Everest 2019: Summit Wave 5 Recap – 3 Deaths

Mingma Dorjee Sherpa, son of Kami Sherpa on the summit Everest 2019

Another big day on Everest with well over 200 total summits from both sides. The winds picked back up testing some climbers along with extremely cold temperatures.  Everest ER is noting a lot of frostbite. Sadly, yet another death.

Sherpa Family Summits

I’m so happy and proud of Kami Sherpa, whom I summited Everest and K2 with, that he summited Everest with two of his sons while working for Climbing The Seven Summits team. Mingma Dorjee Sherpa became what he thinks is the first Nepal educated Engineer to summit. He graduated a few years ago with an Electrical Engineering degree. Also Phinjodorjee Sherpa, Kami’s oldest son and brother of Minga summited with them.

Mingma Dorjee Sherpa, son of Kami Sherpa on the summit Everest 2019
Mingma Dorjee Sherpa, son of Kami Sherpa on the summit Everest 2019

New Route Update: First Attempt Over, Considering Another

Looks like Cory Richards and Topo Mena are struggling with the conditions. Cory posted:

@estebantopomena 1st attempt: @estebantopomena and I spent 40 hours on the wall with one open bivvy at 7300 m (around 24,000 ft). The conditions we encountered coupled with our chosen tactics compounded by exertion meant that we had to turn back at around 7,600 m. Downclimbing safely took another 7 hours from our high point. Back in ABC and reassessing our approach, we are looking into the early days of June for a potential second window and attempt. Is it a failure? In the most strict sense of the word, Absolutely. But is it a building block? For sure. I’ve always maintained that this is truly a journey vs. a summit sport. But to truly understand the whole process, you have to get to the summit. Fingers crossed that happens this season.

And Topo’s perspective:

To retrace steps on such a big route is painful, not just physically but also on an emotional level knowing all that is behind each meter you climbed up.  Yesterday @coryrichards and I decided to abandon our first real attempt of the dreamed #theLine; what happened? A tight weather window and marginal conditions that simply kicked our asses! Well, anyway we had a hell of a first go that took us up to 7600m and most importantly, we learned so much more about the nature of this beast we are dealing with. Needless to say that even tho this time things didn’t happen as we wanted, its the mountains right? All we can do now is to be grateful ’cause the mountain let us leave it’s grounds, adjust what is in our hands to be adjusted and trust that all that is not in our control will play a more favorable role on the next go. Today is just recover our bodies and start planning the next move…

13th, 14th and 15th Deaths

Sadly another Indian climber has died increasing the total to 13 death across all the 8000ers this season including 4 on Everest. Overall 6 Indian climbers have died this season. Guided by India’s Transcend with logistics from Arun Treks, Anjali S Kulkarni from Mumbai, India apparently collapsed after summiting with her the husband, Sharad Kulkarni. She was close to the South Col per reports.

Nepal based Dreamers Destination client Kalpana Das, of Odisha, India summited but died on descent near Balcony. It’s reported she had summited Everest in 2008.

On the Tibet side of Everest, Swiss operator Kobler & Partner said that one of the members only identified by his first name, Ernst, died after summiting around 8600-meters/28,2125-feet

My deep condolences to their family and friends.

A Record?

With so many people going for the summit, many are wondering if this is a record year from the Nepal side. Using the outstanding reference from the Himalayan Database and little coaching for HDB Zar, Richard Salisbury, I found that perhaps May 22, 2019 may have in fact broken the record set on May 19, 2016 of 207 summits. But we will have to wait for the great folks at the HDB to gather all the data before crowning the winner. I’m estimating close to 300 summits on this Wednesday alone.



Hillay Slope?

With the death near the Hillary Step yesterday, a lot of people are wondering if it is still the bottleneck it once was pre-2015 earthquake. Well apparently yes. With 2 to 3 hour waits to descend it seems to be an obstacle when the mountain is crowded like yesterday. This is a picture from last year courtesy of Mike Hamill and Casey Groom:

Hillary Step 2018 by Casey Grom

And from my files from pre-earthquake:

Class 4 Hillary Step
“traditional” Hillary Step

As you can see, climbers no longer deal with the off-width rock crack but it still a 45 degree angled snow slope. And at almost 29,000-feet, even with supplemental oxygen, its tough for most people going up and down. I’m unclear if there were dual ropes – an up and down this year.

Wave 5 Summary – Well over 200 from both sides

Nepal –  104++ that I know of.

  • Nirmal Purja Purja Purja MBE: “Project Possible – 14/7” made Everest and Lhotse. He now has five 8000ers strait with Annapurna inn late April then Dhaulagiri, Kangchenjunga. Flying by helicopter, he now at Makalu where he will go directly from bae camp to the summit.
  • Climbing the Seven Summits: 1 member, 1 Sherpa after a huge night last night of 42 summits
  • Adventure Consultants: 3 members, 4 Sherpas
  • Benegas Brothers Expeditions: 4 members, 4 Sherpas
    • Damian Benegas (USA), Enrique Clausen (URUGUAY),
      Chedden Bote (NEPAL) and George Vouloumanos (CANADA) topped out at 07:09 local time, 23 May 2019, followed by Jorge Luiz Decurgez (ARGENTINA), Rowena Lewthwaite (UK), Lopsang Sherpa IFMGA (NEPAL), Dawa Gyaljen Sherpa (NEPAL)and Khangdu Sherpa (NEPAL) at 09:20.
  • International Mountain Guides (IMG): 6 member, 10 Sherpas (posted names in last post)
  • Summit Climb: 6 members, 6 Sherpas
  • Himex: 1 member/2 Sherpas
  • For Rangers: 1 member, 2 Sherpas
  • Dreamers Destination: 7 members, 8 Sherpas. The 2 Window team of Furdiki Sherpa and Nima Doma Sherpa summited plus:
    • Summit Date: May 22, 2019 (Wednesday)1. Phurba Tenjing Sherpa & Tsang Yin Hung, Hongkong @ 3am
      2. Dakipa Sherpa & Gopal Shrestha, Nepal @ 8-8:15am
      3. Pemba Dorje Sherpa & Kanchhi Maya Tamang, Nepal @ 8-8:15am
      4. Kaji Sherpa & Zhou Tianmin, China @ 8-9am
      4. Mingma Nuru Sherpa & Sun Ningning, China @ 9:07am
      5. Phurba Thiley Sherpa & Ma Liyamu, China @ 9:46amSummit Date: May 23, 2019 (Thursday)
      6. Gyalbo Tamang, Pemba Chhiri Sherpa & Kalpana Das, India @ 12:30pm
  • Mountain Professionals: 3 members/ 5 Sherpas (estimated)
  • Jagged Globe: 6 members, 6 Sherpas
    • 1. Pem Chhiri Sherpa. Pem’s 14th summit.
      2. Chhimi Lhenduk Gurung
      3. Mitra Bahadur Tamang
      4. Ngima Rinji Sherpa
      5. Yula Sherpa
      6. Man Bahadur Tamang. His 1st summit.
      7. David Hamilton (UK). David’s 10th summit.
      8. Mary Broster (UK)
      9. Roland Thomas (UK)
      10. Roxanne Litynska (UK)
      11. Rui Da Silva (Portugal)
      12. Sean Sutton (UK)
  • HST/Myrmidon second team – 4 members/ 4 Shperas
  • Madison Mountaineering: 11 members/18 Sherpas including Joyce Azzam who became the first Lebanese woman to complete the 7 Summits. Also Elia Saikaly who was film the Everest Dream project of four Arab women: Mona Shahab, Joyce Azzam, Nelly Attar, Nadhira Alharthy who all summited.
1 Ms. Nadhira Alharthy Oman
2 Ms. Nelly Attar Lebanon
3 Ms. Joyce Azzam Lebanon
4 Mr. Sherief Elabd Egypt
5 Mr. Wojciech Falkowski Poland
6 Mr. Chad Gaston USA
7 Mr. Elia Saikaly Canada
8 Ms. Mona Shahab Saudi Arabia
9 Mr. Garrett Madison USA
10 Mr. Conan Bliss USA
11 Mr. Stuart Robertson United Kingdom
12 Mr. Aang Phurba Sherpa Nepal
13 Mr. Phurba Ridar Bhote Nepal
14 Mr. Pasdawa Sherpa Nepal
15 Mr. Lakpa Bhote Nepal
16 Mr. Siddhi Bahadur Tamang Nepal
17 Mr. Ming Dorchi Sherpa Nepal
18 Mr. Kul Bahadur Thapamagar Nepal
19 Mr. Phree Chhombi Sherpa Nepal
20 Mr. Sher Bahadur Thapamagar Nepal
21 Mr. Dorchi Bhote Nepal
22 Mr. Nima Lhaten Lama Nepal
23 Mr. Prem Magar Nepal
24 Mr. Tenzi Sherpa Nepal
25 Mr. Lenduk Lhomi Nepal
26 Mr. Dawa Nurbu Sherpa Nepal
27 Mr. Pasang Dawa Sherpa Nepal
28 Mr. Chhiring Bhote Nepal
29 Mr. Pasang Kaji Sherpa Nepal


Tibet – 70+

Conditions on the north side were reported extremely difficult last night. Very strong gusty winds and extreme cold. While no incidents have been reported, I fully expect some.

  • 7 Summits Club: 7 members, 7 Sherpas. This was 10th summit for Alexander Abramov.
  • 360 Expeditions: 3 members, 3 Sherpas
  • Furtenbach Adventures: 3 members / 3 Sherpas (estimated)
  • Kobler & Partner: no update
  • Summit Climb:4 members / 4 Sherpas
  • Climbalaya: 7 members, 7 Sherpas including my friend. Kuntal Joisher who has now summited from both Nepal and South. Kuntal’s a strict vegan who shuns all animal made prudes. His “down” suit was 100% synthetic.
    • seven clients summited at 5:58 am with seven Sherpas. Guide Valentyn Sypavin, Pavel, Ekaterina Klenova, Vitalii , Kozubskyi, Pavlo Sydorenko, Catherine Marcelle Rosa Vulliez, Kuntal, Parth Upadhyaya, Dawa Tenzing Sherpa, Chhiring Wangchu Sherpa, Nima Nuru Sherpa, Mingma nuru Sherpa, Gyaluk Sherpa, Phurba Sherpa, Mingma Nuru Sherpa (A).

Wave 6

Even with the winds returning there are still more teams are scheduled to head up Thursday night including:


Stolen Oxygen

Tim Mosedale has clarified that they did not summit Nuptse due to snow conditions. It was reported in the media that he had. They got close so it was assummed thy did by their logistics company. Also, Tim said 73 bottles of oxygen was stolen:

Unbelievably a team had some oxygen ‘go missing’ a few days ago. I had the same last year and the year before (as have plenty of other teams).

In 2017 we had 14 bottles go astray in 3 separate incidents. When it’s one, two or three bottles you could perhaps put it down to an innocent error. Maybe one Climbing Sherpa deposited a load at ‘point x’ on the ropes above C3 and another collected a different stash from ‘point y’. A simple enough error.

But this was 73 bottles! 73 bottles of life affirming oxygen went missing during the summit phase on Everest a couple of days ago. This team had diligently supplied what they deemed to be a necessary supply of oxygen for their climbers AND their Climbing Sherpas to safely make their summit bid.

No Os Summits

Speaking of no Os, I’m told, but not verified,  that French climber Elisabeth Revol summited without Os as did Danish climber Rasmus Kragh, the first Dane to accomplish the fear. Sergi Mingote who summited Lhotse with no Os appears to have done the same for Everest. No word on German David Göttler.

I do my best to track the teams I can during the summit push but don’t have direct communication with any of them or know the status of any individual. You can see what I am seeing on the tracker table.

Climb On!
Memories are Everything!

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7 thoughts on “Everest 2019: Summit Wave 5 Recap – 3 Deaths

  1. Dear Alan,
    Can you please find out if Romil Barthwal leading Indian army Team is back to base camp safe..All I know is that they have successfully climbed summit ..It would be a great help if you could find any info about him .
    Thanks in Advance

    1. And that’s the reason why there are no further updates on social media for this season. No need to track them anymore, Alan.

  2. Hi Alan i believe 360 are reporting 4 climbers summitted on their FB page….thanks for keeping this going its thrilling stuff

  3. Congratulations to Kami and his sons on an incredible family achievement. He must be so proud.
    Please pass on my sincere salutations from Michigan. And thanks Alan, your coverage is, as always, gratefully appreciated.
    Climb on!

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