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May 252021
 
Everest plume from space courtesy of NASA

With Cyclone Yaas making landfall in India, the winds are touching Everest. The past 24 to 48 hours have been a bit difficult for teams descending from the Monday morning summit. Other teams are holding for the storm to pass aiming for summit bids later this week. Some random points from this season.

Summit Climb team made it to the top Monday morning, May 24, 2021, but are fighting the wind to get lower. They posted on the 25, Tuesday:

After summiting, we descended to Camp 3 last night. Very tired, we could not make it all of the way to Camp 2. We slept on Oxygen last night. We are awake now, eating breakfast and drinking tea. But the winds are ferocious here in Camp 3. Tents shaking, spindrift snow blasting into the tents through tiny zipper openings…Part of our team is now in Camp 2, and they reported that the kitchen/dining tent almost blew away in the high winds. For us here in Camp 3, we are hoping the wind will let up and we can descend safely down the Lhotse Face. Right now, that is not something we can do voluntarily!

It was hard going in a wind snow blizzard, but at least the fixed ropes were there. Lots of spindrift avalanches flowing down the Lhotse Face as we were descending. Crossing the apron at the base of the Lhotse Face was a bit worrisome, as there was no rope and no trail there. Finally we made it to Camp 2 in this terrible weather, and collapsed into the tents. A feeling of relief, for sure. Tomorrow we are going to base camp, if the weather cooperates!

2019 Body Retrieval

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 A second body was reported to have been found but no information on the identity.

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.

Firsts?

A Liason Officier who was at base camp (really?) noted that Tsang Yin Hung (Ada) set a female speed record from EBC to the summit in 26:30. She started her climb at 1:20 pm on Saturday and reached the summit at 3:10 pm on Sunday. This broke Nepali Phunjo Jhangmu Lama’s record of 39:06 2018. source

In the department of “interesting first”, Alex Abramov of 7 Summits Club lists these:

1. Eduard Kubatov – the first ethnic Kyrgyz on Everest
2. Daniel Wolfson – the first Israeli woman on Everest.
3. George Shulepov – the first representative of the Republic of Komi on Everest
4. Mikhail Mikhayev – the first representative of the transport industry of Russia on Everest (′′ Kuban Transportation Union ′′)
5. Anna Permilovskaya – the first Murmansk woman on Everest
And Rawan Dakik, 20, is said to be the young female from Africa (Tanzania) to summit. She made it on May 15th.

Sherpa COVID Death

Ngima Dendi Sherpa, Managing Director at Happyfeet Mountaineers pvt.Ltd died last night from Covid in Kathmandu

Canadian Leonardo Namen who was with Nhima this season on Everest made this post today:

RIP, just two days ago I was talking to him and yesterday I posted about him and his great heart. This man Ngima Dendi Sherpa the manager HappyFeet Mountaineers dedicated my entire stay at Everest to make sure I was good and will lack nothing. He was always asking me for how was I feeling and encouraging me every day. I had been talking to him all the time and during this hard times since he was sent to the hospital about a week ago. Today I was thinking to text him to see how he was doing and I opened my Facebook to find out that he has died from Covid-19. He did not make it. I will remember you as the man who made possible many great of the moments I spent in Nepal, specially during my climb, but I will also remember you as a friend. A friend who promised will come visit me in Edmonton this year… I guess you will and will be in my heart.
Rest In Peace brother.

Quoted in The Himalayan on Monday, May 24, 2021, Mira Acharya, a director at the Department of Tourism that oversees climbing activities in Nepal’s mountains, said the government had not received any notice of a COVID-19 outbreak at the Everest base camp and that expeditions were continuing through the climbing season that ends next

Next Up

With the Icefall now being opened to May 31, the remaining teams are 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!
Alan
Memories are Everything


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  5 Responses to “Everest 2021: Wind Watch”

  1.  

    Thanks for another year of stellar updates, Alan! Just a correction for Rawan Dakik, she summited on May 23, not May 15. And this is her 6th of the 7 summits! She’s a force! Congrats to all of the climbers this season in what has definitely been an interesting one with the variety of obstacles and challenges they have faced!

  2.  

    What’s with these firsts? It feels like you could be “the first colorblind Dutchman born in Germany still living with his mother” to climb Everest when all other firsts are taken…

  3.  

    Also totally hooked Alan…thanks for these posts. Hope to run into you at OR (probably winter).

  4.  

    The denial of a covid outbreak by the Dept of Tourism is making them look more ridiculous than normal.
    It’s unbelievable!

  5.  

    This was my first season getting daily updates on everest thanks Allen see u next season .