The good news is the jet stream is easing off Everest as it moves north, the bad news is a cyclone skirting the west coast of India is expected to turn right running perpendicular to the Himalayas bringing strong weather along with it. It could “flood the mountain” according to meteorologist Chris Tomer and Everest Weather’s Michael Fagin. Chris has told his clients on Everest and Makalu to “stand down” and wait this event out.
Cyclone TC01A aka Tauktae is predicted to bring heavy snow, perhaps two feet to Dhaulagiri, and strong winds to Makalu and Everest on May 18-21. Chris and Michael both think it will be a relatively fast event and summit bids can continue after the 22nd. That would leave plenty of time for the remaining 300 climbers to get up and off before the traditional end of Nepal side around May 31. So much for my talk of a “short season” just yesterday!
This late-breaking news puts a new spin on many teams’ plans. For example, Summit Climb identified two windows but now it appears they only have one choice:
15 May – Everest News: We are studying many weather forecasts and speaking to all teams about summit plans. Our goal is to choose the best “weather window” during which to climb to the summit. After more than 7 days of daily weather forecast analysis by multiple members of our team and others, there appear to be 2 weather windows: A) 20-21 May and B)26-27 May. One thing we need to clarify: these windows are always changing. For example, window A is getting smaller, that is the number of hours with low winds is reducing. And, window B seems to be getting later, which means the window was going to be on 24-25 and now it has already delayed to 26-27. We are thinking window A is more reliable because it is sooner. Window B is 10 days away, and in weather forecasting, that is a very long time; anything could happen, and we have already seen B keeps postponing. Thus for us: 1 in the hand is worth 2 in the bush.
I had the rare opportunity to discuss this event with Michael and Chris on Sunday afternoon, May 16, 2021.
Memories are Everything
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