Everest 2023: 100 More Summits, Sixth Everest Death and Carlos Soria, 84, Rescue Underway

With masses of climbers on Everest, today we saw over 100 more summits bringing the season total to over 166 and the sixth death of the season. There were many “records” set as well, some in the beholder’s eye. Several hundred remain to attempt the summit.

Moldovan climber Victor Brinza died at the South Col on May 17, making the sixth death this season. He was with Nepali operator Himalayan Traverse Adventure.

Kami Rita Sherpa got his twenty-seventh summit, a record while guiding his client, and Kenton Cool got his seventeenth while also guiding his client, setting a record for non-Sherpa summits. Dorji Gyaljen Sherpa was with them. Well over 100 Sherpas have summited Everest over ten times.

8K Expeditions wisely held for an extra day at the South Col because of high winds, then put seven clients with ten Sherpas on top today, Wednesday, May 17, 2023. They had fifty-nine clients for Everest, so more to come.

Furtenbach Adventures reported 100% success but no names or numbers. Climbing the Seven Summits noted nine clients supported by two Western guides and fifteen Sherpas. Elite claimed they had nine clients supported by seventeen Sherpas for twenty-six summits and an astonishing client to Sherpa ratio of 1: 1.8. Image had seven Chinese clients supported by eight Sherpas, with the first pair summiting at 5:52 am and the last at 1:30 pm.

And there’s more. A team of one with Wild Med Adventures and Grand Himalayan Treks &Expeditions, formally owned by Namyga Sherpa, who passed away from cancer this past year, now operated by his wife Wongmu, had a client and Sherpa on the summit. Likewise, Pioneer Adventure had a pair summit.

As for the records, I’ll leave it to Guinness to sort these out: first Cuban (who lives in Iceland), Ukraine’s richest ex-minister couple, a person who “who abseiled into active volcano,” and a Vietnamese American billionaire with Kami Rita. And “first Yakut and Sakha on the Summit of Everest.”

Other 8000ers

Dhaulagiri had seven summits. Lhotse had many more. Makalu had four members supported by six Sherpas summit. There are teams ready for the summit of Kangchenjunga. Sadly on Dhaulagiri, Carlos Soria is being rescued because of a leg injury suffered when he fell.

May Days!

Spring 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.

All Everest summits from all routes by day from 1953 to 2017. Source: Himalayan Database

Other Days

We know 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 nine 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.

Everest summits from all routes from 1953 to 2017. Source: Himalayan Database

For the Visual Readers

This chart shows all the days when all the Everest summits have occurred.

All Everest summits from all routes by day from 1953 to 2017. Source: Himalayan Database

So as you can see, summits occur often on Everest, but there are a few “auspicious” days.  Here are 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 – Tenzing and Hillary first summit of Everest
  • 17 February is the earliest, or latest, day that had a summit.
  • 27 December is the latest, or earliest, day that had a summit
  • There has never been a summit in January, March, July, or November.
  • May 11 when twelve people died when a storm took them by surprise
  • April 18, when seventeen Sherpas died after being hit by a serac release onto the Icefall.
  • April 25 – nineteen 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…. 🙂

Climb On!
Memories are Everything

Nepal RECORD Permit Update as of May 14, 2023

Government officials say they will not issue any more Everest climbing permits this season, stopping at a record of 478. The previous Everest record was 408 for the 2021 season of 408. Nepal issued climbing permits for 1,176 climbers from 80 countries for 27 peaks. Looking at Everest only, China has the largest representation with 97 members, followed by the US at 89, India–at 40, Canada-21, and Russia-20. There are 44 countries represented by three or fewer climbers.

These permits have generated $5.8M 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 tallies as of May 14, 2022:

  1. Everest: 478 on 47 teams
  2. Lhotse: 156 on 17 teams
  3. Ama Dablam: 79 on 8 teams
  4. Nuptse: 63 on 6 teams (only a few will attempt to summit, most will stop at C2)
  5. Makalu: 63 on 9 teams
  6. Annapurna I: 54 on 5 teams
  7. Kanchenjunga: 44 on 5 teams
  8. Himlung: 41 on 5 teams
  9. Dhaulagiri: 37 on 4 teams
  10. Manaslu: 15 on 4 teams

Climb On!
Memories are Everything

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