Everest 2022: Summit Wave 8 Recap

Everest South Col 2003

UpdateAlpine Ascents Int. had summits this Wednesday morning but has not revealed names or numbers. They reported that they left the South Col well after midnight and summited around 11:00 am May 18. This is a bit odd, so perhaps the winds picked up, and they held tight, waiting for it to calm. Ben Jones, their leader, is a seasoned veteran and has seen the many faces of Everest, so he made a wise choice. Last year, he pulled his entire team from the South Col as the season ended when the weather didn’t cooperate.

Madison Mountaineering has moved his team to the South Col and is settling in for the night and all day tomorrow, planning to leave for the summit around 9:00 pm and summit Friday, May 20. There may be a couple of other teams, but I’m told the mountain is pretty quiet now. 

I may have to start using scientific notation for numbering the summits waves. We are now at number eight. In 2018, there were 11 consecutive days, and in 2019, only three. I’m expecting a pretty low number of summits this morning, but I’m always surprised.

Yet another day of manageable winds, albeit Madison Mountaineering is reporting that it is a bit breezy at Camp 3 tonight, May 18. This spike was in the forecast. They appear to be targeting Friday morning for their summit, which could be one of the last this season.

Alpine Ascents Int. is currently on the summit push from the South Col, where they spent two nights. It’s unclear if there are many other teams with them, as most have already cleared out. However, there are probably a couple of Nepali outfits there. And we are still waiting for David Göttler to make his no O’s unsupported attempt. I’m getting nervous that this weather window is about to slam shut.

The large support ratio continues for almost every team. Tuesday morning saw 22 foreigners summit supported by 40 Sherpas. That’s almost two Sherpas for each foreigner. With 454 Nepal side summits through May 18 broken down as 179 members with 275 Sherpas, high-altitude workers, aka Sherpas, and the many other ethnicities who work on Everest now surpass foreigners with the largest number of all-time summits. From 1953 to 2021, the Himalayan Database shows that 5,351 members and 5,305 Sherpas summited.

Usually, the ‘other’ 8000ers are empty by now, but a few intrepid climbers are still at it, some for a second chance. Carla Perez is trying again on Makalu after writing so eloquently about why she turned back the first time. She is climbing without Os. Also, Jon Gupta confirmed directly to me he and a client are also on Makalu, hoping to get the summit on the 20th.

And Tim Mosedale is all giddy about a second chance on Nuptse. He and Dawa Tenzing Sherpa is still trying to get Everest, Lhotse, and Nuptse. If they do, the fight of who has done it before will really heat up, mattering to only a few. For the record, The Himalayan Database reports that no one has. The main issue is getting to the true summit of Nuptse is incredibly dangerous due to a soft cornice that protects at the top. Most people who have climbed Nuptse back off, saying it was suicidal. There have only been 20 summits by all routes.

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2 thoughts on “Everest 2022: Summit Wave 8 Recap

  1. Alan, didn’t Kenton Cool complete the Triple Crown? I remember reading a piece you did in Outside Magazine, it was the talk of the season he climbed Nuptse on the ropes that Himex had put up after talking to Russell Brice

    1. It ended up that Ms. Hawley of the HDB gave the team credit for Nuptse of “Success (Subpeak, Foresmt),” so I guess it leaves it open, but they definitely did not stand on the very top due to the soft cornice, as I’m told first hand from someone who was there.

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