Autumn 2019 Himalayan Season: Another Team Abandons Autumn Everest

With little hope of the house sized serac teetering above the Khumbu Icefall of releasing anytime soon, another team gave up on their summit plans leaving only two teams with remaining Everest hopes and dreams. The final pushes on Manaslu and Dhaulagiri are underway.

Everest – Serac Watch

Today the Andrzej Bargiel team left base camp giving up on his dream to ski directly from the summit to base camp without removing his skis and without supplemental oxygen. I’m betting he will try again perhaps next autumn or even in spring if the crowds are not too bad.

Everest Serac 2019 taken September 27, 2019

Madison Mountaineering‘s team is still at base camp and plan to wait a few more days to see if anything happens with the serac. He gave another update on Kilian who was reported in the Western Cwm a couple of days ago. Given Kilian basically runs through the Icefall, while still risky, he minimizes the risk with his speed.

We were very happy to see our friend Kilian Jornet and his friend Carlos come into our camp for a few hours this afternoon and have lunch with us.  Kilian’s just back from Namche and planning on heading up in a few days, weather pending.

As far as Kilian’s chances to summit if the Madison teams leaves, it would be solo, unassisted in what is reported to be usually deep snow on the Lhotse Face and unknown conditions higher and no fixed ropes.

Garrett noted “We heard a big boom today in the icefall, it might have been the serac that we’ve been waiting to break loose and fall down.  We won’t know until we get a good view when the weather clears up in a day or two.” His team went to Gorak Shep for a break today given low cloud blocked any views.

Dhaulagiri – Summit Push Soon

Sergi Mingote is at base camp with Carlos Soria FontánChris Jensen Burke and Expedition Base. They are ready for the summit push when weather allows. Sergi laid out their plan

I think that during the next few days it will be decided if the “white mountain” remains as inaccessible as the last autumns, or it allows us to reach the 8,167 meters of its peak. We will try to attack the summit between October 1 and 2, since then strong winds enter and this date could be the end of the season. I am feeling strong, I am acclimatized and above all with enough motivation and energy to plan a good attack to the top. Tomorrow, day 30 I will depart directly to Camp 2, on day 1 we will try to establish a Camp 3 higher than usual, over 7,400 meters, and on October 2 we will try to reach the peak. I hope that all of us will have the strength and luck to be able to reach the peak of this incredible mountain. Now more than ever we have to dream BIG!

80-year-old Carlos Soria Fontán is reported to be on his push and is at Camp 2.

Manaslu: Last of the Summit Pushes

The Climbing the Seven Summits team is now at Camp 2 on their summit push. They are in one of the last waves this season.

Project Possible: China Quiet

Nirmal Purja Purja Purja is on hold waiting for a thumbs up or down on China issuing him a permit to climb Shishapangma the only 8000er solely located within Tibet.

China has said all foreigners must be out of Tibet no later than October 1 fearing protests around anniversaries, holidays, remembrances, etc. thus leaving open the big question of whether they will give Nirmal Purja Purja Purja a climbing permit for Shishapangma. Additionally, China had said no climbing on Shishapangma a few months ago after a string of deaths and accidents on the lowest of the fourteen 8000ers. They officially have stated they believe the mountain had become too dangerous to climb but most likely that is just an excuse to keep people out of Tibet right now.

Of course, we all know his project is to summit all 14 of the 8000ers in seven months. Now he has 13 in a mere 157 days: Annapurna (April 23), Dhaulagiri, Kangchenjunga, Makalu, Everest, Lhotse, Nanga Parbat, Gasherbrum I, Gasherbrum II, K2, Broad Peak and Cho Oyu and, Manaslu (Sept 27). He needs to complete Shish by November 23 to meet his goal of seven months.

Climb On!
Memories are Everything

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2 thoughts on “Autumn 2019 Himalayan Season: Another Team Abandons Autumn Everest

  1. One Question:

    Is it possible to avoid Kumbu ice-fall by climbing ridge of nuptse ? Why cant sherpas going up and down chose another route up to camp 1 instead of dangerous icefall ?

    1. Two things. First, when this serac falls it will span the entire width of the Icefall so there really is no safe route through the Icefall. Second, climbing high on the flanks fo Nuptse has been suggested and even investigated before but those slopes are steep, covered in dangerous seracs also and would require world-class climbing skills thus not many of today’s Everest clients could do it. Another alternative would be to climb from the other side of Lhotse, but again, this is world-class climbing terrain. A Korean team has tried each year for the last 5 or so and never made it. So we are kind of stuck with the Icefall. However, there is always the Tibet side 🙂

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