Everest 2021: Summits on May 31 – Wave 5

Everest plume from space courtesy of NASA

A reported 16 people (6 members with 10 Sherpas) took a gamble and summited on Monday, May 31 at 7:00 am. They evaluated the risky avalanche conditions after feet on fresh snow and used their powerful Sherpa resources to break the trail for their clients to the top. Well done by all and congratulations on dodging the ball.

More teams aiming for Tuesday, June 1 summits

We get this report

Mission accomplished ! 🇳🇵
Latest update from Exped leader @nimsdai –
Our incredible Everest Team summited the mountain this morning at 7 am local time. Everyone is safe and well, back down at Camp Four. (Stay tuned for updates on #lhotse )
After having to wait for a weather window good enough to summit, their patience was rewarded. This team have been brilliant – really strong, positive and determined to learn and be the best. It has been a pleasure guiding you all and watching you grow in strength and confidence – we @eliteexped couldn’t be prouder of you!
I respect your effort, hard work and patience enduring time away from your families for these two months.
The weather was unpredictable and unforgiving at times this year but we never gave up. We kept believing, planning and waiting for that crucial weather window.
The Everest team will now make their way to Basecamp, and enjoy a few rest days while waiting for the team from Lhotse to descend back safely, before making their way back to Kathmandu.
Summiting Members:
1. Dan Dowding ( Everest ✅)
2. Edward Hill ( Everest ✅)
3. Sandro Gromen-Hayes ( Everest ✅)
4. Jennifer Lynn Drummond ( Everest ✅, Lhotse in progress)
5. Marie-pier Desharnais ( Everest ✅, Lhotse in progress)
6. Adriana Brownlee( Everest ✅, Lhotse in progress)
7. Nirmal Purja Purja Purjadai Purja (Everest ✅, Lhotse in progress)
8. Mingma David Sherpa (Everest ✅, Lhotse in progress)
9. Prakash Sherpa (Everest ✅, Lhotse in progress)
10. Geljen Sherpa (Everest ✅, Lhotse in progress)
11. Dawa Tenji Sherpa (Everest ✅, Lhotse in progress)
12. Phurba Sonam Sherpa (Everest ✅)
13. Pasang Tendi Sherpa (Everest ✅)
14. Karma Geljen Sherpa (Everest ✅)
15. Pem Dorji Sherpa (Lhotse in progress )
16. Lakpa Temba Sherpa (Everest ✅)

As I wrote before the truth from Everest 3021 is elusive, opaque and often, self-serving. I have zero idea if this post from Mingma Sherpa, of Climbalaya, is true, but I take him at his word:

Around 11:20 pm of may 29 , huge avalanch hit camp 2 which distroyed most of the camps .Luckily our Sherpa team were survived and they are now safely reached base camp . I decided to bring all our clients down to base camp at yesterday evening which makes them safe from huge avalanche. I am very happy to make our clients and Sherpa team very safe descend . Unfortunately we had to return from c2 due to unfavourable weather conditions but success only doesn’t mean to reach on the top, it means to return back home safely.

And for some who are off the mountain, they weigh in on their reality. This from Nima Namgyal Sherpa

Everest 2021 : Another year to remember in my 10 years with BIG E. I believe 2021 was one of the most challenging season on Everest for everyone dealing with BIG E. Pandemic – Covid fear – Covid crisis – lockdown – Covid in EBC – 2 Cyclones – super bad weather for many days and so many more obstacles and challenges to overcome in order to make it happen. The mental workload was higher than the mountain to climb. We had a very safe and successful expedition but it was very adventurous from the start till the end.

And this from Simon Ferrier-May who wanted to go sans Os, and is very young, when others reported “the best summit day fo their life”

Here is just some of what we had to battle along the way:

• 45km/h winds on summit day. Enough to literally blow you off your feet, producing a wind chill of -35C.
• Pemba and I only had 5 bottles of oxygen to share between us on our summit push (you usually need 5 each), and two of the bottles were found on the south col from a 2018 expedition and kept aside for us.
• My first sherpa got pneumonia and got heli evacuated at the end of April.
• My second sherpa got Covid and got heli evacuated in mid-May.
• I climbed between base camp and camp 2, alone, four times when my sherpa were sick.
• I fell down a small crevasse in the Khumbu icefall, alone, and climbed myself back out, getting away with only some scrapes and bruises.
• I got covid (then climbed from base camp to camp 2, 6500m / 21300ft… one of the more difficult days of my life!).
• We had the worst weather on Everest since 2005. We didn’t have a real weather window. We just made do with the only possible chance.
• And on the descent we got completely lost in the Khumbu icefall.

We left camp 4 for our summit bid at 21:30 on 22nd May. We then went 24 hours(!) from camp 4 to the top of the world and down to camp 2… an ascent of 940m, and a descent of 2300m!! That was all after only 3 hours’ rest at camp 4…. which was after climbing 9 hours from camp 3 to 4 (7100m – 7910m) without oxygen.

In total, a 36 hour push!

My ascent from camp 4 was with oxygen (I used 3 bottles from 7920m). A no-oxygen attempt was over for me when my second sherpa got sick at camp 2, right before our planned rotation to camps 3 and 4 – the most important thing for a no-ox attempt.

After I got covid, any version of success seemed unachievable… so I’m very happy to have got the summit.

Of our expedition (the company I had a permit with), there were 10 members and I think 14 sherpa…. Only Pemba and I made the summit. All others either got sick or turned around.

Everest, for me, is done. I’m never coming back. But I stood on top of the world, and no one will ever be able to take that away from me.

I fully anticipate multiple versions of the truth from this season, so pick the version you want to believe is my best advice, or ask more questions, and more questions if you want to spend your money in Nepal.

See who summited and the latest status on the location table.

Why this coverage?

I like to use my coverage to remind my readers that I’m just one person who loves climbing. With 37 serious climbing expeditions including four Everest trips under my belt and a summit in 2011, I use my site to share those experiences, demystify Everest each year and bring awareness to Alzheimer’s Disease. My mom, Ida Arnette, died from this disease in 2009 as have four of my aunts. It was a heartbreaking experience that I never want anyone to go through thus my ask for donations to non-profits where 100% goes to them, and nothing ever to me.
donate to Alzheimers

Ida Arnette 1926-2009

Climb On!
Memories are Everything

The Podcast on alanarnette.com

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