Everest 2022: Weekend Update May 22 – The Season That Won’t End

This Everest season is like a runny nose that won’t stop. You blow hard, wipe it clean, and all of a sudden, there it goes again. Just as I thought base camp was empty and the other 8000ers, people keep showing up at the South Col and summiting. With winds so calm (relatively – there are still those moments), leaders are demonstrating great patience and trust in the weather forecasters to let the route clear out before taking their peeps higher. And that’s how it’s supposed to be done. 

More Summits!

We have a few more summits to report as it seems the wind has picked back up but was still manageable last night. We’ll see how the week develops.

Pemba Sherpa of 8K Expeditions texted me that Norweigan Kristin Harila made the fastest link ever for males or females between Everest and Lhotse, along with Dawa Ongju Sherpa and Pasadawa Sherpa. They summited Everest on May 22 at 8:45 am and then Lhotse at 5:50 pm – that’s 9:05 apart. The fastest time for anyone is held by Mingma Dorchi Sherpa made the link in six hours and one minute on May 27, 2019.

Now she’s on to Makalu base camp by helicopter. She is trying to set a record for summiting all 14 of the 8000-meter peaks in the fastest time. Pemba tells me they will ask for an entry exception to climb Shishapangma in China. And they will climb Cho Oyu from Nepal. Thus far this season, she has summited Kanchenjunga on May 14, Dhaulagiri on May 8, Annapurna I on April 28, and now Everest/Lhotse on May 22, 2022.

Another one we have been waiting for is German David Göttler, who summited Everest yesterday morning. He climbed about as clean as possible these days with no O’s and no other human support other than using the fixed lines and ladders installed by the Sherpas. He summited on May 21.

Big Picture

The ropes got to the top on May 7, and now two weeks later, there are hundreds of summits. Usually, on May 22, the Southeast Ridge route is crammed up with Sherpas and members trying to beat the summer monsoons. There’s at least one typhoon spinning like a crazy top in the Bay of Bengal. And tragically, several members have died during their summit push. But not in 2022. Just like a Tesla production line, climber after climber, fueled with oxygen and massive support, reaches the summit before dawn in many cases, celebrates, and returns home to tell the world. I estimate there have been 562 Nepal summits by 220 members supported by 343 Sherpas, a 1: 1.5 support ratio.

Last Week

Probably well over 150 summited last week, almost every day. There were no reports of accidents, high-altitude helicopter rescues, or deaths. Everything seemed to go quite smoothly.

Alpine Ascents Int. did have a touch-and-go night as the winds, forecasted to lie down, instead stood up higher. Eventually, their leader felt it was calm enough at 5:00 am, They had already spent two nights at the Col, and there was only so much oxygen. They summited around 11:00 that morning. A sign of an experienced team, if there ever was one.

There were many Nepali operators that had great success, including Mingma G‘s Imagine Nepal, Elite Expeditions, Pioneer Adventure, and Dream Himalaya Everest. You can see my estimated summit totals by team on the Tracking Table. On the other 8000ers, most were quieter than the previous week, but some had traffic, especially on Kanchanjunga.

Next Week – More Summits

There are several climbers going for various records or personal achievements that may have already tried but have not provided updates, for whatever reason:  Adriana Brownlee for Lhotse and several others, now including action on Makalu.

The Icefall Doctors will stop managing the route on May 29, according to the SPCC. This is about right, given the weather and the remaining climbers left.

Climb On!
Memories are Everything

Nepal Permit Update as of May 17, 2022

Nepal issued 968 permits to foreigners from 72 countries for 27 mountains. This generated almost USD$4 Million in revenue. As expected, this was fewer than the 2021 record-setting year when 408 permits were issued. Just looking at Everest for 2022, it came in at 319 permits across 42 teams, including 73 females. Oddly, this year included many one-person teams, thus accounting for a large number of teams. Usually, there are around 30 teams on Everest. Lhotse came next with 134 permits, but many of these were people who linked Everest and Lhotse together and ‘summited’ Lhotse from the South Col at 8,000-meters.

Looking at Everest only, the US has the largest representation with 65 members, followed by the UK-34, Nepal (non-Sherpas)-21, India-24, Canada-17, Russia-17, France-13, China-14, and Austria with 11. There were 39 countries represented by one or two climbers, which resulted in many of the country firsts we’ll discuss later. One of the reasons for fewer climbers this year was the strict travel limitations imposed by China and the lack of sponsorship for young Indian climbers. Both of these countries had a large presence on Everest in recent years, but not in 2022.

Follow Along!

I’m updating my annual team location table and track climber’s blogs (see sidebar). If you have a team not listed, please let me know, and I will add them if I can track them. Likewise, please contact me if you prefer not to be mentioned. Finally, if you would like to see anything special this year, post a comment or drop me an email.

The Video Version of this Weekend Update



The Podcast on alanarnette.com

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Why this coverage?

I like to use these weekend updates to remind my readers that I’m just one guy who loves climbing. With 35 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, so I ask for donations to non-profits where 100% goes to them and nothing ever to me.
donate to Alzheimers

Ida Arnette 1926-2009

Previous Everest 2022 Season Coverage Posts

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2 thoughts on “Everest 2022: Weekend Update May 22 – The Season That Won’t End

  1. Alan – thanks for the exciting updates on the records.

    I’m so happy this year we aren’t reading about deaths as we have so many years in the past.

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