Everest 2015: New Icefall Route Proving Fickle

Enlarge to see the 2015 route in the Khumbu Icefall. Courtesy of Madison Mountaineering
Enlarge to see the 2015 route in the Khumbu Icefall. Courtesy of Madison Mountaineering

Today, Friday, April 17, a collapse of a four ladder traverse across a huge crevasse in the middle of the Icefall, caused 80 Sherpas to turn back. There were no injuries.

The Icefall Doctors will go back up to inspect the situation and either reinstall the ladders, or find a new route around the crevasse.

So all teams remain at Base Camp. This is not unusual but everyone in getting a bit anxious to get into the Western Cwm.

The attached photo taken by Garrett Madison show the area. You need to zoom in to see the actual ladder and monster crevasse.

Tomorrow, April 18th, is the first anniversary of the death of 16 in the Icefall from the release of an ice serac onto the Khumbu Icefall. There will be a ceremony at Everest Base Camp to honor all those who died.

Climb On!
Memories are Everything

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12 thoughts on “Everest 2015: New Icefall Route Proving Fickle

  1. This is a great deal to get these daily updates, especially when one of our close friend in on the expedition.
    All the best for all the trekkers to complete the mission safe an victorious. .. Lalit Suryawanshi (lalit7576@gmail.com)

  2. I love reading your updates. I especially love the video clips- my favorite was the walk about Namche. Can you give us a walk about base camp video.

  3. Alan, how wide is the crevasse?
    Thanks for all the updates!!!! My classroom of students love following all the teams- learning alot about Everest- thanks to you.

  4. Thanks for the update Alan, It happens in Khumbu Icefall. My first expedition on Everest from Nepal side was in year 2000, then after I was on Everest every spring until 2010 (10 successive season) from Nepal side. during my 10 expedition on that mountain I did about 100 times up and down into the Khumbu Icefall for set up the camp, shuttle the gear and leading the members. during the year 2001, 2003 and 2004 we crossed 6 join ladders over the deep and supper wider crevasses and we climbed up and down 7 to 8 join vertical ladder on the huge ice cliff. almost every week the horizontal and vertical ladder were collapse and damages due to sinking icefall and falling the ice blocks and ice cliffs because of middle part of Khumbu icefall is quite constructive and destructive but we have not many accident at that time. I have seen many hanging ice avalanches from the face of west shoulder every year but not damage the icefall routes because it is totally separate from avalanche run out zone. if ice fall routes equip via middle part of icefall that would be more safe but we need good condition analysis about the middle part of icefall morphology. I think the human accident rate is not that much in the middle part khumbu icefall due to fell into the crevasses and collapse the ice cliff on the route.

  5. wow! good luck and safe climbing to all! i enlarged the picture to see the ladders – for those of us not in the know – how long are the ladders? I’m trying to get a perspective on how wide the crevasse is.

    1. There were four ladders lashed together with the top one gingerly placed against a vertical wall, When Garrett took the picture he thought was precarious. All in all not a big deal or totally unexpected. But be assured the press will make this Armageddon on Everest …

  6. Thanks for the update Alan. Glad I decided to arrive late to the party. Seems as if the early arrival lead to a ton of waiting around. Your updates are invaluable. Thanks again.

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