Click for site home
The Blog on
Climbing the World to End Alzheimer's
May 172013

Southeast RidgeUpdate 2:

Multiple summits on Friday night from the commercial teams of IMG 3 members, 1 guide, find 7 Sherpas and Alpine Ascents putting 9 members, illness 3 guides, and 12 Sherpas. Alpenglow: 1 member, 1 guide, 2 Sherpa

Update 1.5:

Summits pushes underway leaving the South Col at 8:00PM. Winds are reported to be less than last night. Teams are reported above Balcony and heading towards South Summit in good conditions.


Once again, I start an update with the death of a Sherpa. Namgyal Sherpa reportedly has died at 8300 meters on the North side on Friday. There are few details on cause of death but it is confirmed and his family has been notified.

Namgyal, 35, was a mainstay in the Sherpa and climbing community with 7 summits but also one of the leaders in the Climb for Peace and Extreme Everest expeditions, a clean up climb. He was known for his camera and filming skills. He will be missed. I climbed with him on Shishapangma in 2007.

My condolences to his family, teammates and friends. This is the 6th death this season, four being Sherpa.

Summit Changes of Pace

After an up and down night Thursday, teams are looking for something a bit more predictable on Friday. There are a lot of climbers already at the South Col but the big push happens Saturday night.

Eric Simonson, IMG, kept us informed about one of his three sub teams as they left the South Col and turned back in harsh conditions. They are back down at C4 aka the South Col, and will presumably do another attempt tonight.

It is possible to make a second summit bid if you have enough oxygen. But the real measure is willpower. If climbers were only out for a couple of hours from the South Col, they have an excellent chance of making another push, in fact, it may be better now that they have the experience.

I know after my aborted 2008 attempt, I considered it after returning to C2. But the thought of climbing the Lhotse Face once again was enough to discourage me and gave into the will of the mountain.

One of the common question is what happens to the body at 8000m. In a word, it is dying. Food is difficult to metabolize, rest is difficult and everything takes much, much longer than at lower altitudes. It is an inhospitable environment where most people minimize their exposure.

Friday Night Plans

Alpine Ascents gave this update on their Friday night plans:

I have been pouring through numerous weather forecasts and relaying all the information I find up the mountain to the South Col where our guides are currently deciding if they will leave for their summit push tonight or hold out another day at Camp 4. We have enough resources to stay an extra day if the weather does not line up for us, but it looks like the conditions are trending toward a good summit window for tonight.

The winds have started to calm down and have shifted toward the north. Several of the forecasts I review indicate that this means the winds will stay lower and manageable for several days to come. Garrett Madison is currently collecting information from other teams in the South Col on the numbers of climbers we can expect today and tomorrow. So far the numbers going for the summit tonight are not too great and it looks like there will be likely be more climbers tomorrow. With winds calming and crowds at a reasonable level it looks to me like tonight will be a go.

There are many climbers ready to push for the top over the next few days including over 100 from India including a group of 16 year-old students, the Indian Army and a pair of twins looking to set a record.

Fire in Thamel

For those of you who have gone to the area of Kathmandu known as Thamel, there was a huge fire last night.  Apparently a small fire broke out at a place across from Dolce vita, and then a gas cylinder exploded.  All three of the Kathmandu firetrucks were dispatched but Pilgirms books and five other businesses burned to the ground. Luckily there were no fatalities.

Climb On!
Memories are Everything

Comments on/from Facebook

  25 Responses to “Everest 2013: Summit Wave 3, Sherpa Death – Update 2”


    Alex Abramov said he saw the body at 8100m. And ask to inform that Namgyal Sherpa was not in the team of 7 Summits Club


    It is Very sad, news, lets pray his grest soul & his family who have lost …………..


    Very sad, he was a great guy, and an incredibly strong and driven climber, who started his 8000m career with me. He will be missed.


    RIP Namgyal Sherpa and I sincerely hope and pray that there are no more fatalities :(.


    North side, rescue at 8600m. A chinese climber(member of Chinese Team 1) got HAPE after summit last night local time. More than 10+ tibetan joined the rescue. Fortunately,the rescue team and the climber returned 8400m C3 safely this early morning local time.

    Due to lack of oxygen(used for rescue) and tibetan(joined the rescue), the Chinese Team 2(about 10 climbers at 8400m C3) aborted their summit attempt.


    Alan, I have read your coverage of the climbs for the past few years. I am always waiting with anticipation of the next post. Thank you so much for these updates. For us who dream of the mountain and for us who simply enjoy following the expeditions, you are our gateway. Again, we all thank you for it. I am quivering with excitement for everyone who has summited, for all those who are on the way up, and for all those waiting ly for the right time to summit. My heart also goes out to all those who have passed and to all of those who have lost. I cannot wait for my chance to finally walk and climb in such a magical place!


      Thank you for expressing exactly what I have been wanting to write to Alan for a while. My son Nelson is climbing the North side this year and I feel that Alan’s site is the only accurate one. Particularly in the last few days when things get “critical” it is something to hold on to. We don’t get updates (or very very few) from the team he is climbing with and that is fine with me as I prefer for them to concentrate on the job ahead rather than to keep the family happy. While we are going to celebrate the graduation of our younger son, our minds and thoughts will be with Nelson and hope that he makes it to the top and back down safe.
      Thank you Alan and as you so very well say Climb On (even though I hope that Nelson stops after this one…one can dream can one?)


        Thanks all. And best to all our climbers up there. Agnes, Nelson is in great hands but you remind me of my mom who upon every return from a climb would say “I’m glad you got that out of your system.” This went on for 15 years 🙂


    It’s really to bad about the Sherpa dying ! Rest In Peace !!!


    Every morning I open the computer to read your blog. Just like reading the morning newspaper. Although nothing ever appears in the Omaha Nebraska World Herald about Everest unless it is something sensational. To me everything you write is newsworthy and the world would benefit by reading your entries. They are as interesting a sports story as any basketball or baseball game. The Everest athletes are more fit and probably train harder than any of the pro sports. I guess it is just because the Everest athletes are smaller in number and in an nearly inaccessible part of the world. Thank goodness for reporters like you who tell the whole story in an unbiased way.


    Historically most fatalities happen in the later summit windows. Seeing the numbers already at 6 and 4 being sherpas sends shivers down the spine. Hopefully this year the number doesnt cross this already large number.
    Best of luck to everyone on the mountain. STAY SAFE.

    Alan, I have to applaud you for your never ending dedication and love for the mountains and your great cause to fight Alzheimer’s. Best of Luck


    RIP Namgyal Sherpa…..prayers are with your family and loved ones…


    Hi Alan,
    My Sherpa friend contacted me yesterday that he heard news about Namgya dying; I did not want to believe it. I have been looking for news posting all night and morning and I just read your report. I still do not want to believe it. THis is just so horrible and tragic and Namgyal was so strong and such a good climber. Please let me know when you get more details.
    I am so sad to hear confirmation of this…

    Lance Trumbull


      Alan , Thank you for your prompt and frequent updates over the last few days,
      Is the number of fatalities this season amongst the Sherpa’s unusual? I hope no uneccessary risk being taken .
      Sad to here of the fire in Thamel as well, lucky not more damage and no fatalities . Pilgrims will be a loss, an Aladins cave for bibliophiles.


      Lance so sorry for this as I know how close you were to Namgya. I will update as I get reliable information.


      A bit more details on the death of Namgyal Shepra who died on May 16.


    Thank you for the update.


    The air in my lungs thins just thinking about it.


    Hi Alan, Thanks for the great reports. Any other information on the group of students? That sounds interesting.


    I like your post and thank you for your updates from worlds one of very difficult terrains. I also went to climb Mount Everest last year. But returned from Camp 2


    So sad 🙁 every year. .another life to heaven.. my thoughts and prayers to family and friends and for all those still on the mountain @}~


    This is so sad. . . . too many Sherpa lives are lost. After 10 summits? Why does it suddenly go wrong? Is there an explanation for this? Thank you for all the great updated and reading.


    May he rest in peace!


    Very sad.