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Climbing the World to End Alzheimer's
Apr 132022
 

Right on schedule, several teams have arrived at Everest Base Camp. It will be their home until late May, for most, or a few days after they reach the summit. The majority of Everest summits occur between May 18th and 23rd. There is a lot of climbing left on the ‘other’ 8000ers.

Big Picture

The permits issuance continue to pick up. As of April 13, 2022, Nepal had issued 250 permits for 31 teams on Everest. I’m still expecting the final number to be under 300.  As for countries on Everest, The US continues to have the most climbers with 58, followed by the UK at 33, India-21, Russia-16, Canada-14, Nepal (non-Sherpas) with 14, and Australia at 10. For all of Nepal mountains requiring permits, 689 foreigners have received one. See the table at the end of this post for details.

There is still a lot of climbing on the ‘other’ 8000ers, with Annapurna, Makalu, Lhotse and Lhotse South Face, and Kangchenjunga. Look for summits on most of these over the next few weeks and the serious acclimatization rotations to begin on Everest around April 17.

Everest

AAI, IMG, Madison Mountaineering, and more have all arrived at Everest Base Camp. IMG and CTSS have some of their team now on Lobuche for acclimatization. This is a popular technique to reduce climbs through the Khumbu Icefall by one rotation, however, it does require the Sherpa team to establish two base camps – a lot of work. EverestER is all set up and ready to provide medical services at EBC. 

The Full Circle Everest team has added a new member, James “KG” Kagambi. The 62-year-old Kenyan is the owner of Kagambi Mountain Exploration He has an impressive CV with being the first Black African to summit Denali in 1989. He’s also summited the Eiger three times. They are on the trek.

Lhotse

Of note is Lhotse has the second most permits at 81. Many of these are ‘doubles’ where the climber wants to bag Lhotse immediately after Everest starting from the South Col at nearly 8,000-meters. Lhotse is the 4th highest peak at 8,516-meters. Everest Base Camp is at 5,334-meters.

On the rarely climbed South Face of Lhotse, South Korean alpinist, Hong Sung-Taek, 55, has arrived in Kathmandu for his seventh attempt on the deadly Face. His team includes Sung Nak-Jong, Myung Suk Koh, Byoung Tae, Jupil Park, Nakjong Seong, Jae Chul Kim, Spaniard Jorge Egoxheraga Rodriguez, and French climber Vadim Pirmin Druelle. They will be supported by a large Sherpa team of 14 led by Pecchumbe Sherpa. The logistics are managed by Seven Summits Treks and 14K Peaks, basically the same company.

Hong’s previous seven attempts have been impressive and just under the 8,516-meter summit. There are the results according to the Himalayan Database:

  1. 1999 – Abandoned at 7700m due to food and gear finished, winds, and fatigue
  2. 2008 – Abandoned at 6500m due to strong winds
  3. 2013 – Abandoned at 7900m due to very high winds
  4. 2014 – Abandoned at 7900m due to the end of the climbing period, bad weather, and lack of team strength
  5. 2015 – Abandoned at 8200m due to high winds
  6. 2017 – Abandoned at 8300m due to strong winds and extreme cold
  7. 2019 – Abandoned at 7950m due to bad conditions (excess snow) and damaged tents

The first successful ascent of the South face was by Russian alpinist, Serguey Bershov and Vladimir Karataev in 1990 and it’s never been repeated.

Dhaulagiri

Over on Dhaulagiri, many of the summiters over the past weekend are mourning the death of Greek Alpinist, Antonis Sykaris. He died from apparent exhaustion near Camp 3 at 7,400-meter after summiting. He was with one Sherpa from Seven Summits Treks. His home team has commented that the lack of additional, I’d say emergency-medical, oxygen contributed to his death. Of note, there has been no mention of Sykaris’ death on any of the Seven Summits Treks’ social media, only his summit with their Sherpa, Dawa. Dhaulagiri has seen 559 summits through 2021 with 85 deaths.

There are still summit attempts on Dhaulagiri, notably by Carlos Soria and Sito Carcavilla. The 83-year-old is making his 13th attempt on the world’s 7th highest peak. He has Dhaul and Shishapangma to go in order to complete his goal of climbing all 14 of the 8000ers. This time he has a distinct advantage since the fixed line is already to the summit, and the boot path in, however depending on new snowfall, both could disappear. They have been acclimatizing in the Khumbu, reaching a high of 5,850-meters, and now are the only team in Base Camp.  Carlos posted on social media:

Yesterday we arrived at the CB [base camp] and we have very good feelings. The mountain is in very good condition and now we are alone in the base camp. We have received the sad news that our friend Antonyo died of exhaustion yesterday morning when he was coming down from the summit.

Makalu

Adventure Peak is on the trek, in the rain, “The Trek is all going well and it appears they are the only group trekking this route which makes it more special! It’s raining but a welcome relief from the heat experienced yesterday.”

Nepal Permit Update

The permits for Everest have picked up as expected but I not anticipating a significant further increase. I’m looking at between 250 and  300 total foreign permits issued. 2021 was a record year with 408 permits issued to foreigners. The Nepal Ministry of Tourism posted these foreign permit tally as of April 13, 2022

  • Everest: 250 on31 teams (25-30 teams with between 250-300 members expected)
  • Lhotse: 81 on 9 teams
  • Nuptse: 38 on 5 teams
  • Manaslu: 9 on 1 team 
  • Annapurna: 26 on 4 teams 
  • Dhaulagiri: 27 on 3 teams
  • Pumori: 0 on 0 team
  • Makalu: 39 on 4 teams
  • Ama Dablam: 65 on 6 teams
  • Gangapurna: 2 on 1 team
  • Himlung:  31 on 3 teams
  • Thapa (Dhampus): 10 on 3 team
  • Bhemdang: 8 on 1 team
  • Pokhar Kang: 9 on 1 team
  • Urknmang: 2 on 1 team

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Climb On!
Alan
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