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May 192013

Southeast RidgeWave 5,  Update 2:

IMG reports 21 on the summit this morning including the US Air Force team climbing. Conditions are noted as cold and windy.

Jagged Globe reported 3 more on top:

Nacer Ibnabdeljalil, Guy Munnoch and Guy Manning summited this morning with Sherpas, Dawa Gelji, Tashi and Karma. We believe this is the first Moroccan summit of Everest. All 24 members of the Jagged Globe climbing team have summited over 19/20

Reports are quiet tonight. Most teams are not reporting like last night. Nothing unusual, some do, some don’t.

Wave 5, Update 1:

80 climbers reported climbing from the South Sunday night in cold, brisk conditions.

Dave Hahn, RMI, just posted this as they are now at Camp 2 on the South looking to summit around the 21st.:

Very much aware of the dramas playing out above us on the mountain.  A number of our friends went to the summit safely and returned in these last couple of days. But, there’s also been some problems up high and much of the mountain was pre-occupied these last couple of days, especially today with trying to help a climber, incapacitated high on Lhotse.  And the drama is still playing out.  Lam Babu, our Sirdar, is putting together a team of Sherpas who will go up tonight and try to get that individual down the Lhotse Face.

No further details are available.

This week is why people come to Everest. We have had weather issues, false starts, res and summits. Sadly we also saw death.

The week started on the heels of the Sherpas fixing the line on both sides to the summit. David Tait, climbing with the Sherpas, was assumed to the be the first Western to summit this year. He is already back home in London!

Summit Week

Looking at the weather forecast several teams pushed hard and took some risks to summit on Monday but then a shock came to the entire climbing world.

World-class Russian climber Alexey Bolotov died on May 15 from a fall. The reports are still unclear as to precisely what happened, but it does appear he was alone, leaving his tent at 3:00AM, and somehow was rappelling (abseiling) when his rope was cut on sharp rocks. His partner, Denis Urubko, said he fell 300 meters and death was instant. There were comments that he was out to take photos. His body was recovered and is now back in Russia.

Picking themselves up from this true tragedy, the Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse climbers continue to position themselves for the long awaited summit window predicted to start on May 16th. Several teams were now at the South Col and started their attempts on Thursday. Many made it but some started then reed as the winds picked back up and freezing fog moved in. Others stayed in their tents at the South Col. A large Chinese team made summits on the North

With so many starts and stops, Thursday became a case study in risk management and how different teams evaluate conditions.

As we entered the weekend, the winds seemed to calm, as predicted, and more teams continue their steady march towards the top of the world. There were climbs on Friday and Saturday with over 150 people claiming a summit. The weather had finally cooperated and the crowds and worries of long lines were nonexistent.

Summits of Lhotse became common but a few climbers, went directly from Everest to summit Lhotse in under 24 hours. Only nine climbers have accomplished this. On Nuptse, an all women team from Himex made the summit. Brit Kenton Cool came along as he was looking to climb Nuptse, Everest and Lhotse in one push. Tonight he is on Lhotse after getting Everest yesterday, another first.

There is a bit of controversy on Nuptse as Basque climber Alex Txikon who was with them posted they were 30 meters below the main summit and said he will defer to Ms. Hawley as to whether it will be counted as a summit. He said he stopped due to danger.

But once again, a death cast a shadow on the community, especially the Sherpa, with the passing of Namgyal Sherpa who reportedly died at 8300 or 8100, meters on the North side on Friday. The details are unclear as to the cause of death. He was a key figure with 7 summits and one of the leaders in the Climb for Peace and Extreme Everest expeditions, a clean up climb.

While it appears that most of the summits went smoothly, there were a few trouble spots (see the update above)  including this report:

Climber Manish Deka (Assam) and Athokpam Robert (Manipur) had to abort their summit push from South Col (26,200 ft) as climber Waribam James (Manipur) was evacuated by chopper due to worsening health problem while negotiating the climb between Camp 2 and Camp 3 (24500 ft).

And another incident was reported on the North side stopping an entire Chinese team of 10 climbers

There were many summits of wide interest including first for females, several nationalities and great efforts in climbing for causes. Congratulations to all of these. I listed many throughout the week during the coverage.

One record to note is that of David Liano who summited from the North after doing the same on the South last week. He is the only person to climb from both sides in one season.

The Big Picture

We are right in the middle of the traditional weather window. As I have previously posted, the sweet spot for Everest summits is between May 13th and  May 22nd with 70% of the summits historically occurring during this period.

As always, the wind is the largest factor. This is a suggested forecast for the next few days from Meteotest and not to be used for climbing decisions:

Everest wind forecast May 2013. Courtesy of Meteotest

Everest wind forecast May 2013. Courtesy of Meteotest

There are still well over 100 climbers who will take advantage of these low winds this next week. The “old dogs” in the Everest game Dave Hahn and Russell Brice have been ly waiting at the lower camps but now are moving up looking to summit in the next few days. One of the most watched in India are the six students from Sanawar. They are at Camp 3 and are looking at the 22nd.

Wave 5

After the huge Saturday night, the push is back on Sunday night for Monday morning summits. Looks like more on the North tonight than on the South.

On the South, the US Air Force team climb with IMG is going up. I’m sure may independents and smaller teams who do not post updates are also climbing.

On the North, the second team from 7 Summits Climb are pushing up. Asian Trekking has several more climbers including Dawes Eddy at age 70. 80 year-old Japanese Yuichiro Miura is at Camp 2 heading up.

Updates throughout the day.

Climb On!
Memories are Everything

Comments on/from Facebook

  11 Responses to “Everest 2013: Weekend Update, Summit Wave 5 – Update 2”


    thanks for all the work you put in to these updates!
    Totally different question: what are your next climbing plans?


    Thank you for your update and beautiful description .


    Congrastulations to Nacer Ibnabdeljalil, first Moroccan to Summit Mount Everst and the second Arab to do so this season. With 3 more Arabs from Qatar, UAE and Palestine poised to make their bid tomorrow night as the group “Arabs with Altitude” this will be a recod breaking year for Arabs Summiting Mount Everest. A sign that young Arabs vision and aspirations are being challanged and they are living up to the challange. I am proud of them all.



    Thank you for your constant updates! I have my better half on the mountain right now, he was able to send me messages from camp 3 at 8300M last night, his name is Ruben Payan and he is climbing with Lhakpa Galu, former world record holder for fastest climb of Everest. They are with world record expeditions. Their team combined with team Amical and should all have been on the summit this morning. I am waiting ly to hear of their safe summit and return to camp. Your updates have helped me fill in when I haven’t had word and I appreciate so much hearing of others too, I know their families like myself are all looking for that summit for our loved ones but most of all a safe trip back down and home:) Thank you!


    Alan thanks again for your updates !


    Hi Alan! thanks a lot for these updates! A reference to know what’s up there. Domi Trastoy is now on his summit push, on C2 aiming for the 22nd May as a summit date. If he does it, he’ll be the first Andorra climber on the Everest summit! 🙂 Thanks again for the deep information you provide to the ones that we are sooo far away from those we love. Cheers! Ramon


    Thanks again Alan, it must be very exciting no matter where you are on Everest at the moment. I am thrilled for the bother and sister but just glad I am not their mom. How does she sleep at nights at nights? What has happened to Margaret who failed on the Northside last year and is having another go this year? Doesn’t her husband follow her from base camp?I am amazed at the team of young school children having a go, so young at 16 yrs.As a teacher myself I can only admire the teacher in charge. Good luck to them all, please stay safe. Cheers Kate


    Thank you Alan.


    Thanks Fabrice. I note that Himex and Cool are claiming summits so I think Alex is right to defer to Ms. Hawley. I will modify my update to reflect this.


    “Dawes Eddy at age 70. 80 year-old Japanese Yuichiro Miura is at Camp 2 heading up.” Yipeeeeeeeeee I have been watching your posts for these two.
    There was another 70+ climber you mentioned but I cannot recall his name.
    Anxious to hear of their progress.. Just being there at their age is fantastic at any altitude. Ginny, Sunriver, Oregon


      Funny Ginny. The third Senior is Nepali 81-year-old Min Bahadur Sherchan. I have not seen any updates on him in a few weeks. Last I saw he arrived EBC in late April.