if he was also known as Daati? Daati was my guide for a trek to EBC a few years ago, and Daati’s full name was also Dawa Tenzing. Daati has a son who used to live in Portland, OR, and a daughter who is (or at least used to be) a nurse in a hospital in Kathmandu.



    Hi Alan,

    Thanks for your thoughtful and thorough coverage on the Everest 2012 season. Thought I’d share information that was posted from IMG (two of my friends are on that team)…

    It’s our turn – IMG Classic Team readies to head up to Camp 2 in twelve hours. I’m happy to report that everyone is healthy and excited to leave EBC for C2 at 2:30 am May 22nd. Expect us to quickly move up through the Khumbu Ice Falls during the wee hours of Tuesday night and arrive at C2 sometime before the sun bakes the Western Cwm tomorrow.

    The team will rest at C2 on the 22nd and 23rd and then push to Camp 3 at about 24,000 ft on May 24th. Early on the 25th Sherpas and Climbers will proceed up through the Yellow Band past the Geneva Spur to the South Col 26K ft (C4) and stage for the summit attempt. You can expect us to depart the South Col around 10 PM on the 25th and hope to reach the summit of Mount Everest 29,029 ft at sunrise on May 26, 2012. Weather still appears to be very promising for the 25/6th and we expect to encounter relatively few climbers compared to the May 19th window. Wish us well and keep your fingers crossed for low winds and strong hearts.

    thanks again!


    Hi Alan,

    I had asked earlier but did not get any reply. I have been trying to know details of Pranoy Bordoloi who is from my home state of Assam, India. After much effort, Arun Treks informed me to enquire from Seven Summit Treks, as I was told they would know. Yet to hear from them though. Can you inform me which team he was in and in which camp. I checked each and every team for his name but did not find it. But there are whole lot of media reports of his trip to the everest. Please any info would be appreciated…. (from Sanjiv Goswami, Melbourne, Australia.)


      I’m sorry Sanjiv but I have no information on individual climbers unless they or their team post it for public use.


    Me again….

    German TV shows “allot” about the everest Death’s.

    That sucks….they would not have reported anything about their succeed….


    A question of time when the first climbers fly in to camp 2.


    WMS posted this morning that 1 climber and 3 Sherpas summited on the 19th. I notice on your chart that you show only 2 Sherpas. Thanks for your incredible service to the families of the everest climbing community!!!!! Blessings.


    Do you have any information on a helicopter rescue at camp 2 this morning? What are the typical logistics for HACE rescues?


      No direct info but not surprising. There were several cases of frostbite on Saturday night and the usual process is to get them down as low as possible, stabilize and evaluate for evac. Not sure about the one you are mentioning but sadly, helicopter evacs from C2 are becoming quite common during this 2012 season now that Fishtail Air has “perfected” the process (yet still incredibly dangerous for helicopters at that altitude). Could have been a member or Sherpa.

      Another thought is it could be body recovery from this weekend but I wold be surprised it is so quick but more so that they will remove those bodies from above the Balcony. One body was transported from just above the Balcony to C2 and flown off last year. It is dangerous, expensive and takes a lot of Sherpas.


      Hi jsmith,

      Fishtail air have just updated their blog & report resue’s of 2 Sherpa’s from Camp 2 following a Serac fall at Camp 3.

      Check out the link




    Hi Alan, can you SMS Jamie McGuiness, Proj Himalaya – sat phone: 0088216 212 73393. Thx,


    Hi Alan. Fascinating blog.

    I am a Bangladeshi journalist trying to follow the Bangladeshi duo of Nishat Mazumder and MA Muhit who reached the summit May 19, probably with a small independent team. I’d appreciate any info you have on them.

    I have a layman’s question: how large is the summit area? Do we have many climbers jostling for space to take photos once they reach the top? Just curious.

    Zain, Dhaka


      Zain, maybe 10-15 people could squeeze on the summit proper but it is covered with prayer flags and also considered an insult to the mountain gods to stand on the literal tippy top. Most people are thrilled to have a rest sitting down a foot or so under it


        But the ‘summit photo’ – where is that taken usually? Also, with so many teams climbing at the same time, don’t they get in each other’s way? Does that create a security risk of any sort?


          I heard that Nishat Mazumder, the first Bangladeshi woman to summit Everest suffered snow blindness during her descent and was struggling. Is snow blindness common? Why does it happen?


            Snow blindness is caused when a climber takes off their goggles or sunglasses (even for a few minutes) and the sun burns their cornea. They take off their glasses due to losing concentration due to fatigue i.e. a mistake, it gets iced or fogged up and they cannot see and do not have a spar or some other issue. Does not happen often and should never happen really.


          The summit photo is take 1 foot below the summit but can be on the actual top. yes, people get in one another’s way, etc. See my summit photo at


            Thanks, Alan. Sorry for pestering you with all the questions. We journalists are an inquisitive lot.

            Keep up the good work!


            Are there any specific characteristics (background etc) that proves that that the ‘summit photo’ was taken on the summit, since for most people that’s the primary evidence!


    Paul Thelen is going to leave Basecamp.

    I wish you much strength in the difficult time that lies ahead of you.


    Regarding something else then the tragic deaths.
    I am having difficulties finding more precise dates for the Everest season. Would you consider it à good time to do the Walk to basecamp in the besinning/mid june, Or should I wait to the fall season?



    You are reporting 4 deaths. However your earlier reports said three sherpas on e from Alcohol, one from falling into crevass, one from Heart attack. In addition one member from Pune died of heart attack. Now you mentioned German climber dead due to HAPE & Shelly Shiya near summit. The total comes to six. Will you please clarify.
    I express my deep condolence for the climbers dying during ascent or descent.


    Alan, I’m just wondering where you are? Do you stay in Base Camp on the South side of Everest for the whole season or are you keeping this blog from the states?


      Lynn, I have covered Everest each year from home in Colorado if I am not there climbing (2002, 2003, 2008 and 2011). I do this to raise awareness and ask for donations for Alzheimer’s non-profits (nothing to me) which took my mom and two aunts.


    Very sad news.

    Please report if there was any effort in rescuing one of those climbers in bad conditions.

    So sad to hear that Dr. Eberhard Schaaf was one of them. He and his climbing partner seemded to be very well prepared. Did Asian-Trekking try to carry out a rescue?

    It’s really just a question, but is it normal to take dex at basecamp? I thought it’s given as kind of “re-animator” and when things go wrong really quick. But as pre-medication? Seems that he might have had some problems earlier.


      Marc, condolences about your countryman. I have no details on these incidents other than what I posted and will not speculate on the what if’s. Also, sorry but I cannot answer your medical questions, I am not a doctor.


        It was more kind of “if you hear something”. As I think you are one of the best informed.

        Thank you Alan.


    David’s Homepage confirms that he and Gerlinde reached the summit of Nuptse on the 17th and are already back in basecamp

    Ralf and Gerlinde might try Everest to complete Ralfs No – 02 summits…..but that depends on Ralfs health situation….