Everest 2021: Summit Wave 4 Wrap Up, 4th Death

Everest plume from space courtesy of NASA

The 2021 season is winding down with fewer climbers on each wave. Sadly, a Sherpa died at the South Col. It appears that less than 25 summited on Tuesday morning with some teams still holding back waiting to see how Cyclone Yaas will impact the mountain. Many operators are targeting the morning of May 26 for summits.

Summit Climb team made it to the top Monday morning, May 24, 2021. They posted:

“Summit – 4:30am -WE ARE NOW ON THE SUMMIT !!! It is very windy here.” and later, “Back On South Col – All 8 of us summited and are back safe at Camp 4, in the tents drinking tea, soup, resting on oxygen. Exhausted and happy is how i would describe the way we are feeling right now. It was very windy on the summit. We saw very few other teams or even any other people during our ascent; basically we had the mountain to ourselves. We did pass a few groups while we were descending and they were coming up.”

Also, Phil Crampton’s Altitude Junkies summited. This from their logistics company Expedition Himalaya:

Ms. Anni Katri Penttile(Finnish) and Mr. Dante Giovanni Filice(Swiss) of Altitude Junkies along with 3 sherpas namely Pasang Ongchu Sherpa, Kami Nuru Sherpa and Pemba Chiri Sherpa has successfully summited Mt. Everest this morning at around 00:30 am. Members were the part of Mountain Trip Everest Expedition 2021 having permit number 38. A huge congratulations to all for the successful accent.

Death and Rescue

7 Summits Club saw two events. First, Wong Dorchi Sherpa died near the South Col from unknown causes. And Russian climber, Dmitry Livanov, was helicoptered from Camp 2 complaining of chest pains. There have been multiple rescues this season from Camp 2.

The body of American attorney Christopher John Kulis, who died during his descent from the summit of Mt Everest on May 27, 2019, was found by climbers descending this season. His body was taken to Camp 2. During his time of death, rescuers were unable to take back his body due to unfavorable weather conditions. source

3rd Visually-Impaired Person Ever Summited

On Monday 24th May at 9.30 am, 46-year-old Chinese Zhang Hong became the third visually-impaired person to summit Everest. He climbed with his mountain guide Qiang Zi and three Sherpas, Lhakpa Sherpa, Dawa Wongchu Sherpa, and Samden Bhote, all with Nepali-based operator Asian Trekking. American Erik Weihenmayer, at age 32, was the first visually impaired person to summit Everest in 2001, followed by Austrian Andy Holzer, 50, in 2017. Shortly after Holzer’s summit, the Nepal Ministry of Tourism banned climbers with disabilities, including sightless, but the Nepal Supreme Court struck down the rule.

Hong was born in 1976 near Chongqing at the confluence of the Yangtze and Jialing rivers in southwestern China to a farmer’s family. Hong had to take care of his father and uncle, who lost their sight due to glaucoma. He also lost his vision at age 21 and took on a job as a masseur at Tibet Fokind Hospital.

Upon learning of Weihenmayer’s 2001 summit, he set a goal to summit himself teaming with Zi for almost twenty years of training. Before traveling to Nepal, the climbers both were vaccinated for COVID and spent 12 days in quarantine in Kathmandu before trekking to Everest Base Camp.

Upon summiting, Hong said, “In my life, though I’m blind, I felt I could face any challenge. When I’m in the mountain, though I still can’t see, I’m in awe of nature. Overcoming the death zone and the summit makes me want to embrace and be a humble part of mother nature.” His next goal is to climb the remaining six of the Seven Summits, the highest peak on each continent.

Next Up

With the Icefall now being opened to May 31, the remaining teams at base camp will have the option of sitting out any impact from Cyclone Yaas on Tuesday and targeting May 26th through the 29th for their summit and returning by the end of the month to base camp.

These are expected to nab the last opportunity of the season this week

Climb On!
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2 thoughts on “Everest 2021: Summit Wave 4 Wrap Up, 4th Death

  1. The four brave and very serious and very skilled Ice Doctors will maintain the route trough the Icefall anyway until all commercial climbers uphill are safe back at CB, even in June, no problem!

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