The biggest fear on both sides of Everest today is if a huge weather front moves in with big winds and heavy snow bringing a halt to the rope fixing efforts and acclimatization progress.
The fixed rope to the summit from both sides are key. On the Nepal side it is now between the Yellow Band and Geneva Spur, almost to the South Col which will open up the route for summit attempts. On the Tibet side, it was last reported a bit above the North Col around 7,000-meters.
I’ve been talking about the cyclone in the Bay of Bengal for a week now with comments from Chris Tomer of Tomer Weather Solutions and Operational Meteorologist Michael Fagin at Everest Weather. Now it is time to see what really happens.
This is the outlook:
- Looks like big snow on Friday and Saturday around 7000m
- Big winds higher
- rope teams will retreat
- Acclimatization progress will stall over the weekend
Adventure Consultants, arguably the most experienced operator on the Nepal side has an eye to the weather:
Tropical cyclone Fani has been brooding in the Bay of Bengal for several days. How much it affects us here, hundreds of miles away, remains to be seen. It could create major disruption to the airflow over the Himalaya, bringing snowfall and winds. Or it could change course and have a lesser effect, time will tell.
So, for now, we are waiting another 24 hours to see what develops. There is plenty of time in our schedule, and a potential storm that halts our progress would also likely stop rope fixing higher up the mountain. The rope fixing team have made it above Camp 3 towards the Yellow Band. Above the Yellow Band lies the Geneva Spur and beyond that the South Col. So progress is good and we need to be a little patient.
A few teams are tagging Camp 3 on the Lhotse Face from Camp 2 and not spending the night. Over the past few years, it has become questionable if the 12 hours spent at C3 acclimatizing does more damage than good. It seems many of the teams feel just spending a few minutes around 7,000-meters is good enough. The science says you need to spend longer to allow the body to respond but the tag technique has proven effective in recent years.
Love this pic from AB (Adrian Ballinger) climb the North Col
Memories are Everything!