Heavy snow has finally ended but there is talk of avalanches, stolen oxygen and the Icefall Doctors extending maintaining the route a few more days.
Dan Mazur of Summit Climb made news with a dramatic post telling that Camp 3 on the Lhotse Face was destroyed by an avalanche. His source was an unnamed Sherpa:
28 May – Challenging Weather + Team Dynamics – Storm intensifies; all 20 of us remain pinned down in basecamp by driving wind blowing horizontal curtains of blasted snow chunks/flakes, steady drumroll of whipping prayer flags + flapping nylon. We may feel nervous here in bc, but can you imagine whats happening in the camps above us? We say our prayers for them as we listen to roaring low base notes of 1 million tons fresh heavy wet snow peeling off rock and ice face above us, avalanche boiling down onto moraine beside our tents, stopping there…For now. Today a Sherpa tells us Camp 3 was pulverised by an avalanche sweeping the Lhotse Face. All other teams take note: If you need it, we are here to help. Our team is dividing into 4 groups: 1) those who want to walk down now 2) those who want to wait and helicopter 3) those who want climb up and retrieve our gear 4) those who want to wait for yaks on 31 May.
The story is strong within the Sherpa community but no direct, confirmed word from C3. That said, obviously there was an event. Just don’t know the extent of any damage.
Helicopters are flying again from base camp. A member from the Altitude Junkies team told me directly:
Sneaked in our choppers this morning before the weather closed again
Also confirmed directly with Garrett Madison that some of team flew or trekked out.
I’ve mentioned this before but the SPCC’ Icefall Doctors agreed to maintain the route between EBC and C2 through June 4 according their Facebook post.
Last Up – UPDATED
These are expected to nab the last opportunity of the season at the end of May but it’s unclear to me with the lack of solid information what are their plans.
To be fair, so are they probably. I suspect they’ll send a reconnaissance team to C3 and the Col to determine what’s there from tents to oxygen and fuel. Rumors abound on damaged and missing gear. With the route in they have time now that the storm had subsided (but fir how long until winds and/or the monsoon begins?
Anyway lots of questions and speculation. I’ve seen estimates of a couple hundred people up there. That would greatly surprise me but I’ve been surprised before!! I’d guess under 100.
Climbalaya officially canceled;
29-05-21: Due to the heavy snowfall for the past few days , we have accessed that there will be high risks in continuing our climb above camp II. In this regard, we announce the cancellation of our summit bid and also the end of the expedition. Climbing members are currently descending to base camp and are all safe. This is sad and unfortunate and a difficult decision to make ,but keeping the lives of our clients and Sherpas safe will always remain our top priority.
Confirmed at C2:
Elite says they are going to C3 aiming to summit on the 31st.
Expected by not confirmed:
Memories are Everything
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