With the ropes to the summit, it’s time for member summits. The weather, specifically winds under 30 mph above the South Col, seem likely into the week, but this could always change. A poor scenario is for teams to get to the South Col, and get slammed by the winds stopping a summit bid forcing a return to C2. Of course, some teams prepare for this with extra oxygen because it’s unwise to overnight at the Col on your own. I’ll take a look at those climbing without O’s later this week.
Who’s Going Up?
First up might be the 30 people (including support) team from Bahrain. Using logistics from Madison Mountaineering, Kenton Cool with Ardavan, and Jon Gupta with Becks are headed up. The six-person IFMGA Sherpa Guided Team from Climbing the Seven Summits are aiming for May 12. Ascent Himalaya, Imagine Nepal, and Peak Promotion are on their push. We could see well over 150 summits on the 11th and 12.
Once again, I want to highlight what Ecuadoran Ossy Freire doing private guiding with Climbing The Seven Summits had to say on returning to EBC after their last rotation:
After 7 days rotation I’m back to EBC, is difficult to explain the ranges of emotions going on. Being sick and not knowing how my body will react, seeing all the preparation and struggle my teammates are going though, seeing all my colleagues and the Sherpas trying to manage what in a normal year is already a impossible task. All of this with the only hope is being able to stand on top of the word. Many different reasons all just as important. I wish all the people, specially the workers that help others to archive their dreams a safe and smart climb.
Nepal, COVID, and Oxygen
The case and deaths associated with the virus continue to spiral higher and out of control. The government has asked citizens to deal with any problem on their own according to multiple Nepali media reports. The Nepali Times gave a complete but grim overview of the oxygen situation. Also a good overview of resources available to help anyone in need, including obtaining oxygen. China, S. Korea, and the UAE are all reported to be sending cylinders. One of the problems is that hospitals are hoarding the bottles fearing an even higher outbreak. A Facebook group was established to help link the need with the oxygen supply at 100’s Group. The Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA) is supplying 100 oxygen concentrators to fill bottles.
The tourism organization, Welcome Nepal, set up a dedicated page for visitors who need help. Also, local embassies are involved. They posted these flight updates:
- International: All flights suspended from midnight May 6 until midnight May 14
- India: 2 flights a week as per Air Bubble Agreement, eeffective from May 6
- Domestic: All flights suspended from midnight May 3 until midnight May 14
The Other 8000ers
Dhaulagiri – COVID Evuacations and Summit Bids
Topo Mena and Carla Pérez made a valiant to C3 but were thwarted by avi danger. Meanwhile, the commercial gang organized by Seven Summits Treks used their formula of overpowering the mountain with strong and skilled Sherpa support to get the fixed line that high (note after Mena and Perez broke trail earlier.) Peter Hamor, Horia Colibasanu, and Marius Gane also reached C3 on the Northwest Ridge
82-year-old Carlos Soria still there, healthy but is consumed with managing the virus crisis:
Today 5 more people evacuated. 90 tests received for all CB staff. We have carried out 30 tests: 12 new positives. Our only priority is to try to stabilize the situation and the health of all
Maya Sherpa who summited Annapurna two weeks ago, went to Dhualgiri but came down with COVID. She writes:
Currently the world is going through very tough time with COVID.I too had symptom of COVID and was rescued yesterday from Dhaulagiri Basecamp.Today I got the result of my PCR and it’s +COVID .Right now I am hospitalised and doctors had suggested me to stay for next couples of week.I have been receiving tremendous amount of love,support and concerns from my friends and family.I am so obligated for all the care and support I am receiving.Your love and support has given me fuel to fight against COVID.Please keep me in your prayersMaya Sherp
The third 8000er on tap this spring may see summits on the 11th
Memories are Everything
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