Everest 2013: Teams Climbing Again

ABC - North courtesy of Altitude Junkies
ABC – North courtesy of Altitude Junkies

After yesterday’s huge dump of snow near Camp 1, click the trail has been broken by the Sherpas and climbers allowing movement between camps. Avalanches are being reported as the snow settles but nothing out of the ordinary

For most Everest climbers, ask this is the time when they internalize the work, and fun, of climbing.

Each morning, they awake not fully knowing what lies ahead that day. And when they are in the middle of the day, they are unsure of tomorrow. This uncertainty brings exhilaration and anxiety.


Climbers Moving

Alpine Ascents reports they moved from C1 to C2 and plan on spending two nights there on this, their first rotation. Peak Freaks returned from a night at C2 to EBC.

Adventure Consultants reports sunshine at Base Camp:

The sun has finally got his hat on again today, hip, hip hooray! So not only does that mean that these so called climbers can get moving up the mountain tonight, it has also given everyone a chance to catch up with well over due loads of washing.

Doing laundry is a standard part of a long Everest expedition. Climbers go over to the cook tent and ask for two metal basins of water, one hot and one cold. Most climbers have remembered to bring a small amount of detergent and start washing the old fashion way. Soon camp looks like a yard with clothes hung over ropes, tents and rocks. Not a pretty sight but definitely appreciated when they get in close quarters!

 Himalayan Ascent has set an ambitious schedule:

The rest of the team (Margaret, Warren, Chris and Peter) are preparing for the Camp 3 rotation due to start around Thursday. By the 26th, they should be one of the first teams to sleep at Camp 3. They were already one of the first to sleep at Camp 1 and 2. Everyone is feeling quite strong. Weather permitting, we hope to make the first summit window in the first week of May.

Of course their ambitions are based on the progress of the fixed rope set by the Sherpas. And it is not clear what the schedule is for setting the Lhotse Face much less to the summit as of now.

Route Plans

Tim Rippel made this comment on the route up the Lhotse Face

our team got out to look at the Lhotse Face close up. Lots of snow built up on the lower mountain but not much at all on the Lhotse Face. We’ve been watching how things were going to develop up there and make a decision on the fixing of the route to Camp 3. It’s pretty much decided now to not even bother with the route that has been used up until last season, instead the the old original route that was established years ago will be fixed as we did last year. The wind keeps blowing the new snow off the Lhotse Face so this will be the safest option once again in an attempt to avoid potential rock fall hazards.

If you remember, this was a huge issue last year as the lack of snow allowed loose rock on the Lhotse Face to fall onto climbers injuring several Sherpas. The teams abandoned the traditional route somewhat right of center on the Face and established a similar path to the one used in the 1950’s far to the right towards Nuptse. This route, while longer and more circuitous, was safer and allowed climbers to reach Camp 3 without further incident.

Chris Jensen Burke once again has an excellent post describing her journey to C2 and back. Full of rich details, she is quite humble in describing the challenge. It is the Blog of the Day:

 So, why was I angry with myself? Well, when we went to leave C1 for C2, I secured my crampons to my boots.  I generally check them several times before moving.  On this occasion, I was satisfied that I had them on securely but within 10 minutes, my left crampon had come loose.  I was fuming at myself on the inside because securing one’s crampons is basic stuff – and if a crampon comes off and I don’t realise (yes, this can happen) or it falls down a crevasse, I create a big problem for myself.  Even worse, expeditions can come to an end abruptly when you lose such an important piece of equipment.  So, stop, relax, and take a breath I told myself…

North Update

There is solid progress on the North side with several teams at Advanced Base Camp. Phil Crampton, Altitude Junkies, gave an update on Advanced Base Camp:

Yesterday the complete team arrived at advanced base camp at an elevation of 6,400-meters. The Sherpas had done a great job of erecting our heated and carpeted dining tent and kitchen as well as 18 Mountain Hardwear sleeping tents. The group had spent the evening of the 21st at intermediate base camp and we elected to spend only one evening at this campsite because of the bad water source and the fact that the yaks graze here on the way to advanced base camp. We shall spend the next two days resting in camp and then make our first rotation to the North Col hopefully on the 25th if all the team members feel like it. Our Sherpas will make a second carry to the Col tomorrow as they have already tagged the Col several days ago to rope off our campsite.

At this point probably every North team is there but not all are reporting in given they usually keep their communication equipment back at Base Camp. Not everyone is having a good time, however. Javi Clayton posted his location via SPOT along with this ominous message:

Resting at ABC after horrible nigh Feel tired

The first nights at these higher altitudes are always rough and should improve as the body adjusts.

The High-End Expedition

Finally, Simone Moro posted on his site a video of his and Ueli Steck’s rotation to Camp 2. It is nice to have their funding as these videos are expensive to transmit. EpicTV’s Jon Griffith is filming the climbers. He is climbing with supplemental oxygen and is probably a story on his own. The videos are very well done and provide beautiful visuals of the climb to and from Camp 2:

Climb On!
Memories are Everything

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4 thoughts on “Everest 2013: Teams Climbing Again

  1. Thanks again for great up date. Loved the video, it really does bring it all to your own door step. I also enjoyed David Tait’s video. The descriptions and clarity of the videos really do spoil us, I’ve been through the Khumber so many times that if it wasn’t for melting snow I would know every footstep !!! Cheers Kate

  2. Very good comment on the day Allan. Thanks.
    Disappointed and wondering why Himex has stopped newsletters after April 12th. Maybe Billi is busy climbing? Very interested in their thoughts on this season compared to the diaster last year.

    1. Thanks John. I think the entire Everest/Lhotse/Nuptse team have been down on Lobuche. David Tait just returned to EBC. I’m sure we will hear from them soon.

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