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May 012019
Lhotse Face Climbers

At this point in the season, acclimatization rotations are serious. Many people are either tagging or sleeping at 7,000-meter at the North Col or Camp 3 on the Nepal side. Also at this point is when some people have hit the wall and already left for home. Its crunch time!


The fixed line is now above the North Col and almost to the South Col on the Tibet and Nepal sides respectively.We might see the first summit late this week or early next week by a rope team – IF the weather cooperates.

Nepal – Tagging Camp 3

I often talk about the ones left behind – the spouse, partners, family members who don’t know what they don’t know and reject “no news is good news” axiom.  Jamie Ironmonger‘s spouse, Natile did this great post:

Jamie has just called me from ABC (Advanced Basecamp) at 21300ft / 6492m. Thank you so much to ne – it’s been a difficult few days waiting to hear from him, and it would’ve been even longer without the use of the phone!

Jamie is doing well. He’s had no effects of altitude, he’s maintaining a steady pace and feels good. He has warm feet thanks to the wonderful people at Bridgedale and was even stripped down to his pants earlier as the sun had warmed the tent so much!

He’s making me feel a tad jealous as he’s bragging about having an incredible view of Everest and the North Col from his tent!The team are resting for the remainder of today and tomorrow whilst they wait for the team fixing the ropes to make the North Col accessible, and then they’re off for a further rotation up and back again.

As always, I’ll keep you posted whenever I have news.  Thank you again for all your continued support.

Mingma Sherpa made this update on the upcoming weather and their shift over to Makalu then come back to Everest

Back to Base Camp after acclimatization half way to camp3. Our original plan to climb Lhotse on 3 or 4 May is postponed for now because of too much wind in upcoming days. Will go for Makalu before Everest and Lhotse. Our Makalu team has already set up camp-3 which is our final camp before summit.Time to Roar on 8000m one by one.

This is good post from Caroline Leich. A few days ago, she was down and out, sick in her tent. She was wise and allowed herself to be sick and heal. Today’s post is good news from her:

I’m feeling better after spending two days of rest in the tent. Today, we did an acclimatization hike to almost 18,000’. One of the great challenges of high altitude is letting go of the ego. It’s hard to go so slow, at your own pace, when you know how quickly you can move at lower altitudes. Listening to your own body vs. trying to compete with others is something I am continually trying to improve.
It looks like we have two more nights at basecamp and we are planning to move to interim camp on May 2 and advanced basecamp May 3, weather and health depending! I am excited and nervous to get up higher on the mountain.

Climbers are doing laps on the Lhotse Face for their final acclimatization rotation before returning to EBC and waiting for the ropes to be fixed to the summit and a window of 4-6 days of low winds. The For Ranger group tagged Camp 3 (I’ll discuss sleeping there in a later post) and gave us this update:

Pete: We’ve just got to Camp 3. Epic climb up Lhotse face now at 23293ft, bit chilly!!! Sambo loving it!! Vertigo cured after that climb, frigging steep. Took 3hr 32 from Camp 2 and 680m vertical ice climb – nice view. Only 3 of us got up here – one got chest infection and other has acute mountain sickness (AMS) but ok 👍

Sam: Down from the face. Fu*king hard. And scary. Blue ice vertical. So exhausted at top. Good to touch 7000m. Abseiled down as quick as I could!!! Heading back to Base Camp tomorrow morning. That’s acclimatization done. Then wait for weather and summit push!!

Tibet – Sleeping at the North Col

Its always fun when someone gets to help. Adrian Ballinger comments on being with the rope team on the Tibet side:

It’s fleeting, and it doesn’t matter in the big picture, but for just a few minutes today @mountainworld @davidcmorton and I were, I believe, the highest humans on Mt Everest, and the first of the season to touch 24,000 feet, on either side. Thanks to sweet rope fixing to 23,500 feet, a big carry by @alpenglowexpeditions Sherpa team, and perfect neve snow conditions, there was no way we couldn’t continue above the end of the fixed lines just a bit. I haven’t had this opportunity since rope fixing to the summit with Sherpa in 2010 and 2011. The mountain is so huge and so intimidating, being up high alone with a tiny group of climbers is pure joy. Now it’s time to rest!

And Willie Benegas did the same on the Nepal side:

Is a huge honor to work today with the ice fall doctors- yeaterday was a colapse on the icefall- they invite me to help them opening the route- Willie and i might be the only westerners whom work along side the #icefall doctors.

New Route Update

Cory Richards and Topo Mena actually set foot on the proposed new rote just above ABC on the north side: Topo gave a good update:

Today @coryrichards and I touched 7000m and connected the first pieces of this puzzle we are starting to put our hands on. The scale is massive and intimidating, but we feel good with the process of wrapping our heads around all the challenges of this adventure (the ones we knew before coming and the ones that are just unveiling)… the weather in the next week is limiting our options so let see what inspiration and luck bring on the next days… oh boy!!!

New Everest route 2019, Cory Richards and Topo Mena. Photo courtesy of Topo Mena


Mallory and Irvine

Jake Norton is climbing on the Tibet side this year. He is posting some excellent insights and sharing important memories with us.  Visit his page for the posts and amazing phots. Here he talks of George Mallory. I wonder if anyone will ever find his partner, Sandy Irvine … and perhaps the camera?

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the discovery of George Mallory on Everest. It remains one of the three events that fundamentally changed my life, and in retrospect was not so much an endpoint of a quest than a new beginning

Lhotse South Face

Over on Lhotse South Face (the side from the Western Cwm), Hung Sung Taek gave an update on their progress:

Our team reached camp 2(7,200m) and will head toward the camp 3. Finished Building 7,200 meters of camp 7,200 last Friday. I heard that I complete the camp camp on Sunday. I hope the camp camp has been created in the good weather.

Pumori Summit

Russell Brice’s Himex team is using Pumori at 7,161-meter/23,494-feet for acclimatization instead of their traditional Lobuche. This strategy might eliminate all but one climb through the Icefall. In any event, a strong Sherpa team from Asian Trekking made up of Dawa Steven Sherpa, Phurba Namgyal Sherpa, Nima Tenjing Sherpa and Naga Dorjee Sherpa summited yesterday as they put in the fixed line.

Sherpa Death on Cho Oyu

In very sad news, a Sherpa has died after falling in a creases near Camp 2 on Cho Oyu, Phujung Bhote Sherpa of Makalu, Sankhuwasabha.

Climb On!
Memories are Everything!

  5 Responses to “Everest 2019: Rotation Crux Time”


    Related to your report of some not feeling well, NatGeo published this yesterday ☝

    Have you been hearing of an increase in flu cases this year ?


    Thank you for the continued excellent coverage, Alan. I have what is likely a silly question, but, what is the object in the upper left of Topo Mena’s photo??


      I think it’s a “Len’s flare” just a reflection of the sun. But looks cool or like an alien is about to land!!!