For a change, Thursday was a normal day on Everest, whatever that means! Good weather allowed climbers to move among the camps accomplishing their acclimatization program objectives while Sherpas continued to ferry gear up the mountain.
While at Base Camp on the Nepal side, climbers will often take a few hours to climb up to Camp 1 on Pumori. This is a good way to stay active while getting a view of Everest seldom seen.
Pumori at 23,494 feet (7161 m) is the iconic pointy shaped mountain that dominates Base Camp. Expeditions previously climbed it as a training peak for Everest but in more recent years avoid going beyond Camp 1 or 2 due to extreme avalanche danger.
The hike to Camp 1 takes climbers along narrow dirt trails then onto the large boulders and a bit of loose rocks aka scree before reaching the flat spots overlooking hazel blue lakes to the West and Everest to the East.
The view is similar to what is seen from Kala Patar but being more northerly, provides a clear view of both sides of Everest. Climbers typically reach around 18, 300 feet or 5800 meters.
The Base Camp cooks will pack a lunch of a juice carton, boiled egg and piece of bread plus an apple for the climbers. You kind of feel like a 4th Grader going to school.
This spot offers amazing views of Base Camp, the Khumbu Icefall plus both sides of Everest. If you go high enough, you can easily spot the Steps on the Northeast ridge.
Back at Base Camp, it is not unusual to be sprayed by an avalanche off Pumori. I have vivid memories of relaxing on the rocks like skinks only to hear the peaceful quiet broken by a loud crack, then a whoosh of noise.
Looking towards Pumori, a living avalanche flowed toward us. A few minute later, we all enjoyed a nice spray mist from the remnants.
Ang Jangbu, expedition leader, IMG noted this cooperation among the teams to fix the Lhotse Face starting Friday, April 26th.:
Up at Camp 2, Greg and Phunuru coordinated a meeting at our camp among the various teams that are helping do the fixing. For tomorrow we have 15 climbers heading up to start working on the Lhotse Face: IMG: Chewang Lendu + Nima Karma; AAI: Fura Kancha + Karma Serki; AC: Sange Dorje + Kami Rita; HIMEX: Ang Rita + Nima Tenzing; ASTREK: Shera Gyalzen + Pemba Tshiri; SEVEN SUMMIT: Lhakpa Nuru + Lhakpa Sherpa; JG: Pema Tshering; MIURA: Nima Nuru; PBE: Damian Benegas.
Yesterday, I noted Nelson Dellis’ difficulty at altitude so I thought it was only fair to post that he is doing remarkably better today as he and the Altitude Junkies team prepare to tag the North Col. Must be the Crossfit!
I felt like crap yesterday, but feel great (as great as I’m ever gonna feel at 6400 meters).
Urubko and Bolotov are reported on Russianclimb to have made their final rotation before their still unknown summit route:
Yesterday the duo reached 7400 and set C3 on normal route for other climbers. Then descended to BC. Today they’re going to the valley, Deboche village, for some days rest in green zone, – before the start to the main goal – newroute in alpine style on Everest SW Face.
We will see many teams return to the relative comfort of the Khumbu once they compete their acclimatization programs. “Touching the grass before the summit” was coined by the late Anatoli Boukreev.
Bob Kerr with Adventure Peaks has a nice update on their rotation towards the North Col. He makes a comment on the ladders that are near the base of the climb towards the Col:
As we got higher up the route towards the North Col I was surprised by the number of ladders crossing crevasses. This was the first time that I have ever used horizontal or gently angled ladders to cross crevasses. I am glad that my feet are fairly large as crampons mounted on my altitude boots comfortably span the distance between two ladder rungs – this is not something that I could reasonably train for in the Scottish hills before coming out here. It was a good new experience.
The ladders in the Khumbu Icefall on the South get a lot of attention but there are also multiple ladders on the North. They are back at CBC now.
Other 8000 meter spring Climbs
In spite of the focus on Everest each spring, there is other mountaineering activity throughout the Himalaya each year. Most expeditions are small, private or even individuals so usually there are not a lot of updates. Altitude Pakistan does a great job of covering these climbs as does the Adventure Blog along with outdoor adventure in general.
Currently there are active climbs on Makalu (27,825’/8481m), Dhaulagiri (26,795’/8167m), Manaslu (26,759’/8156m) and Kanchenjunga (28,169’/8586m). Conditions vary greatly across the 8000m mountains but heavy snow has been reported stalling several efforts thus far.
Finish climber, Samuli Mansikka has been active on Twitter with colorful updates on his private Makalu attempt. I climbed Alpamayo last summer with Sammy, quite the guy!
Memories are Everything