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May 232014
 

everest_route_northUpdate 6: Looks like about 100 people went for the summit from Tibet on Sunday but not all teams have reported. There were many comments about crowds preventing fast climbers from moving around slow ones. Weather was expected thus the season may be over, but for 2014, I have learned never to say closed ….

The controversy around Jing Wang’s summit continues. She refused to discuss the use of helicopters but in a report today said she did not use a helicopter disputing the statements of her organizer and the helicopter pilot.

According to Wang’s application stating her itinerary from May 9 to 23, she used the chopper only to airlift logistics, equipments and two sherpas (a porter and a guide) to Camp 2, Burlakoti said. “We are ing detailed report from the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal and helicopter companies about the flights made in the Everest region,” he added.

Earlier in a post-summit interview with THT, Wang had refused to provide details of chopper use, claiming she had crossed the dangerous Icefall route several times. But Da Gelge Sherpa told this daily in Namche Bazaar that he had flown with Wang to Camp 2 from the Base Camp on May 10.

The Nepal Ministry said it would review her proof of a summit before issuing a certificate. She is anxious to fly to Alaska to summit Denali before the end of June in order to make her objective: speed record for the 7 Summits plus both poles.

Update 5: I’ll update the summit stats from the north as I get them but I want to say this now:

I am now writing the #Everest 2014 season summary and will post in a week or so, but this is a troubling season on many levels.

Too many death, so many shattered dreams, a devastating intersection of labor vs management with no winners. Too many are using this season’s tragedies for their personal and professional agenda, spinning it to their own benefit.

This is not what mountaineering is about. Everest 2014 – Nepal – has tarnished decades of honorable accomplishments, so many achievements that so many are proud of are now hurt by the actions of a few and the policies of a government.

Lost in the noise are the accomplishments on the north side of Everest – from Tibet – Bill Burke at 72 and Poorna Malavath at 13 and many others summited. They had a dream, young and old, that they never lost.

Dreams are meant to be fulfilled. If you are dreaming of Everest don’t let 2014 discouraged you. Your dream is what you make it, no one else. Ignore the voices, listen to your own, fulfill you dream.

Climb On!
Alan
Memories are Everything

 

 

Update 4 May 25: Reports of more summits on Sunday including Adventure Peaks and Summit Climb. Very little detail. No word on the Romanian team but bad weather is now reported moving in.

Stefan Nestler reports that Ralf Dujmovits abandoned his no O’s attempt. David Kline also stopped his no O’s climb.

The Himalayan Times is reporting that Cleo Weidlich from Brazil but now an American citizen was helicoptered back to Kathmandu from her attempt to summit Lhotse after flying into the Western Cwm to Camp 2. The report says she abandoned her attempt. There is no mention of the two Sherpas who were reported to be with her.

Cleo posted the following on her Facebook account in sharp contrast to her provocative comments before leaving “ I refuse to give in to the pressures of the Everest mafia.”

Dear Friends,

A lot has happened since I stopped by. I came down to Lukla today and was shocked at all the speculations regarding my Mt. Lhotse climb this season. Firstly, I’d like to assure all my fellow climbers around the world who are pursuing all of the 14 X 8000m+ that I could not, in good consciousness, claim a summit when I took a heli to C2 after the tension that took place in late April and a heli out today. That would be claiming a whole mountain when, in fact, I’d only have climbed half of it.

I would like to let all my climbing mates around the world know that I respect everyone’s effort and I’ll continue to pursue the 14 X 8000m+ peaks by fair means as I have thus far. BC-summit-BC

I did a lot of filming and photo shooting of the glaciars and hanging Seracs and will present to the ministry this week to illustrate the seriousness of global warming on Mt. Everest.

Again, I apologize to all whom I might have offended by fliying to C2. I never intended to claim this summit.

Cleo

Another update on Jing Wang from an interview with her with National Geographic as she returned to Kathmandu. None of the Sherpas had summited Everest. She made this statement about her summit with respect to the fallen Sherpas:

She said she was very sad about the death of the Sherpas killed in the avalanche, but she had made extensive plans to climb all seven summits (the highest peaks on the seven continents) in six months.

It was reported her helicopter flight was authorized in contradiction to statements by the Ministry of Tourism only 10 days earlier.

Further it is reported by National Geographic that Wang made a $30,000 donation to local hospitals.

Update 3 May 24: More summits Sunday morning Tibet time.

First up around 6:00 am Poorna Malavath a 13 year 11 month old girl from Hyderabad climbing with Transcend Hyderabad became the youngest female to summit. Anand Kumar Sadhanapally from the same team summited at 7:26 and kishor dhankude summitted at 10.30 am

Bill Burke at age 72 summited #Everest2014 from the North at 9:45am. He is now descending. Bill summited from the South in 2009.

There are many more summits Sunday morning but we will have to wait for the teams to report them.

Update 2 May 24: Many summits early Saturday morning Tibet time.  Dr Atanas Skatow from Bulgaria with Asian Trekking summited plus others but no names at this point. 7 Summits Club, who performs year in, year out did it again with 15 on top. This from their leader Alex Abramov

Hello! This is Alex Abramov. Today we have a great event. The first team – in strong wind and snow, reached the summit of Everest. They were on top at about 7 am, with a gap of about half an hour. All seven members, seven Sherpas and guide Noel Hanna were on the summit of Everest. Now they go down. Surnames : Vasya Kernitsky, Zygmunt Berdyhovsky from Poland, Derek Mahon from Ireland, and Russian – Anton Seleznev, Sergey Dmitriev, Denis Abuev, Vlad Lachkarev. All now in the process of descent from the top…

The no O’s team of Peter Hamor and Horia Colibasanu posted this:

Horia and Peter reached 7,600m today *** Strong winds prevented them from climbing further, so they are descending *** No other no-O2 summit attempt this season *** Horia brings home a successful attempt on Shisha Pangma (8.027m), on April 30.

At least two other climbers are attempting Everest without using supplemental oxygen this season including Ralf Dujmovits and David Klein. They are on their summit push now.

The Maltese team is at C3 leaving Saturday night as is the Romanian team and many others.

Update 1 May 23: Bill Burke at Camp 3 on the North side reports there were summits on Friday Night from the north from the Asian Trekking team. There are many more as several teams were on their push leaving Friday night. We will have to wait for them to updates us with names however.

The first summits of 2014 came unexpectedly from the Nepal side. While all the commercial teams plus most of the independents left after the April 18 deaths of 16 Sherpa, a few teams stayed at Everest Base Camp trying to find a way to climb. The Nepal Government kept giving assurances that the mountain was open and the Khumbu Icefall would be maintained. But few believed them.

Jing Wang, owner of the Chinese outdoor gear company Toread, was on track to set a record for the 7 Summits plus both poles. With seemingly unlimited funds and amazing ambition, she was refused a permit by the Chinese to switch to the North after the South side deaths then pressured her outfitter Russell Brice to find a way for her to summit Everest this year. Brice said no (see his post). His entire team of members and Sherpas had already left.

But Wang was unrelenting and she found her way reportedly on a filming permit. Then she found 5 climbing Sherpa and 2 cooks willing to fly into the Western Cwm to Camp 2, bypassing the Icefall and the dangerous crevasses of the Cwm. It is reported to have taken over 20 helicopter flights to get her set up at Camp 2 – each costing at least $2,000.

And on May 23 at 6:30am, she and her 5 Sherpa summited. It’s unclear how much line was fixed but it is known the Sherpa  fixed the Hillary Step. She was on a permit with Excursion Himalaya. Update: It is now reported she left the South Col at 9:00am and summited at 6:20pm.

Comment: While this may be the latest Everest summit in history, not sure of that, it is not all that dangerous if the weather holds. We climb to the summit in the dark, so down climbing, while a bit more dangerous due to fatigue, is not out of the question.

The Sherpa were:

  • Da Gelje Sherpa ChauriKharka, Solukhumbu
  • Tashi Sherpa, ChauriKharka, Solukhumbu
  • Passang Dawa Sherpa, ChauriKharka, Solukhumbu
  • Lhakpa Nuru Sherpa, ChauriKharka, Solukhumbu
  • Lhapka Gelje Sherpa Juving Solukhumbu

The other climber refusing to give up was Cleo Weidlich from Brazil but now and American citizen. She was to attempt Lhotse and also flew into the Western Cwm. She was last reported at Camp 3.

North

Meanwhile, many teams on the north are at the High Camps, some have left for the summit. Winds are reported to be acceptable. As I noted the other day, Michael Fagin is seeing an increase in winds and moisture for late Sunday so this is a short window.

Best of luck to all.

Climb On!
Alan
Memories are Everything

Comments on/from Facebook

  169 Responses to “Everest 2014: Summits – Update 6”

  1.  

    In regards to the summit of Jing Wang, (which I have mixed feelings about), it was my understanding after reading her interview with the Himalayan Times, that she was referring to her previous climbs on Everest when she mentioned crossing the Icefall numerous times.

    •  

      Note I am not a mountain climber. I think this worry over her using a helicopter is all completely a waste of time. How many climbers take a helicopter to base camp? Do they get an asterisk? No.

      Call camp 1 or camp 2 “base camp” from now on and avoid the icefall and there’s no longer an issue about it if you ask me. The location of base camp within reason of course (base camp can’t be at the top obviously LOL) shouldn’t define whether you climbed the mountain.

      •  

        Mitch

        I am a mountain climber and I believe there is a huge difference between taking a helicopter in this instance. Yes, perhaps for safety reasons in future years helicopters will be allowed to avoid the Icefall but this circumstance is very different.

        Wang had summited before and the ONLY reason that she wanted to summit this year was so that she could break the 7 summits record. She wanted to win whatever the cost even if that meant cheating and throwing substantial money at it.

        I find that hugely disrepectful to the current holder as well as previous holders who followed all the rules and started from base camp. If Wang does break the record, that will be forever tainted with accusations of cheating. In my eyes she should not be awarded the record. She has ample resources to come back and try again next year and that is what she should have done.

        Unlike many other climbers who were on Everest this year, it is not a once in a lifetime deal for her. Far more likely it is commercially driven and her outdoor company will reap the marketing benefits if she succeeds in breaking the record. And, yes, where you start does define whether you climbed the mountain

  2.  

    An edit to my previous post inadvertently posted as a reply to Karen’s post.

    Bill Burke mentioned in his last dispatch the death of a Sherpa climbing with a Polish team at Camp 3. Any info?

  3.  

    Thanks Alan , for the sight what amazing girl , Glad she made it . And for Bill , Its nice to brag about children and adult that climb Everest Climb on Karen , P.S and now to K2 and for all the people who have lost there way do to Alz and to you Alan great job and I will follow in my heart and mind and body , and also climb for me Alan Love karen

  4.  

    Alan can you tell me more about the 13year old who summit Everest , Good going Bill from calif you do all non -climber proud Karen

  5.  

    There appears to be an ample number of witnesses and proof that Wang used a helicopter. Where are her witnesses/proof that she climbed through the IceFall as is her present claim (furthermore, is it clear there even was a route through the IceFall after the avalanche?)?

    Perhaps Wang should have kept to her claim of the 7 Summits and 2 poles by whatever means necessary (at least there was some support by some to her using the helicopter) versus changing her story and denying she used the helicopter at all. The “record” seems meaningless if it is unclear regarding the veracity of her claims to climbing the mountain (I want to make a distinction, there is a difference between climbing a mountain and from recording a summit of the mountain). Now it seems Wang will be remembered as Lance Armstrong will be remembered, not for his winning Seven Tour de France championships but for his lying about it.

  6.  

    So happy for Bill Burke’s summit, but most especially glad he made it back down to ABC safely. From his audio update, it sounds like it was a very dangerous and scary decent, due to extreme weather conditions. From reading his bio and following his blog, over time, he seems to be a very nice person, devoted to his family.

    •  

      Yes Carolyn. Bill is a great, great person and devoted family man. I am so proud and happy for him as he had multiple attempts to summit from the north to add to his successful south summit. He is an inspiration to all.

  7.  

    Alan, update 6 reminded me about Denali. Do you have any plans to attempt it again? I know you are about to climb K2, and it rightfully should be at the forefront of your thoughts, but I would love to see your name of the seven summits list.

  8.  

    K2 doesn’t weed them out anymore, pseudo / fake clmbers (take your pick) go there aswell Clyde. Nanga Parbat – get on the Rupal face. Dear god. Maybe there should be progress from lowest 8 to highest – that would certainly ‘weed them’ out. This was the perfect season for an actual climber to ascend Everest without assistance, up cho oyu get fit, across to Everest, work the icefall and there you go. Alpine Stylee 😀 !

    •  

      Shame! I can’t see Clyde’s original post slagging us off. No worries. Clyde is not that common of a first name – I’m sure we’ll meet one day soon enough :-).

      •  

        Not worth your time, I like to keep comments that have value or a respected perspective. This is my blog and I clearly state when someone posts a comment:

        A valid email is required for all comments. All comments are welcome and will be moderated. Any comment with a link will be held for human moderation. I reserve the right to remove any content I deem knowingly false and/or defamatory, inaccurate, abusive, vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, invasive of a person’s privacy, or otherwise violative of any law at my discretion and without notification. All spam and non-authorized business solicitations will be removed. I reserve the right to block any user without notification. In other words, be nice.

        There are plenty of other places on the Internet to spread hate, prejudice and judgmental attitudes. Mine is not one of them

        •  

          Thank you Alan for your willingness to share this site with us. I enjoy reading what is going on, and reading peoples comments. But I also appreciate that we don’t have to read the negativity and horrible thoughts others have. I know we live in a world where people want to bad mouth and accuse others, but I would rather they keep that to themselves so we can read whether good or bad the things that happen when people live their dreams! Enjoy your climb on K2 may you come back safely. I will be climbing it the only way I can, through your blogs

  9.  

    Over the last few years, and especially this year after the tragedy, I am turned off a lot by the Everest atmosphere. Not the mountain, I have a lot of respect for the mountain. I have a lot of respect for the Sherpas and all the locals. What turns me off and frankly disgusts me is all the gossip and nonsense mixed into what is supposed to be a personal/team challenge. People trying to take personal advantage of a tragedy. Honestly I think the lives of more than a dozen hard-working Sherpas should come before a quest to set a record. I can understand trying to prove a successful summit attempt, but at the end of the day it really is just between the climber and the mountain. I dont like mountaineering ‘records’ very much. I like the ‘lists’ and things, like the 8000m peaks, 8000m w/o oxygen, but speed records and uni-cycling up the mountain blindfolded and all that is really kind of a turn-off. What are people trying to prove? That they are better than all the other climbers?

  10.  

    I really would like #Everest2014 to be over but it continues to generate controversy. Now Jing Wang now says she did not use a helicopter to fly to C2, refuting her pilot and organizer. bit.ly/1k4stuU

  11.  

    Fwiw, Alan, there’s no option to choose “yes, because they and their workers were being threatened.” I think it should have been offered.

  12.  

    Poll: Was it right for almost all teams to leave Everest after the April 18 deaths? bit.ly/1ipRAZp

  13.  

    LOL… wait, It gets better…Jing Wang claims to have crossed the ice fall on foot on her way to summit…toobad she forgot to send a memo to pilots and her sherpas

    http://www.thehimalayantimes.com/fullNews.php?headline=Wang+claims+she+cleared+Icefall+route+on+foot%3B+govt+begins+probe&NewsID=416270

    •  

      Amazing! She can’t even wait for the government to rule on whether they will accept a Camp 2 summit – so she thinks this strategy will work? Jing is clearly desperate. It is easy for the government to fly over the icefall and see the many crevasses which cannot be crossed without ladders put in place by the icefall doctors. Forget the fact that there are actual witnesses (sherpas and pilots). Experienced? She looks a complete fool, now. Zero credibility.

      •  

        not hard to figure out. let’s see…according to Wang, she reached the top on 5/23 at 6;20 pm, climbed down all night and reached south col in the morning of 5/24 and then hiked all the way to (ahem ) BC and yet do an interview in Namchee bazaar in the morning on 5/25. Doesn’t add up. the whole story will unravel soon…maybe there was no summit at all.

  14.  

    Steven, I have just shown how easy it is to use the wrong words. You are quite right it’s not the true climbers that I allude to but the summit chasers by any means. Cheers Kate

  15.  

    I agree with you kate, but the people you allude to are not climbers are they, or they would feel the same as you do. No climber I know would put a ladder against the crag and climb past the crux then claim an ascent. It kind of misses the point of climbing. Failure is part of climbing, part of challenge and part of life, if you aren’t failing, try harder stuff! One caveat I would add is in the alps as I mention above, if you take a cable care to avoid a long hike then that’s fair enough, you are simply saving time not cheating.

  16.  

    So many comments, many quite heated. Climbing is for the thrill and sense of personal achievement. No matter how many comments whether true or mis – interpreted,at the end of the day,a summit has always been and always will be Base to Summit to Base. I am older than most and remember most epic climbs. In the past the climbs were first and foremost ‘to do it by the book’.How thrilled we were when Everest was first conquered and how sad I am now when it appears to be ‘ by fair means or foul ‘.As a climber I would feel no sense of achievement if I had to circumvent the route just to say I stood on the summit. Thanks to Alan for keeping us all posted with the news even if it’s not the sort of news we are happy to read. Everest Season has changed and not for the better, how sad. Cheers Kate

  17.  

    Same in the Alps Don, straight up in the cable car, that said you don’t really miss anything challenging, just some hiking, you could argue by missing the icefall you are subverting a large chunk of the challenge…

  18.  

    Whilst I find much of the discussion in this thread highly interesting, I can’t help but feel we collectively are adding fuel to the fire in some small way?

    Personally I’m done with this whole 2014 drama and I say that with great respect to the fallen. The beauty of climbing for me is the purity and the lack of bullshit that is everywhere you turn in everyday life. I’m not enjoying all this crap and especially on Alan’s site which is the benchmark of purity and reason within the mountaineering community IMO.

    So no more from me, I’m going climbing 🙂

    •  

      I agree 100%. I quit following and cancelled my trip for next year. Too much drama and “crap”. Leave the mountain and the people to themselves.

  19.  

    PLENTY of us climb from as far as our vehicles will take us. hardly ANY of the summits of Colorado’s 14ers are accomplished from the valleys below but from 9-13 000 feet well up some road. if a summit from Camp 1 or 2/the Cwm does not count on Everest, then neither do most of the summits in CO & NM. the fact that the woman felt like she HAD to do it during this season will remain debate-able/questionable at the very least.

  20.  

    Christie is correct in her above comment, i was at BC and our Sherpas’ experienced the same threats. We were advised to stay in our dining tent for our safety, and not go out walking unless they accompanied us. Sherpas’ were told if they took climbers on the icefall their legs would be broken with sticks and their houses would be burnt down and families beaten. We visited another expedition company and the leader told us their Sherpas’ had been threatened as well. My understanding is that the Sherpas’ were to afraid to speak of the threats publicly because of potential repercussions.

  21.  

    Karsang, Dr. John All (ACSP) was there when threats were delivered. His camp was directly next to mine. I had left EBC to acclimatize on Lobuche. My expedition leader heard the news the same day during a phone conversation with Mingma Sherpa of 7 summits. My team’s lead Sherpa confirmed with me when I returned to camp that a small group had gone to many camps with threats. Dr. All’s comments about the situation are on the American Climber Science Program FB page on the 27th and 25th of April.

  22.  

    I am not the one engaging in a here say and there say conversation, and please don’t get personal by mentioning that I believe a very close friend of mine is lying. Whatever I mention here, I have been backing up with facts. Reg Adrian’s statement, here is the the link: http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2014/04/23/sherpas-walkout-everest

    •  

      Karsang, is is really so hard to understand that it’s the costs of living that Russ is putting forward, when he says that Sherpas who work on Everest and other big mountains are like “multimillionaires in their own country”. One example: I broke 2 teeth at EBC and had them crowned in Patan 2 weeks ago. Cost me rs 18.000, that is, some EUR 150. Here, in Europe, it would have been about EUR 3.000. Got it now?
      Is it not true that a Sherpa who works on say Everest and Manaslu, and maybe 2 treks in one year will, within 3 years, make at least as much, but very likely more than 70 to 80% on the Nepalese in their life?

      I’m convinced that most of the Sherpas working are good guys, no question. But the “pack” has been mislead by a few who were-are following a personal agenda – to become “kings” of Sherpas, because they are UIAGM etc. Already on Manaslu, at least one of these three culprits was active. Apart from these three activists, some factions were active, for political reasons, it seems. The petition, the threats, your country has been experiencing that before, no? We all know from which direction such things come. No, I will not comment on the stupidity, corruption, etc. of the government. I just spent 2 weeks at friend’s home in Patan and could, yet another time, see what hardships your “politicians” impose on the population.

      Grieving, mourning, crying was legitimate – and necessary. The tears I saw in Sherpas’ eyes at BC were genuine, no question. But ALL CLIMBERS were very sad and grieved. No question either. The cancellation? That is just a scandal.
      A senior Sherpa friend of mine, highly respected in your community, told me in Namche: “Damien, we have a big problem in the Sherpa community. Many younger Sherpas, because they make more money, speak better English and other languages, and have travelled outside the country, think they know everything. They don’t listen to the elders anymore. They don’t come speak to us”. For a society like the Sherpas, this is devastating. Everyday life is linked to, and based on traditions, through a thousand things; they are the soul of the community. Take them away, and you destroy the soul of the community.
      A friend of mine who has been married to a Sherpani from Pangboche for more than 30 years now, and who writes great books on the Sherpa people – not the usual blah blah blah -, once told me this: “In the past, when a Sherpa saw a pile of dirt and he knew there was one rupee under it, he plunged his hand into it. equalled in his mind. Nowadays, for the younger ones, money often means Rolex”.
      There is too much talk about money in Sherpa society – granted, most places are now like that, the West having been totally corrupted by money for a long time. But since the accident, it’s all only about money. All we hear is $. Honor the dead with money? Dawa Steven Sherpa wisely warned against this and has had a terrible time since. This is not right.
      The dead have been instrumentalized. Period. And that is, together with the cancellation because of the threats, criminal. Westerners were probably not threatened directly. And I had never an unsafe feeling at BC, ALTHOUGH I spoke out and said this mess was a scandal. But the point is that the “workers” were threatened and did not speak out against cancellation. We, the members had an agreement – no contract – and we were screwed. Although we are the ones who make this industry possible. No members = no operators = no jobs.

      “Paisa bhanepachhi mahadevkopani tinta aamkha – When it comes down to money, even Lord Shiva has three eyes” (Nepali saying)

  23.  

    And let me know when you talk with Russ and Phurba. Apparently you believe Phurba was lying about the threats of violence when he confirmed it to us in person.

  24.  

    And btw, where at EBC where you when the threats of violence occurred?

  25.  

    I know Adrian and I’ll ask him but when I talked with him in Kat after this, he did NOT say the same thing re insurance for death benefits. And the outside mag doesn’t name the so called insurance company or the policy or any information about it and the regulations. This is your research? Really? Btw, a comment by Adrian, nor any other hearsay comment, does not prove anything. Show me the rules or regulations or an insurance company that HAS insured. Give me some solid facts. Maybe your right, but I don’t see the facts.

  26.  

    Regarding insurance, here is a comment from Adrian Ballinger of AspendGlow that shows the Nepali government does not put a limit “……there are quite a few Sherpa here who work especially for the legitimate, Western companies, whose insurance coverage is more than two or three times what the Nepali government requires and whose wages really feel quite fair to the Sherpa who work with us.”

  27.  

    A powerful 1st person report from expedition doctor @DrSophieWallace on the April 18 #Everest2014 tragedy. http://www.theadventuremedic.com/adventures/avalanche-everest/

  28.  

    touché Karsangla !! if anyone can pin down the actual “bad-mash” Sherpas who offended and scared all those Sahibs to give up and go,instead of the deliberately vague innuendos and hearsay and rumors I keep hearing about, please let us all know.

  29.  

    OK, let me make myself clearer…..there is no question that threats were issued against Sherpas, I just haven’t met anyone who can verify that there were direct threats against western climbers. Regarding insurance, and to debunk your claim about the Nepali government putting a cap, let me quote directly from Outside Magazine, “….for about $200 per policy, at least one Kathmandu-based insurance company will cover Sherpas for $23,000.” Here is the link: http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/climbing/mountaineering/The-Value-of-A-Sherpa-Life.html

  30.  

    Exactly – you are implying it didn’t happen…..not helping. Your statement that your “research and discussions with others haven’t panned that out” is ambiguous and dubious at best. If you have the facts that say it’s not true post them.

  31.  

    We have been raising the issue for a while, and blaming only the Nepali government does not help. The government mandates a minimum coverage of 10 lakhs (will hopefully be raised to 15 soon), but does not prevent anyone from ing supplemental, or additional coverage. The claim that the government has a put a cap on the insurance coverage has been made by some local operators, but my research and discussions with others haven’t panned that fact out. I am not saying there were no threats issued at EBC, I am just saying I haven’t met any westerners or Sherpas who have issued those threats directly against the westerners.

  32.  

    I don’t disagree with you and am not defending that comment.

  33.  

    Just thought I should post what Russell Bryce said regarding Sherpas, “These people don’t need that sort of money,” he added, saying the current salary Sherpas get “makes them like a multimillionaire in their own country.” and here is the link to the full article: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303627504579557941809078128

  34.  

    I completely understand the need to take care of any Sherpa family who have the bread winner of the family suddenly pass. Death benefits and taking care of surviving families is an issue that should have been an issue years before. 2012, when I was there, had several Sherpas die and yet other than Russ, I didn’t hear of or see others in the community raising this issue. Perhaps you did? And how does canceling the season accomplish getting the government to provide better death benefits? Wasn’t Russ one of the ones who helped draft the 13 points? Perhaps I’m wrong but isn’t the government the one that prevented expedition leaders from providing supplemental death benefits? What I was referring to about being pissed is being lied too. If we even were. And btw, it was YOU that raised this issue.. You put in quotes “empty handed.” I never used that term so I have no idea why you used quotations (such a use indicates I used that term, which I did not). My issue is that you posit the argument that violence was not used against some Sherpas and suggest it never happened. That is what I have a problem with. I don’t know where you were at EBC in the week after this happened but where I was, it was quite apparent that the violence was not made up. This is an issue that needs to be addressed because when someone, anyone, threatens violence to accomplish any goal – legitimate or not – that is terrorism. This is the issue. Pretending violence wasn’t threatened is not helping.

  35.  

    Jeffrey,
    While you may potentially get pissed since you had to return home “empty handed”, we are trying to figure out how best to take care of the wives and children whose fathers did not return home. If you are referring to Russell Bryce, he sent a wave of resentment and anger among the Sherpa community around the world by making that derogatory and dumb comment about Sherpas on the Wallstreet Journal article. BTW, his Sherpa is Phurba, not Perba.

  36.  

    Talk to Russ. I will say this, if we all went home and these expeditions got canceled on non-existent threats, a lot of climbers are going to be pissed. We came back from lobuche after the 4 day closing of the mountain and everyone including the Sherpas were ready to climb. We were told multiple times that there was threats of violence and still we waited out two more days until Russ and Perba said the threats were too real and it was that reason, and ONLY that reason, Russ told us the season was over.

  37.  

    I did talk to two western guides this weekend at Telluride. Apart from the rumors, they both confirmed they didn’t experience it directly. With almost 800 Sherpas and 400 western climbers, I wouldn’t be surprised if actual direct threats were exchanged, but I haven’t yet met anyone who can verify that.

  38.  

    Talk to the IMG people who can validate the threats and the lines cut to their camp. Talk to Russ and Perba who before the threats were back and with our Sherpas ready to climb. Of course people are in denial now and want to pretend their were no threats. To preteen the threats didn’t happen is not helping solve the problem. I was there…..and I have the video with Russ and Perba and our Sherpas as Russ and Perba were explaining the threats. To pretend that IMG and Himex folded their tents and canceled the expeditions based on a made up story by them is as far fetched as Santa Claus.

  39.  

    Talk to the IMG people who can validate the threats and the lines cut to their camp. Talk to Russ and Perba who before the threats were back and with our Sherpas ready to climb. Of course people are in denial now and want to pretend their were no threats. To preteen the threats didn’t happen is not helping solve the problem. I was there…..and I have the video with Russ and Perba and our Sherpas as Russ and Perba were explaining the threats. To pretend that IMG and Himex folded their tents and canceled the expeditions based on a made up story by them is as far fetched as Santa Claus.

  40.  

    “Wang was informed that the ministry would issue a certificate to her by studying proofs of her summit in a day or two. Wang left for US late in the evening to climb Mt McKinley in North America after receiving garbage clearance certificate from SPCC.”

    http://thehimalayantimes.com/fullNews.php?headline=Wang+Jing+the+toast+of+Khumbu&NewsID=416064

    Wang: “By climbing Mt McKinley in the American continent by May end, I plan to set world record of climbing the nine highest peaks in all the continents within the shortest — five months — time. I may stop climbing from the next year.”

    http://thehimalayantimes.com/fullNews.php?headline=%27The+hardest+ever+summit%27&NewsID=416065

    Disgraceful and shameless

  41.  

    Perhaps talk with some more climbers and see what they say?. Two sides to every story, no ones perfect. I was’nt there. I didnt hear any rumours but statements direct from individuals who were there and encountered problems, either on feeds like this or issued statements. So clearly there was some sort of problem or at least they were made to feel uncomfortable. In regards to climbers not saying anything, it could be that they do not want to antagonise the situation further or as you say its just rumours?? Some people can not handle the truth. Perhaps there was no direct threat but perhaps it was indirect? Either way I dont think it is in anyones interest or helpful to white wash what went on. Perhaps what we have is collective amnesia?? The situation just sounded unpleasant from all aspects I have read. To many emotions understandably running high. It was a good decision for everyone to leave. I think its time to learn from what happened and move on. I am sure that many people will write down their experiences once the dust has settled and we will know for sure who said what to whom etc.

  42.  

    I have talked to a number of Sherpas who were at the EBC this year, and they all deny that there were threats issued against western climbers. They also mentioned that the western climbers immediately started worrying for their safety right after the tragedy, and this could have been partly due to the incident last spring. It would be great if western climbers could mention specific personal threats as opposed to “I heard the rumor”. I also talked to a western reporter who has written quite extensively about Sherpas and Everest, and he has yet to meet a western climber who can claim to have faced personal threats.

  43.  

    I think it is great that National Geographic were first on the scene to interview Jing. Perhaps they can refer to their earlier article, paragraph 4 http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/04/140418-everest-avalanche-sherpa-killed-mountain/ published April 18 talking about the Sherpa Tragedy which states “Anyone who wants to climb Everest from the south side (the standard route up the north side, in China, is via the North Col route) must pass through the Khumbu Icefall.” I think that’s pretty clear.

    You can always be creative in climbing but one thing is clear – you always start at the beginning and on the south side of Everest, that is Everest Base Camp – it is on every DVD, in every history book, in every newspaper/magazine article and on every single summit record up until now.

    And for your armchair explorers, please let them know there is more than one route up the icefall, http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/04/140421-everest-avalanche-sherpas-nepal-climbing-expedition/ – that might add some perspective.

    •  

      “You can always be creative in climbing but one thing is clear – you always start at the beginning and on the south side of Everest, that is Everest Base Camp – it is on every DVD, in every history book, in every newspaper/magazine article and on every single summit record up until now.”

      Exactly. It simply amazes me that a debate exists to the contrary. I’m genuinely baffled and dismayed that a small portion of the climbing community considers her efforts a legit summit.

    •  

      Jing Wang told The Himalayan as she headed to Denali:

      “By climbing Mt McKinley in the American continent by May end, I plan to set world record of climbing the nine highest peaks in all the continents within the shortest — five months — time. I may stop climbing from the next year.”

      A legend in her own mind.Thumbs down for her

  44.  

    Could we please rethink the term “woman climber”? If the individual involved were climbing a woman, perhaps it would be correct to call him or her a woman climber. But if the individual is climbing a mountain…

    …perhaps we could just call her a climber.

    Thank you.

  45.  

    I’d like to set the record straight regarding this ridiculous story that Cleo continued to climb on Lhotse because she has a grudge against sherpas which was printed in the UK edition of The Times and republished here:
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/rebel-everest-climber-cleo-weidlich-holds-grudge-against-sherpas/story-fnb64oi6-1226922863554#
    The journalist that wrote this contacted me and asked me about the situation I was involved in with Cleo on Kangchenjunga three years ago, and I explained the fairly complex sequence of events to him. In his article the journalist then quoted me saying that Cleo has a grudge against sherpas because of what happened on Kangchenjunga. I would like to categorically state that I did not say that or anything like it. I believe it is untrue, and if the journalist had bothered to read Cleo’s account of what happened or listened to my account then it would have been apparent that she was not motivated to climb some imaginary grudge. I assume before he spoke to me the journalist had already decided on this stupid, sensationalist angle for his story.

    I have written to The Times and told them to print a correction making it clear that I did not say this and that it isn’t true. That was three days ago and they I have yet to receive a response.

    •  

      Well said Alan. For a number of years now the Nepal side has been not unlike a commercial circus with unclear governance over the route, leading to fights on the Lhotse face, troubles at base camp and even disputes over who booked which helicopter first !. There is a need for all parties (westerners and locals) to pause, honestly reflect inwards as to the state of the mountain and the consquences of their behaviour on all the people in the Khumbu and beyond.,.

      The more I look at things, the more I see that the North ridge route is actually the safer and more genuine accomplshment from a climbing perspective.. Safer and genuine not from a physical or climatic point of view but just from a more authentic and tangible encounter with the unknown majesty of raw rock, steps and slabs through which one can be free from dispute or challenge..

  46.  

    From what I can read from cleo’s post, it looks like she doesn’t have her act together. She didn’t even summit Lothse, so why would she even talk about claiming the summit? Besides her post is an attack on Wang, who did summit everest and took the heli because of a unfixed and dangerous icefall. She tried to do it through Himex but they didn’t help her. Would be insane to deny her the summit. After all…she did summit everest.

    •  

      She shouldn’t be denied her summit, as long as there’s a big fat asterisk next to it. She reminds me of that Italian dude who took a 300LBS gas powered compressor drill for the bolts on Cerro Torre. it’s still known as the Compressor route.

      •  

        I flat out think the summit should be denied. Too much of the mountain not climbed. I’m not saying genuine effort was not put forth by her nor am I doubting her ability. It simply would set a very poor precedent for not just Everest but mountaineering in general.

        •  

          The Nepali gov. has basis to deny her a certificate of ascent. She had a valid permit and she had gov. permission to chopper up the mountain.Therefore legal summit.The hope is for some sort of annotation for non-conventional climb….Now convincing Lady Hawley is a different animal all together.

  47.  

    But I see from reading what Russell said it was not very nice situation. Lucky it worked out for him.

  48.  

    No I get that but I thought she didnt use his permit to do the climb just completed? I thought she had used different one issued to someone else but hey I can be confused for sure.

  49.  

    No I get that but I thought she didnt use his permit to do the climb just completed? I thought she had used different one issued to someone else but hey I can be confused for sure.

  50.  

    Paul from what I could see Jing wasnt on Russell Bryces permit?

  51.  

    Well Cleo is on her way down and can answer for herself but from reading her blog she does not hold a grudge against anyone and that article is twisted and the headline rubbish.

  52.  

    lets hope she comes back down bearing an apology for Russell Bryce

  53.  

    Jing Wang made $30k donation to Kathmandu hospitals. The Sherpas had not summited Everest before. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/05/140525-everest-nepal-sherpas-climber-climbing-chinese-summit-avalanche-namche/

    •  

      Made donation to local namche hospital according to article. Sure helps with ascent certification by gov….LOL

  54.  

    Ellen, i was there this year at Everest, so i did hear and was subjected to the minority Sherpa’s threats. I understand you are angry, but please do not assume i do not know what went on at Everest i was there and yes the Sherpa are dear to me as well, but our Sherpas wanted to climb after a 7day mourning period, we chose not to climb in the end. Off to work for me now.

  55.  

    From Cleo’s status:…..that I could not, in good consciousness, claim a summit when I took a heli to C2 after the tension that took place in late April and a heli out today. That would be claiming a whole mountain when, in fact, I’d only have climbed half of it.
    FROM Cleo’s status.note she says ” That would be claiming a whole mountain when, in fact I’d only have climbed half of it” She does not say anywhere she summited or not, she may have decided it eas to dangerous to solo only she knows. Alan no where can i see a statement as you put above that she posted on facebook she never intended to claim a summit of Lhotse. i am off to get my eyesight tested today 🙂

  56.  

    Ellen Miller, i am astonished to read your above comment, there is no need to say things like that other climbers especially fellow women climbers. She explained herself in her fb status and that is her truth, you don’t know 100% what her reasons were. We climbers should not destroy or try to destroy others reputations there are enough armchair mountaineers that do that very successfully on fb and in the media. We should understand our points of view may be different from others, therefore try to remain neutral in our comments on fb. Please be respectful to others Ellen.

  57.  

    UPDATE: Cleo has abandoned the expedition of Mt Lhotse and returned to Kathmandu on a Fishtail chopper today.

    http://www.thehimalayantimes.com/fullNews.php?headline=16yo+Matt+ascends+Mt+Makalu+a+week+after+Cho-Oyu+feat&NewsID=415979

  58.  

    Mrs Hawley will decide if Jing climb the mountain , Mrs Hawley decide whether Jing had the fast time for a women or not . Please remember that Alan sight is in honor of his mother, and aunts to find cure for Alz. And he climb for them , also for the love of climbing . Thank you , Alan , also for climbing for me also Karen

    •  

      No offence to some revered old lady with a clip board, but it’s a bit of a ridiculous notion surely? In 20 years time we’ll ask did she summit? and the answer will be yes, or yes with a fading asterisk, but yes none the less. Mind you, by that stage you’ll get your certificate as you step off the chairlift but that’s progress I guess 😉

      •  

        Craig, let’s keep this civil or I’ll take away your lift ticket! 🙂 But you’re right in 20 years, climbing will be different and the database will show a summit. Perhaps it will be noted as air-aided but I doubt it. The Himalayan Database does not show the advancement of climbing technologies over the years such as improvements in oxygen systems, clothing, ropes, etc. or even where the climb started, or ended other than if the climber died on the descent.

    •  

      Thanks Karen

      •  

        Me bad, sorry Karen, no offense intended. (mopes back to Summit giftshop to collect souvenir photo)

  59.  

    It will be a debate for the ages and perhaps a hint of the future. Usually Ms. Hawley will rule once a climber gets back to Kathmandu and has a chance to interview the person. Personally I would add an asterisk to any summit record as it departed from historical norms. Apples and oranges but of note, last year,a Japanese climber climbed from EBC to the summit but was helicoptered out from C2 under dubious claims and it is noted as a summit with no comments, for what it’s worth.

    •  

      Hi Alan – I just wanted to add for your readers that the Himalayan Database has a concept called disputed ascents. There is one on record that took place with Rob Hall (as a guide) and thus will always be disputed. However, that particular climber went on to summit again. Disputed ascents are counted in the overall total summits but are footnoted.

  60.  

    What does Elizabeth Hawley say. Does she consider it a summit. What are your views Alan.

  61.  

    #Everest2014 no word from Cleo Weidlich attempting the Urubko’s traverse on Lhotse. Last contact May 19 https://www.alanarnette.com/blog/?p=17961

  62.  

    Sunday morning more summits start with 5:55 am Poorna Malavath 13 year 11 month old girl from Hyderabad climbing with Transcend Hyderabad became the youngest female to summit.

  63.  

    Girl Power!!!

  64.  

    one more reason among the jungle of them, that reinforces that i might not climb everest

  65.  

    Obviously something is very messed up on Nepal side of everest. First of all the government. If you are collecting 10k from each climber , atleast take care of ropes being fixed. From what I understood, the big teams are doing that themselves. Why then collecting a climbing fee. If there is no way to climb the mountain ( due to icefall being unrobed ) and forbidding helicopters to fly to c2, then what’s the use of collecting a fee. Obviously the sherpa tragedy made it clear that the icefall is too dangerous. Then the only solution is to close the mountain. But then atleast give people their money back. You can’t have it both ways.
    The other problem is that when the ropes are fixed and everything is being done by the sherpas for money the mountain will get so crowded that you will get a bottleneck at the hillary step. Maybe the mountain should be closed for commercial expeditions, then only pro climbers will be there. The Nepal side is a wild west right now and that s not a good thing. It’s all about money and false prestige. Tibet side is a little better, organizational wise.

  66.  

    Does this happen anywhere else in the world??? Any other adventure sport that has similar death counts??? Whitewater kayaking, scuba deaths, skiing accidents, you name it – research and then tell me why someone who wants to climb Everest doesn’t understand the risks involved.

  67.  

    What happened to the brotherhood of the Sherpas… Or is it back to the basic necessities of life!!! GREENBACKS!!! Flying over 16 dead brothers… This is life and BUSINESS!!! Alan where’s your point of view that 400 paying climbers make a industry or require government intervention???

  68.  

    Congratulations to her and the Sherpas.

  69.  

    Wang’s climb is AWESOME.

    I have been laughing at many of the comments here. The mountain was not closed due to respect for the fallen. She was not responsible for the Chinese unfairly targeting Brice either. Having style problems with getting flown into camp 2 when the alternative is walking over aluminum ladders so one can bypass the necessity to negotiate the cravasses? And she being insensitive to other people’s feelings? Ridiculous. She wanted it more than you if you just packed up and went home.

    Honestly I am jealous of her. She got to experience and climb the mountain as very few others have. No conga line of climbers to follow, climbing at her leisure rather than the crowd, no worries about leaving SC early to get ahead of the pack, no need to wait at the Hillary step for her turn. Just her and her team. That is something that can never be taken from her.

    Also, I am willing to bet heli flights into camp2 will become more common. If nothing else the ministry will use them as a bargaining chip against the sherpa now that the gloves have come off.

    •  

      I’m looking for a good laugh. Can you please tell me how Wangs climb is awesome?

    •  

      Randy, as a climber who was on the south side this year I find your comment “She wanted it more than you if you just packed up and went home” insensitive in the extreme and highly out of kilt with everything that was happening on Everest this spring. We went home because 16 sherpas lost their lives and genuine threats were being made to any sherpa that stayed and continued to climb. Wang clearly felt she was an exception to the rule of every other climber on the south side this year and exploited her wealth to achieve an attempt at the summit. Is that awesome?

  70.  

    A couple of things should to be noted. Those five Sherpas were clearly willing to work and they are very competent climbers. With respect to using helicopters, the helicopters were already there and I suspect that they would have made just as many or more trips during the same period of time if the season had continued normally.

  71.  

    17+ confirmed summits from the North side early Saturday morning. Perhaps as many as 50. Look for another 100 to summit early Sunday morning. https://www.alanarnette.com/blog/2014/05/23/everest-2014-first-summits/

  72.  

    I agree with comments here about Jing’s ambition being greater than her judgment this time around. Her ‘true colors’ seem to have come through, as they say, with her blatant disregard of Brice and her lack
    of compassion for the Sherpa community (deceased or alive).

    I would hardly consider a ‘tough summit’ one in which you don’t have a few hundred other people queuing up near the top. And I’d be pretty angry if I were one of the permit holders who went home offering the
    Sherpa respect (and losing money), knowing I could have tapped a mate and also hired a helicopter to continue to go up.

    There are climbing codes of conduct and ethics involved here – and Jing chose to ignore them. But let’s be clear. She climbed Everest in 2010. She knows how to do this right. She is breaking the rules for a
    women’s speed record this time, and, as it happens, it is my record.

    I am more than happy to hand that over an honorable character. My concern is that if the Ministry of Tourism grants her a summit certificate (still pending), it will set a precedent for future teams to skip parts of the climbing routes. That becomes environmentally messy, adds unnecessary expense for climbers and takes away from the true spirit of this sport.

    •  

      Supposedly, she’s going after Richard Parks “Explorers Grand Slam” time record of 06 Months, 11 Days, 07 Hours and 53 Minutes. Her fquest is already tainted in the eyes of many, including mine.

  73.  

    I posted this poll of Twitter a few weeks ago. Seems like a good time for those on facebook to participate as well: Should helicopters be used on Everest? https://www.alanarnette.com/blog/helicopters-everest/

    •  

      I am disabled and cannot climb, so I kind of live vicariously through your posts, and whatever documentaries I can find. The use of helicopters diminishes the achievement by bypassing part of the lower climbing route. Mallory,Hillary, Norgay, et al, never could have conceived the idea of flying halfway up the mountain in order to be the firsts. I know this is nothing more than my opinion, but you asked.

  74.  

    if she took a chopper. .it is not trie summit maybe she took flight all tahe to summit. ..her $$$??

  75.  

    I think hopscotching over sections of a climb to avoid their danger, is like riding a motorcycle in a triathlon. Total cheating.

  76.  

    I feel that if this was a personal climb for her, then that’s fine…however..she is trying to break a record. Taking a chopper to camp 2 feels like a disqualification to me. Because it causes her to not climb parts of the mountain that take a remarkable amount of time to climb. Bypassing this and then claiming you are the faster climber is false. I’m my eyes, she should be disqualified for the chopper flight. You can’t win a race by getting a head start farther up the track while everyone else starts from the starting line. I also have to agree that her action feels more selfish then admiring. After everything that happened. Even getting refused by the North side.. she still chose to put other lives at risked for her personal gain. She still required a lot of Sherpa help to archive her goal. Instead of showing respect for a mountain she doesn’t own in a country that she is only a visitor to.. she felt like her own personal goal was most important. To me..that feels disrespectful. Keep in mind Everest is a part of two countries. We are only visitors. We should be respectful that we are welcomed into their world and are allowed to climb their mountains. It bothers me when mountain climbers think that they deserve to be allowed to climb any mountain they want , whenever they want. That’s not true. These mountains live in many different countries. And we should show respect to those countries when we ask to be allowed in to climb. The thing about Everest that annoys me is when people feel entitled to be allowed to climb it. You are welcomed to climb it. It’s not a right. Don’t take that for granted.. and be disrespectful to the countries that house these beautiful mountains. To the people who live in this country.

    If the woman had this much money to shell out to keep climbing, then she has no excuse for not being able to wait till next year. She had enough money to do this. Why be disrespectful and keep climbing when she had the funds to return? Because she was to self involved with her own goals and getting them met, that she didn’t feel the need to show respect for the situation orcthe wishes of those involved, their families, and other climbers. That tells me a lot about this woman.

    •  

      Also, after reading Russell’s website entry, I feel it shows that she really isn’t putting anyone else’s feelings or situation into consideration. Russell was helping her with her goal, and she showed her respect by ignoring his wishes and acted on her own, getting him in serious trouble which could seriously effect his ability to keep his business going. That level of selfishness should not be admired, applauded, or respected. I’m sorry but her summit was in extremely poor taste. It did nothing but show her level of complete selfishness and total lack of respect for other people.

    •  

      Who took a vehicle or chopper to Base Camp? Anyone… well, you didn’t walk all the way in from Kathmandu. So your climb is not true either as it wasn’t done the way Hillary did it.

      Just pointing out perspective! Where is the base of Everest exactly…?

    •  

      Well said. What a pity a few more don’t have this attitude.

  77.  

    Depends how you define ‘the approach’ and this is a point of contention on much smaller hills than Everest. ‘Climb from the valley’ is just not a practical option for many of us who have jobs/families etc and we are glad to be able to use choppers to get us into positions from which we still have to climb and do the work to summit.

  78.  

    A wise man recently wrote, “A summit is a summit, a climb is a climb.” Regardless of the debate on method-congratulations to any who make it safely up and down.

  79.  

    I read Annapurna every few years. Just finished another read. The approach is an essential part of the summit. No respect for this. No guided member climbs Alpine Style so for the safety of the Sherpa I have no problem with flying gear/supplies above the ice fall; not people. Except, of course when emergency decent is required to save life.

  80.  

    Not to be that guy… but dealing often with mainland Chinese in business and life this is very typical for that culture.

    Achievement at all costs… results over form… insensitivity to anything except their stated goal..

    To put it in perspective when the double amputee was allowed to compete as an Olympic sprinter with his false legs there was a different is very real concern that the Chinese government would start chopping off babies legs to get a later advantage…

  81.  

    Everyone who has a problem with her chopper flight, do you also have a problem with those who fly in to Lukla? Historically they should be really trekking in from the road, right? Or really the guy who cycled, hiked then soloed the whole climb is the only real climber of E? Some people run a marathon in 2h 3 min, some run it in 3, a lot more at 4 or even in 6 hours. You have to know if you are happy with your time, or not. While the ice fall might be scary, but I doubt that with the ladder it would be so hard that very many could not be able to pass through. She bypassed an obstacle that she would have had no problem passing through in a regular season. If she is happy, I am happy for her.

    •  

      How about running only 2/3 the distance of a marathon? Would that count.
      Kudos for her reaching the top and her persistence….but please remember she is on a quest to beat the record for 7 summits + 2 poles in shortest time…she will definitely break it by choppering herself halfway up on Everest. like I said before the current record holder climbed from Base Camp.

    •  

      Flying into Lukla is not a good analogy. All climbers and trekkers fly into Lukla because this is the closest airport to the Nepal Himalayas. Even then, you have over 60 miles to trek to get to Everest Base Camp on foot which takes 7 to 10 days with the proper acclimatization from 9,000 ft to 17,500 feet. At this point you have not started climbing any mountain but are surrounded by choices of mountains in which to climb (Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Ama Dablam, etc.).

      •  

        Surely this summit is much more deserving of merit
        Did she not climb the mountain without fixed ropes
        Sliding a jumar up a pre prepared rope to find that when there is no more rope you are at the summit is hardly true climbing
        I sense a large slice of begrudgery in a lot of these comments

        •  

          She bypassed one third of the mountain! Why is it so hard for people to grasp that very simple fact!

  82.  

    This will be a controversial post and I know it, but I would like for us armchair enthusiasts to remember reality a little. Professional climbers have been trying to best their peers and claim new firsts since the beginning of climbing. I keep hearing about more and more outrageous proposal and us on our armchairs enjoy hearing about them. However, these “stunts” are usually not a safer method of climbing the mountain. I applaud new routes but so many of these things are needlessly dangerous. Flying off the top? Who cares? 7 Summits in the quickest time, all the 8000M peaks in record time, this ridiculous double traverse suggestion… These aren’t actual accomplishments. Just silly publicity stunts. Struggling to the summit and seeing that view should be personal accomplishment enough. I see no problem with people bypassing a part of a traditional route associated with Russian roulette with whatever technology is available, just as I have no problem with how someone arrives at the mountain or what gear they use. No one is claiming crampons are cheating but go back far enough and I’m sure you can find some guy who thought they were an unfair advantage. Whether we want to admit it or not, improvements in technology in gear have made climbing such massive peaks possible, even if to some people’s dismay it is also making climbing safer, more popular, and more comfortable. Safety is not a bad thing, and I’m going to stop following climbing altogether when morons start attempting their climbs in the nude.

    To anyone balking at the cost, please compare it to the cost of the British expeditions to the mountain in the 20’s and 50’s converted into modern dollars.

  83.  

    She was with us at Mount Vinson, last person to fly in and clambered up to high camp in 2 days from the base camp and summited. She is very persistent and did it effortlessly. Kudos to her ! Climbing will go on …

  84.  

    One more point on Chinese climber Jing Wang, she was refused a permit by the Chinese to switch to the North after the South side deaths

  85.  

    There must be a sale on “sour grapes” at the grocery store today.

  86.  

    2 questions, Alan – I thought most summits were done in the mornings, with people leaving high camp to climb while it was still dark, in order to summit and get back down during daylight and warmer temperatures. If she summited in the early evening, then she returned to high camp in the dark and with lower temperatures and presumably more dangerous winds. Is “6:20 p.m.” Nepal time? Would you comment on this, based on your experiences? Thanks –

    •  

      This is highly unusual for the reasons you cite. I had this conversation at Manaslu with Russell Brice oddly enough and his point was we climb up in the dark, if the weather is good why not climb down in the dark.

  87.  

    I flew almost halfway up Mt McKinley, landing at 8,000 feet, most do. Does that mean the summit doesn’t count?

    •  

      sorry to interject on this but in my experience the summit does count – to you!
      Everybody’s journey is different. There is to much criticism in exploration when all I see is good people getting out of their chair and enjoying life.
      However, as long as your honest about your own trip then people will admire you for your incredible achievement. I do have a problem with folk putting in false claims on their achievements.

  88.  

    These 2 ladies definitely have guts ( and money obviously ) . Things were going south when big expeditions started giving in to the sherpa threats. Let paying climbers / sherpa’s and guides descide for themselves if they want to climb or not and take the risk. With or without help. The government obviously messed it up by not regulating basecamp. So they should not complain if people take a helicopter ride to camp 2 First taking so much money from foreigners and then stopping them from making their dreams come through.
    These women made a statement that they were not to be manipulated. And Russell shouldnt complain about wang. Obviously he made a lot of money on her. He should respect her descision to give it a try in a different way. You go Wang

  89.  

    Jing takes the label Tiger Mom to a whole new level. A 6:20 PM summit?! What is that all about?

  90.  

    Thanks for the surprising up date Alan. I don’t know how you find the time considering what else is going on in your life. Cheers Kate

  91.  

    Agree on the mixed sentiments but gotta respect the formidable resolves of the woman. . . Emblematic of the ascendancy of wealthy chinese entrepreneurs

  92.  

    I think she’ll find her perseverance and 40k has been spent in vain as I strongly doubt it will be considered a true summit. Not a chance Hawley will give that the green light. Where’s the line in the sand as a starting point camp 2, camp 3, south col? It’s at the bloody bottom of the mountain of course and always will be!

    •  

      ..And neither will her 7 +2 record (if she manages to complete it)…It wouldn’t be fair to current holder who did the old fashioned way

      •  

        When has it ever been the bottom of the mountain? Who starts from sea level? It still counted when people were flown to Lukla. It counted when people were choppered to Base Camp (more than halfway up the mountain by height). It counts when being evacuated from Camp 2. Where’s the arbitrary line in the sand?

        Alan, isn’t there a rule on 14ers for how many feet of altitude should be gained to claim a summit?

        •  

          In Colorado there is 3,000′ rule that most people ignore. In other words you must start 3,000 feet below the summit to count it as a summit. California Is different and there is no international convention as to what constitutes a summit to my knowledge other than common sense like flying to a summit does not count as an ascent. Where it starts is up to each individual, history and public opinion.

        •  

          Uhh?…By bypassing ice fall and C1 she shaved off 3500′ roughly 1/3 of total vertical climb from Base camp to summit… let’s just say she climbed 30% less than Alan when he reached the top (bypassing arguably most dangerous and difficult sections). I guess the end justifies the means for many.

        •  

          Bob, this is pretty basic and needs no semantics for the sake of debate nor intellectual snobbery. The bottom of the mountain is the bottom of the mountain! It is consensus built by common sense by the critical minds of climbers over many years. You nor I have no right to question this process. Everest is base camp on both sides. Why are you arguing the point of bypassing risk to accomplish a goal worthy only of those prepared to take a certain level of risk? I think Bob that your armchair is perhaps getting the best of you and you need to go out get your heart racing on a cliff face before you start preaching semantics from the ivory tower.

          By the way the first person to climb everest from sea level to summit was Tim Macartney-snape, a simple aussie bloke who had a deep desire to see the land from the bay of bengal to Everest. He was the first aussie to summit everest along with Greg Mortimer in 84. Both climbed without O’s and pretty much did their thing without any fuss or publicity. Both in inner climbing circles are considered world class!

          Also you’re comment “an arbitrary line in the sand” is an oxymoron. What’s arbitrary?

          •  

            It’s so arbitrary that the base camp on the Tibetan side is approximately 200 meters lower. By your logic, anyone choppered into BC on the South Side of ABC on the North Side cheated.

  93.  

    yeah sure she summitted,but she flew half way there ,next thing you know they ll be getting dropped off by choppers at south col,shouldnt count as a summit as she didnt climb whole mountain

  94.  

    With unlimited funds anything is possible

  95.  

    So, expeditions were supposedly canceled for two reasons: – respect for the dead Sherpas, – threats to Sherpas that were willing to climb. I think this summit is a testament for selfishness and disrespect

  96.  

    While 20 flights at $2k a pop sounds like a lot of money, it’s not actually a lot of money in the inflated world of Everest climbs, is it? $40k is less than most climbers spend.

    I realize that was far from being her only expense, as she would have already paid for the earlier, scratched expedition. And she has to pay her staff and, presumably, had to a new permit (not real clear on that point). But still… $40k doesn’t seem out of whack.

    Regardless, I hope they all get down safely.

  97.  

    Of course, next season nobody will fly over the icefall, only supplies…

  98.  

    According to reports, she reached the summit at 6.20 PM (late afternoon)…Congrats for pulling it off

  99.  

    I do not judge anyone but lucky for her! It was rather risky decision to stay on and climb! Hope she returns safely!

  100.  

    Yeah something just does not feel right about it.All the problems she has caused Russell,the huge cost of getting everything air lifted over the icefall so one person can summit when everyone else had to return home. Seems a little selfish to me.

  101.  

    mixed emotions for sure.

  102.  

    Can one really claim to have summitted the mountain if you had a helicopter drop you off part-way up the mountain? If I’m reading the article correctly, it sounds as if she was lifted over the most dangerous and challenging part of the mountain (the icefall section).

  103.  

    Good for her!

  104.  

    This is very very frustrating to hear considering I should be out there now but I’m now sat at home reading this. Has she bribed her Sherpa to climb despite the threats? Who knows. Maybe she deserves some respect for her perseverance but I don’t think I’d want to summit at the cost of my Sherpa’s life or livelihood. I get the feeling that Everest was meant to be left alone this year. Or maybe I’m just jealous and she’s proved us all wrong- but that’s not what it should be about.

  105.  

    Let the firestorm of controversy begin! This will be fodder for the haters for years to come. She deserves huge kudos for being persistent.

    •  

      I’d suggest to let Liz Hawley decide 😉

      •  

        When she really summit, than is this a best performance after Messner and all first ascent on new routes. A summit only with 6 people is very great.

        It is thus irrelevant that she started on 2. Camp. And this knows Mrs. Hawley .

  106.  

    Hmmmm