Everest 2021: Weekend Update plus Final Summit Bid

Everest plume from space courtesy of NASA

This was a tough week on Everest with Cyclone Yaas pummeling the Hill with heavy snow.  Most teams have wisely ended their season but one or two are still pulling their clients higher. Thankfully, the Cyclone appears to have moved on.

Last Week

Last week, many teams at C2 have returned to base camp after Cyclone Yaas dumped literally feet on snow on Everest creating dangerous avalanche conditions on the Lhotse Face. While there are many reports that Sherpas are saying C3 was destroyed, I haven’t been about to confirm that and one team, Elite Exped went to C4/South Col on Sunday, May 39, and will make a summit bid on late Sunday night.

A cancellation was confirmed from Climbalaya treks & expeditions

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.

As has been the case for this season, there is much happy talk, misinformation, coverups, and lies, so we won’t know the truth until forthright members return home, and are willing to speak, if at all. I don’t expect much to be revealed from operators, the Ministry of Tourism, or even most members for their reasons. But it’s their experience to share however they saw it.

Even as the season came to an end, the Nepal MoT maintained its fraud. Director of Tourism Department Mira Acharya was quoted: in https://ujyaaloonline.com/story/53650/2021/5/29/let-make-mount-everest-valuable

“Tourists may not have to face many problems in this regard. News of the corona spreading on Mount Everest became worldwide. After reaching the base camp, Kathmandu or some of those who fell down for adaptation may have seen the infection. No official information has been received. But the situation is not complicated by the spread of corona in the base camp. Due to the cold, the problems seen in the base camp every year and the symptoms of corona are similar, so it may be suspected. But due to Corona, there is no problem of rescue from the base camp. The base camp does not have a corona testing laboratory and is not easy to set up. So far no complications have been reported due to Corona.”

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

Next Week

Elite will probably be on Everest’s summit on Monday morning, May 31, and they plan to tag Lhotse on June 1. The Icefall Doctors will now maintain the route to June 3rd. All teams should return to base camp by then finally ending this perplexing season.

The leaders and Sherpas of the teams on this last push are world-class individual climbers with amazing experience in tight similar teams, however, they are now leading, paid by, and are responsible for, in some cases, inexperienced 8000-meter commercial clients so the risk margins are quite different. I wish them a safe return home.

Jenn Drummond made this post detailing their risks of getting C3 and the heavy support of world-class Sherpas:

We made it to Camp 3 today! We are the only team that went up today. There are currently two other teams that will venture up tomorrow on the track that we broke today. All other teams have descended down at this point.

It was a long and hard day, but we avoided avalanche danger and made it! It really felt like an accomplishment to make the move and it was well worth the wait, effort, and faith. I’m so proud of my team and am present in the moment with pure gratitude. I’m so grateful for the Sherpa that went ahead of our group to break trail and make it easier on us.

Tonight, we will sleep on oxygen at .5 liter. This will help us stay warmer and feel more solid tomorrow. Tomorrow, we will eat breakfast and head out for our summit push! I’m so excited now that we are moving forward, and it all feels possible!

Our tents at Camp 3 are precarious. We can’t exit them at night, or we might fall off the mountain. We are at the edge and need crampons on every time we are out of the tents. We are also currently three people to a tent for combining body heat for warmth.

The ice fall will be open until June 3, so we need to be off the mountain by then.

It’s all happening!

She is currently at C4 according to her tracker

Icefall Danger

The Icefall is clearly unstable and has been for years. The chance of getting hit by falling ice or a collapsin serac is random and driven by air temperatures (which become too warm into June) and movement of the glaciers (up to three feet a day.) In a stunning example of blatant spin, well-respected Ang Tshering Sherpa, former president of Nepal Mountaineering Association  told this to the Kathmandu Post:

“After May 30 normally the icefall doctors start dismantling the route across Khumbu icefall announcing the end of the spring season because it’s too risky to climb in June,” said Sherpa. “When the ice melts in the icefall section due to summer heat, there are high chances of avalanches when the lower sections develop cracks.”

He, however, said that since there has been a heavy snowfall on Everest, the icefall route would not be affected much this year. “The snowfall on Everest makes climbing easy,” he said.

David Göttler and Kilina Jornet still maintain they are waiting for the weather but perhaps will make a move in the last few days. We won’t know until they complete their objective if the past is prologue.

Baruntse Update:

Marek Holeček and Radoslav Groh descended about 3,000-feet are now in safe per their social updates.

Climb On!
Memories are Everything

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3 thoughts on “Everest 2021: Weekend Update plus Final Summit Bid

  1. Love your updates Alan!! I’m not a climber, just an Irish girl fascinated with everest! Been following Nirmal Purja Purja Purja and the elite team on Instagram and really thought they’d turn back by now… He’s an incredible athlete and I’m sure he would do well in these conditions, but I’m anxious for the rest of the team, even tho they are strangers.
    Praying for a good outcome and all return safely in my entirely non professional opinion I think they should abandon the Lhotse summit tho.
    Anxiously awaiting more updates

  2. Dear Alan, thanks for your update reporting. Looks like NIMS in his latest video from camp 3 has his left hand ✍️ in some kind of bandage / cast. Do you know what happened to him?

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