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May 262021
 
Everest plume from space courtesy of NASA

If it’s not COVID, it’s the winds. two more teams end their expedition early telling climbers, “it’s over.” A handful are still eyeing the end of the week for one last try.

With Cyclone Yaas making landfall in India, the winds are touching Everest. Nepal’s Meteorological Forecasting Division said the storm is now in the process of ‘weakening’, but will impact the weather in Nepal till Saturday. Not good news for those holding for it to pass. The Icefall Docs said they will shut down the route on May 31, Saturday. However, they might be talked into another extension.

Cyclone Yaas May 26

Cyclone Yaas May 26

Climbing the Seven Summits told their remaining climbers still in base camp that they lacked sufficient Sherpa support to go for the summit. They ended their 2021 season on Tuesday. The news is coming from one of their members. The CTSS website and social medial have no comments other than summit plans from a few days ago. Jess Wedel posted on her public Instagram account:

Our summit attempt was canceled because our crew was sick. And unlike most mountains, it is impossible to climb this one without their help.

Alpine Ascents International was very optimistic all season. They patiently waited for a good window, constantly talking about their strong team but when they got to the South Col, they must have deemed the winds too strong and the forecast uncertain and called the whole thing off:

Hello everyone this is Lakpa rita reporting from base camp that our team have reported from south col that they decided to pull plugs. Every one have work super hard and waited patiently for last couple of days unfortunately the weather is not favorable so team decided to decent from camp four and this will be the end of our expedition.

Jenn Drummond who is on one of the last summit pushes discusses her experience at Camp 2 on her public blog on May 25, 2021:

We made it to Camp 2! The weather wasn’t the best and the last three hours we were in 35-40mph winds fighting serious sleep deprivation. We all had to constantly brace against the wind to avoid blowing over. There was also hail! At that wind speed, it feels like having your face stung over and over by bees. I had a Buff on my face, but it felt like it didn’t cover everything.

When we got here, we at lunch since we were going 12 hours hiking through the night, Everyone ate what they could, and immediately went to lay down to rest and reset as much as possible. It’s so hard to sleep when the zippers on the tent are bouncing nonstop from whipping winds.

Due to weather, we will be here for two days and then move to Camp 3. We know the weather isn’t going to be ideal for that, but we are hoping it’s good for the summit push. We are worried that oxygen might be missing from Camp 4, so we need the weather to be good enough tomorrow for the Sherpa to check for it. Teams that summited on May 23 were stuck on the mountain for four extra days at high camps, so oxygen not belonging to those teams was potentially needed and used. If our designated oxygen is missing, we will need to wait another day to get more here for use and maybe summit on May 30 instead of May 29.

Spirits are good! One teammate decided not to climb. We have two climbers doing Everest only, one climber doing Lhotse only, and four climbers (including me) doing the Everest/Lhotse combo. That means we need two good summit days in a row! Please wish us all well. Support from home is amazing!

Last 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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  7 Responses to “Everest 2021: More Cancellations due to COVID and Wind”

  1.  

    More COVID cases: Sigurður B. Sveinsson and Heimir F. Hallgrímsson who summited on Monday are in quarantine in Base Camp.

  2.  

    Alan, what are the ethics around using oxygen cached on the mountain by other teams for their use? Is this frowned upon, or is it considered an understandable and necessary appropriation? It seems to me that the later teams are potentially (and maybe actually) punished by not having enough oxygen in spite of having made all preparations.

    •  

      It’s poor form and stealing without prior permission. Furtenbach had a large cache of bottles for his large team at the Col. He told me he swapped bottles at base camp for another team for his at the Col, so perhaps this is what happened and supported the unexpected stays.

  3.  

    May 31st is Monday, not Saturday as stated in the post.

  4.  

    Csaba Varga from Hungary is also heading for the summit, according to the latest updates targeting the 5/28,29 window (without O2).
    source: https://kalifa.hu/hirek/tisztan-everest-csucstamadas/6518/ (in Hungarian)

  5.  

    These remaining people sound like NuttersLiving and breathing for the foreseeable future seams to be the better choice! Thanks for the coverage Alan! March to June is always a fun read.