We’ll see multiple summits over the next couple of days on several 8000-meter peaks. The ropes are almost to the South Col on Everest, and the Sherpa rope team is making good progress. There seem’s to be a high number of female climbers this year, many wanting to records. As we move towards May, it’s time to start asking, “When will they summit?”
I spoke live with Garrett Madison from Everest Base Camp last night, April 25 in the U.S. They had just returned from their first rotation. Garret reported all was well, and the conditions are pretty good overall. He said he expects the fixed rope to reach the South Col in a day or so and perhaps the summit by May 1. Both Camps 1 & 2 are filled with people on their rotations. The Icefall is pretty busy these days, right on schedule. See the tracking table for the latest team locations.
Clean Up at Camp 2
Italian Alpinist and helicopter pilot Simone Morro flew multiple missions to Camp 2 to ferry ropes and gear to put in the fixed ropes. This is tremendous because it limits scores of trips through the Icefall by Sherpas, and reduces their overall risks. After dropping off the gear, trash was loaded from the area and flown back down valley for proper disposal.
Many teams were forced to abandon tents and gear in 2015 after the earthquake hit. With people needing to hustle to get flown out so the helicopters could be used elsewhere in Nepal, Camp 2 became very littered. There have been multiple clean-up efforts since then, but this year, we are seeing a more coordinated effort. Thanks to all. From Simone:
Everest Camp 2 (6450 m.) and Everest Lhotse and Nuptse from 7200 mt. Today 11 rotations carrying heavy material and taking away garbage from Camp 2. In this way the crossing of the Icefall serac, very dangerous for the Sherpas, was avoided.
Also, making a hugely positive contribution is Seven Summits Treks using their helicopters. This from Tashi Lakpa Sherpa
800kg rubbish was recovered from Everest camp 2 to base camp on 23 April 2022. In initiation of @14peaksexpedition
When Will They Summit?
As teams are slowly making their way to their base camps, a common question asked every year is “When will they summit?” Of course, we never know for sure but looking at the historical data starting from 1953 to 2019, we can make a very good guess. I left off 2021 because it had so many issues with COVID, it skews the data. The Himalayan Database is a treasure trove of data but it takes some work to find what you want. I spent a bit, actually a lot, time looking at how many people summited each day from both sides, all routes. And there were a few surprises.
The spring season accounts for 96% of all summits on Everest while summer and winter are less than 1%. But the real action takes place on both sides during the third week of May, every year. Specifically, 80% of all Everest summits occur between the 15th and the 27th of May. Slicing even finer, May 21st is THE day when climbing from Tibet as is May 19th on the Nepal side.
We know that Everest has been summited in all seasons, however, you define “seasons” 🙂
Remember that climbing from the Nepal side effectively ends at the end of May when the Icefall Doctors stop maintaining the route through the Khumbu Icefall. As summer approaches, it gets hotter and the monsoon moves in with heavy rain and snow. It becomes too dangerous to be climbing as the Icefall becomes even more unstable. However, since there is no equivalent Khumbu Icefall on the Tibet side, climbers can continue climbing into June or until the monsoon hits that side. As a result, we see summits as late as June 14 on the north side.
Summer is miserable with heavy snow up high and sweltering monsoonal rain down low, as a result, there are few summer summits, only 9 ever! There are a few days that seem to be significant in the Autumn. Around mid-October, there is a spike on the Nepal side and slightly earlier on the Tibet side.
For the Visual Readers
This chart shows all the days when all the Everest summits occurred.
So as you can see, summits occur often on Everest but there are a few “auspicious” days. A few more trivia items for you:
- Everest has been summited on 86 different days of the year: 48 from Tibet and 74 from Nepal
- 29 May – first summit of Everest in 1953
- 17 February is the earliest, or latest, the day that had a summit.
- 27 December is the latest, or earliest, the day that had a summit
- There has never been a summit in January, March, July, or November.
- May 11 – 12 people died when a storm took them by surprise
- April 18 – 17 Sherpas were killed when a serac released onto the Icefall.
- April 25 – 19 people died at base camp when an earthquake caused an avalanche
For those of you looking to set a record, here’s your chance – an Everest summit in January or July or…. 🙂 Oh, and without Os!
8000ers – Summits Soon
There’s a lady’s and youth movement on the 8000ers this year. Many are seeking all 14 of the 8000-meter peaks, and several have quite a few already. Most of these climbers will summit either Annapurna or Kangchenjunga over the next few days, as well as Everest, Lhotse, and Makalu before June 1.
On Everest is 18-year-old America, Lucy Westlake, trying to be the youngest to complete the Explorers’ Grand Slam, all 7 Summits plus both Poles.
Sophie Lavaud, Swiss/French/Candian is on a mission to complete the 8000ers. She is on Lhotse this year, and only needs Nanga Parbat to complete her dream. She would be the first French National to summit all 14.
Annapurna – Summit Soon
A few climbers to watch:
- Allie Pepper, 47, going for her fifth 8000ers. She has Everest, Cho Oyu, and Manaslu, and is now on Annapurna.
- Tawainese Grace Tseng, 30, is hoping to get 14. She made a winter attempt on K2 last winter. She has Everest, Lhotse and Manaslu.
- Adriana Brownlee at 21, is hoping got set a female age record for all 14. She has Everest and Lhotse.
- Norwegian Kristin Harila, 36, plans to summit all 14 peaks in six months, starting with Annapurna and then moving to Kanchanjunga, Makalu, Everest, and Lhotse. She’ll then go for the Pakistani 8000ers.
Kangchenjunga – Summit Soon
Mimnga G of Imagine Nepal is ready to summit Kangchenjunga with many of the climbers who summited Dhaulagiri last week:
Today [April 26] we established camp 4 and fixed 600m rope above.Tomorrow we will fix further 1000m and touch the rocky section above the couloir.All team will arrive camp 4 tomorrow.
Coloradoan Tracee Metcalf, 48, is on her summit push just a week after submitting Dhaulagiri. She has summited Everest, Cho Oyu, Makalu, and Annapurna.
More of the record seekers:
- Shehroze Kashif, 19, nabbed K2 last year, now is aiming for Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, and Makalu. He wants to be the youngest to get all 14.
- Sirbaz Khan, 36, is going for all 14, he has nine already.
Dhaulagiri: Summit Push Soon?
Carlos Sori, 83, Sito Carcavilla, and the six Sherpas are hoping to get to the summit soon. They’ve been holding at BaseCamp for improved weather.
Over on Makalu, Alpenglow’s Adrian Ballinger sent me this update
Good wx here. Our sherpa helping to fix to c3 and c4 next 2 days and carrying loads. Seven Summit sherpa hoping to fix to summit on 28…altho air temps look cold and not much infrastructure on upper hill, so I’m holding Alpenglow sherp back from summit push until next rotation when we have safety infrastructure up high.
I skied from just below 6900meters, down to abc today. Still trying to make this 8k skiing thing work 😬😂
Memories are Everything
Nepal Permit Update as of April 26, 2022 – Everest Holding at 303, 100 less than 2021
The permits for Everest are leveling out albeit around 100 less than the record set in 2021 of 408. Climbing permits have been issued for 886 climbers from 73 countries for 25 peaks. Looking at Everest only, the US has the largest representation with 63 members, followed by the UK-33, Nepal (non-Sherpas)-20, India-22, Canada-17, Russia-17, France-12, China-10, and Austria with 10. There are 37 countries represented by a single climber.
These permits have generated $3.7M in royalties for the government. Almost all of this revenue stays in Kathmandu, with some in various personal pockets and none to the Sherpas, porters, or other high-altitude workers. The Nepal Ministry of Tourism posted these foreign permit tally as of April 26, 2022:
- Everest: 303 on 38 teams (many very small teams this year)
- Ama Dablam: 97 on 9 teams
- Annapurna I: 26 on 4 teams
- Annapurna 4: 9 on 1 team
- Baruntse: 20 on 3 teams
- Bhemdang: 8 on 1 team
- Dhaulagiri: 27 on 3 teams
- Gangapurna: 2 on 1 team
- Himlung: 35 on 4 teams
- Khangchung: 68 on 7 teams (many very small teams this tear)
- Kangchung/UIAA: 2 on 1 teams
- Lhotse: 112 on 12 teams
- Makalu: 39 on 4 teams
- Manaslu: 9 on 1 team
- Mukot: 4 on 1 team
- Norbu Khang: 5 on 1 team
- Nuptse: 57 on 7 teams
- Phu Khang: 5 on 1 team
- Pokhar Kang: 9 on 1 team
- Putha Hiunchuli: 14 on 1 team
- Ratna Chuli: 9 on 1 team
- Saribung: 10 on 2 teams
- Saula: 2 on 1 team
- Thapa (Dhampus): 12 on 4 teams
- Urknmang: 2 on 1 team
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Memories are Everything
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