The summits continued on Saturday morning, 21 May 2016 on both sides of Everest. However, there were two deaths on the Nepal side and reports of frostbite and multiple helicopter evacuations from Everest Base Camp and Camps 1 and 2 in the Western Cwm. The climbing conditions were reported as good with calm winds and normal temperatures for the summit.
On the Nepal side IMG put 28 climbers on the summit from their Hybrid team. They had four western guides, nine members and 15 Sherpas. Seven Summits Treks guided 5 female members from the Indian NCC Girls Expedition plus another four Indian members.
Sri Lanka celebrated one of their own, Jayanthi Kuru-Uthumpaala, summiting with IMG, the first for this country. 19 year old Australian Alyssa Azar is reported to have summited with Asian Trekking.
On the Tibet side, 7 Summits Club continued their success after having 9 summits yesterday, another 7 today including the married couple of Noel and Lynn Hannah. It is believed that they are the first married couple to summit from both sides together.
Many reports are coming in of climbers with frostbite that required ment at EverestER and in some cases helicopter evacuation. There are reports of 20 evacuations just from last night including as high as Camp 2. Contrary to press reports, there were no “long line” rescues. This is where the hangs from a long rope attached to the helicopter.
Also there were rescues of climbers, some on the Lhotse Face as told to me by Jeff Evans of Everest Air, a rescue operation on the Nepal side. Jeff said they had six rescues themselves with six cases of frostbite, one ruptured Achilles tendon and a case of profound diarrhea. He noted that many of the frostbite cases appeared to be with inexperienced climbers.
There have been many illnesses and evacuations this season off Everest. While I don’t have the numbers, it feels like more than in previous “normal” seasons.
As has sadly happened too often, climbers died on their summit bids. Both were on the Nepal side last night and this morning. The Himalayan reported the details as communicated from expedition leaders and liaison officers.
4th Death: Dr Maria Elizabeth Strydom was reported suffering from snow blindness as she was on her summit bid. She was assisted to the South Col where, again this is what was reported, she died from a stroke. Note, there are differing reports that she had summited and was retuning to the Col when she developed difficulties. She was climbing with Seven Summits Treks and was 36 years old and from Australia. source
3rd Death: Eric Arnold is reported to have died from altitude related problems, also at the South Col but after summiting. The 36 year old Dutch climber had attempted Everest four previous times and also had frostbite and problems with his eyes on his summit push. He with a sub team of Seven Summits Treks, guided by Arnold Costner. source
There have now been four deaths on Everest this season. My condolences to all the families, friends and teammates.
More Summits to Come
Summit pushes will continue this weekend on the Nepal side with two more large teams from IMG, their Classic team lead only by Sherpa Guides. There are still a few smaller teams left to summit as well. On the Tibet side look for perhaps as many as 100 summits over the next few days.
Safe climbing to all.
Memories are Everything