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Climbing the World to End Alzheimer's
May 242013

Everest Shadow May 21,     2011Climbing Everest is all about timing. And a few climbers are proving that they can sneak in a few summits after the masses have left.

On the North, the second team from SummitClimb summited 19 in what was termed ‘high winds’. Part of their team was Leifur Orn Svavarsson, reported to be the first Icelander to summit from the North.

On the South, Manish kumar Deka of Assam, India summited with his Sherpas. They were climbing with Arun.

Senior Battle

In the ongoing battle for records, 81 year-old Nepali, Min Bahadur Sherchan, is reported at Base Camp. I have from a solid source that he is strong and feeling well so there is a good chance he might summit and retain his record of a summit at age 76. As you know it was broken this week by 80 year-old Japanese Yuichiro Miura.

He had better hurry as the Icefall is melting out as the days warm up and the monsoons get closer.


For those climbers trying to get home, the nice traditional way (not using a helicopter to Kathmandu!), they are being delayed by the heavy rain both in Kathmandu and in Lukla. Personally, I have both trekked and flown out from EBC after an Everest climb. I prefer the trek as it give you time to wind down and let what happened sink in.

With the season almost over, a few interesting reports are coming out. Double amputee, Canadian but from Nepal, Sudarshan Gautam, 30, summited but fell near the Yellow Band on May 21st. He was rescued using a ‘long line’ from a helicopter. This was a record for an alpine helicopter rescue as it was at 7800 meters. They did not land but dropped a line that was attach to the injured climber.

A report at says the Nepal Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation is considering raising permit  fees as a way to control crowds on Everest:

Once the royalty is increased the number will be controlled automatically,” he opined, adding, “the climbing holiday will have effect on overall Nepali tourism”. “The climbing holiday on the one hand decrease government’s income while on the other will also hamper tourism sector,” Nirola said adding that the raise in royalty is the only option.

Similar reports have been floated in the past with no action.

Everest 2013 could be a record year for summits with around 500 on the South and 150 on the North. The most ever was in 2007 with 633 summits.

The deaths of eight, thus far reported, is sadly within the expected range for this number of summits. The highest death toll on Everest was in 1996 with 15 deaths. To keep some perspective, many of the world’s most popular mountains – Mont Blanc, Aconcagua, McKinley, have similar death tolls. That said, clearly any death in the mountains is devastating for family and friends.

Summit Reports

Once climbers get back to Kathmandu or home, they often seize the opportunity to document their experience while it is still fresh in their minds.

Nelson Dellis, who climbed on the North with Altitude Junkies, has written what I consider an outstanding report on his experience. it you have been following Everest all season, this is simply a must read for his humility, and honesty. An excerpt from the Blog of the Day

 … Once I reached that point (about 8000m—officially in the “Death Zone”). I sat down and looked out at the Himalayan expanse and just started sobbing. I don’t know really why, but I guess at that moment I suddenly felt completely defeated. I thought of all the people I was going to disappoint, especially myself, but I just couldn’t get myself up and keep climbing. What was the point?

Another good report is from Chris Jensen Burke on her Lhotse summit. Bob Kerr discussed his vision problem on summit night.

Georgina Miranda who summited has a very brief pre-report with a paragraph I liked:

… no more than 10 minutes later my friend’s guide managed to recognize me through my oxygen mask and down suit and asked why I was crying and then told me, “you already turned around once 2 years ago, you are not turning around again.” He then talked to my Sherpa, they adjusted my oxygen and he asked me to follow them for an hour and see if I felt better and that I was only 5-6 hours away from the summit. Fortunately, I started feeling better, and at 5 am the sun rose over the whole world and I was filled with warmth and knew that my sign had been clear as day and there was no turning around.

There will be more and I will try to highlight the standouts via posts or on Twitter.

Climb On!
Memories are Everything

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  20 Responses to “Everest 2013: More Summits, It is Not Over!”


    I started to follow your daily reports so we could track my work colleague and dear friend Doug Ingram climbing with IMG. We had a map of Everest and a “little Doug” icon that moved up and down the mountain based on his estimated location! I am now officially addicted to all those climbing and will be back to your site next year to follow another season. In honor of Doug, and also my grandfather, a brilliant patent attorney who suffered from Alzheimer’s, I will be making a donation as well.


    Looks like 82 year old Napali Min Bahadur Sherchan’s bid to regain oldest climber record will have to wait for next year. Apparently the Khumbu Icefall has been closed and those at Camp 2 who are descending will be airlifted by helicopter when it can leave Lukla (grounded due to fog). This is what I can gather from Yuichiro Miura’s FB page. He is waiting at C2.


    Dear Allan,
    I like to correct one statement of yours in your 22nd May’s Blog. You did mention that Melissa Arnott became the First Woman to have completed his climbing Everest 5 times in this year. Please note that long back Lakpa sherpani of Nepal climbed Everest six times,last being in 2006. She climbed three times from south on 18.5.2000,23.5.2001&22.5.2003. From the north Tibetan side she also climbed three times on 20.5.2004,6.2.2005 & 11.5.2006. This information is authentic & collected from Ms Elizabeth Howleys statistics in Himalayan Data Base. Youu may check the details if felt necessary.
    However my high regards for your untiring works for compilation of informations on Everest climbs every year,which i notice with great interest & for my records. I am 76 years old & have a passion for climbing information of the Himalayan & Karakoram Mountains.


    Hello Alan
    Thanks again for keeping us informed of Big E stuff. Do you know anything from Mexican climber Jorge Salazar who returned to Everest (Nepal side) for his second summit but without O2?


    My friend David Roeske summitted from the north with the Summitclimb group on the 22nd after arriving late at the mountain (May 3). We’re all very proud of him. Thank you so much for the updates, Alan–your site has been a true lifeline!


    I am following the news about Chad Kelloggs’ speed attempt and just read the news that he didn’t summit due to high winds 🙁


    Alan – Great coverage this year again! Do you know what is happening with Chad Kellogg and his westerner speed attempt? I had heard he was targeting the 22nd or so and haven’t seen any press since then if he had mad it. Thanks!



    The name of the first Icelander to summit from the north side is Leifur Orn Svavarsson,
    Thank your for wonderful coverage, I was especially intrested because of the 3 Icelanders who planned to summit Everest, 2 from the south side and 1 from the north.



    Can’t wait to year the backstory on this if it ever comes out. Was Min not intending to summit unless Yuichiro did and if so, why didn’t he follow closer to at least the mid camps so he would be in a position to summit? And was Yuichiro delaying his summit until late making it unlikely there would be time for Min? National pride certainly can be a strong motivator and it’s a hard call. I became familiar with Yuichiro Miura years ago when he skied down Mt. Everest from the South Col. I have never forgotten his comment in the documentary to the effect of the downhill of the spirit being much harder to take than the uphill of the body. I think both of their stories are incredibly inspirational and only hope for the best for both of them. This year may not be the end of the saga!!


    Alan…thanks once again for your incredible coverage, knowledge and insight on another fantastic Everest climbing season. There is no other mountain like Everest and it is so special. Controversy has always been part of the mountain…the British back in 1953 were mad at the Swiss because they had to move their initial base camp due to the fact that they were right in the middle of the 1952 Swiss latrine area…some things never change. Chomolungma….she opens her doors for a couple of weeks each year and then goes back to her independent majesty awaiting her visitors for the next climbing season. Everest is “never easy” and just listen to the sage of Mt. Everest Dave Hahn discuss how fortunate you have to be to summit…”one step at a time!” Listen to audio tapes of those who have summited and they break down in tears trying to explain what it means…just as those same tears are shed by others who come close. Climbing Mt. Everest is a journey which becomes a dream and then eventually a memory…and memories are definitely forever and everything. As I write this I am making my annual donation to the Alzheimer’s Association on behalf of my father who suffered from the disease, your mother and you for all that you do for those of us fortunate enough to lace on our climbing boots.

    “One day at a time,”



      Wonderfully said John. I know how special it was for you to summit with your son Ryan. And you were 66! Thank for continuing to honor and support all those with Alzheimer’s with your donation to the Association.


    I’m not counting him out Chris. I’m told he is quite strong and will have a lot of support. Plus there is Nepali national pride as a motivator.


    82 year old Nepali Min Bahadur Sherchan climbing up and 80 year old Japanese Yuichiro Miuro descending after summiting should pass each other today. It would be tremendously insipring to see them shake hands or greet each other in some way wishing each other well and congratulating each other’s accomplishments!! I am praying for a photo of that!


    I’m anxious to see if Min Bahadur Sherchan goes for the summit!