Everest 2013: Snow has Teams Holding

Everest Camp 2 SnowThe heavy snow has stopped most of the activity Monday on Everest. It is predicted to continue through at least Tuesday. Thigh deep snow is reported in the Western Cwm.

The Adventure Consultants team posted this excellent update:

After having had such perfect weather on the approach trek it is unusual to be getting shut down so early on. But this is the reality of big mountain climbing. At the end of the day our agendas are meaningless to Chomolungma. It is all about playing it as safe as possible and going with the flow.

Our Sherpas descended from Camp 2 to Base Camp today and this trip took them 8 hours due to waste deep snow encountered, particularly at Camp 1. The top of many tents are now level to the snow surface. This trip down would normally take more like 3-4 hours. Given this update it is unlikely we will attempt to go anywhere tomorrow particularly as snow is in the forecast for tomorrow. But a big improvement is forecast for the 24th and 25th, thank goodness!

Scott Woolums, Mountain Trip, mentioned “Last night we had some spectacular thunder and lightning! “. This is not all that unusual but creates a mental disconnect when it happens to everyone around!

Even Über climber Ueli Steck said too much snow:

Monday april 22. We got lots of snow the last couple days. Today the porters all returned back to base camp. The weather forecast looks like more snow this week. For us it will be a easy week. We need for sure two days sunny weather before we can move on towards the west shoulder. We have to be paciant now. But also we have plenty of time. Summit push will be not before May 20. 4 weeks left to get ready.

As usual, weather proves to be challenging on Everest. The pattern for almost ten years has been a decent late April followed by a difficult early May followed by the predictable summit window in mid to late May. This year it seems to be changing day by day.

For those teams descending from their rotations in the Western Cwm, they are finding the Icefall is quite active this year. Dave Hahn, RMI, made this observation on a feature they had nicknamed ‘horseshoe hotel’:

We were all stunned to see that the “horseshoe hotel” had fallen.  This was a massive free-standing cube of glacier which we’d been passing under with a fair amount of trepidation.  It came down all at once… luckily with no one in the vicinity, and we were amazed to see that the massive chunks of debris had fallen in several directions… But they hadn’t bulldozed away the climbing route.  The intervening crevasses had done their work and swallowed up a whole lot of hotel.

 David Mauro had a creative update on what EBC sounds like, yes sounds like. A good read:

It is early morning, and we can hear snow sliding off our tent. Normally it is too cold to snow at Everest Base Camp (EBC), but a warm spell has settled in. There is bird singing from the top of a nearby rock pile. We peek outside the tent to see it. This bird looks a lot like a Robin.  Aside from the big wooly yaks, there aren’t many animals around EBC, so this is special. The snow has covered all the tents scattered among the giant piles of rock and dirt here. It is very peaceful.

If you are curious what an 80 year-old eats for breakfast on Everest, Japanese Yuichiro Miura posted this menu:

curry, rice, okra, fried egg, natto lunch: noodle, vegetable tempura dinner: curry with pork cutlet, spinach boiled, dried radish, vegetable soup

He is currently at Base Camp on the South.

You may be familiar with Noel Hanna. He has completed the Marathon Des Sables, Deathvalley 135, Discovery Eco-challenges and Himalayan 100 miler and summited Everest five times. He is with the 7 Summits Club on the North and has a Blog. I have added him to the blogger list on the sidebar along with Yuichiro Miura and Carlos Pauner and Kenton Cool. I have also added Swiss Kari Kobler’s North side team to the location table.

The table is for teams only, not individuals. I am glad to track any team that posts regular updates but cannot track individuals or teams who do not post regular updates.

It is said a picture is worth a thousand words and the UK’s Dan Hughes has taken it literally with his updates. A man of few (or no) words, his updates are mostly pictures interspersed with a few videos. It give a good idea of the visual environment.

Finally for today, Tim Rippel, Peak Freaks, makes note of a memorial service held at Base Camp for the recently d Icefall Doctors:

Meanwhile back at base camp all the leaders attended a memorial service for the resent deaths of Sherpas that have worked here for a very long time and who have made great sacrifices in making climbing Everest possible for everyone.  It was a very touching event put on by the SPCC, the environmental control services for parks. The leaders all left with envelopes for collecting donations for the passing of two senior ice-fall doctors who have been major contributors, Mingma Sherpa (49) the most recent who fell in a crevasse while working here on April 8th, and Ang Nima Sherpa (59) the oldest of the team who passed away in his home in Pangboche in January. It was a nicely orchestrated function.

Climb On!
Memories are Everything

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3 thoughts on “Everest 2013: Snow has Teams Holding

  1. Hi Alan if there is a link to an online charity page for donations to the fund for the 2 Ice Fall Doctors,then could you pls let us have it, so that we can contribute a lil something towards the families of these two amazing individuals. Thank you in advance

    1. Divyesh, I’m not aware of anything organized. I know people at EBC made donations. You may want to contact your favorite guide service who is on Everest and route a donation through them.

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