The spring Everest season continues to move along nicely. A bit of snowfall this past week slowed the rope fixers down but nothing seriously in spite of gripes from a couple of small western commercial guides that they were inconvenienced by the delays.
Many teams have now completed their acclimatization rotations to Camp 3 on the South side and are back at Everest Base Camp.
The next step is to wait for the weather window when four to seven days of low winds are forecasted for the summit. Once that occurs, the mad rush will be on for many teams anxious to get it done.
Over on the North side, teams are at the North Col doing their acclimatization process. Winds are strong as usual but this year the temperatures are just as warm as on the Nepal side so it’s not quite as brutal as in previous years – but this is all relative as teams are reporting cold and windy at high camps on both sides!
These are good conditions for those attempting the summit without using supplemental oxygen because as you know, those extra Os really help keep the body warm and reduce the risk of frostbite.
I am updating the chart where each team is located. You can see this and get a snapshot of the daily news at this link: https://www.alanarnette.com/blog/2016/02/01/everest-2016-team-locations/
Illness and Evacuation
I’m not really sure what is going in 2016, but my gut tells me there are more people getting sick thus ending their climbs, I was one of them. The ill range from young to old (like me at age 59), to those who have been there before, others ‘pre-acclimatized’ using altitude tents. Some got blood clots, others with upper respiratory infections.
There has been a rumor that the bacteria in the upper Khumbu have become resistant to antibiotics, but I’m no doctor and this is a rumor … however I do now that I took copious amounts of antibiotics and it didn’t seem to help. I know many people view these drugs like they do Coke and Walmart but for many people they work.
In any event, for those still climbing, and I am estimating it is down to 240 foreigners on the Nepal side, down from 289, bathe in Purell!!
A few days ago 30 people summited Annapurna,after exhibiting great patience in waiting for a suitable weather window – even then, by most reports they threaded the needle and escaped. 77 year-old Carlos Soria made the top as did my K2 teammate Matt Du Puy and Chris Burke.
Memories are Everything