Everest 2024: Weekend Update April 7: Climbers on the Trek

Welcome to the Everest 2024 Weekend Update. The Everest spring season is on track. Hundreds of people are advancing towards Everest Base Camp on the Nepal side of the Mountain. The Tibet side remains quiet, as teams will not arrive for at least another week. There are a few snags here and there, but nothing serious at this point.

Each weekend during the season, I’ll post a “Weekend Update” summarizing the main stories from the past week and what we can expect coming up.

Big Picture

One Everest climber checked in with me, reporting from the trek to EBC, “We’re in Pheriche now, about 14k feet, and all has been good so far. We’ve been fortunate with mostly clear skies for the past week.  I am doing an acclimatization hike this morning to about 16/17k, then rest this afternoon, and morning to Lobouche base camp tomorrow.”

As of April 5, 2024, Nepal has issued 264 climbing permits to 30 teams for 15 peaks, 130 of which are for Everest. I still expect the 2023 record of 478 Everest permits to be broken this year. Don’t be fooled by the low number at this point, as there is a trend for teams to arrive later and later for Everest. Some start with Annapurna; others just arrive later and thus get their permits later. A decade ago, an Everest expedition was eight weeks long. Today, it can be as short as three, but most are now around six weeks. It will pick up.

Last Week

The biggest news this past week was that the Icefall Doctors hit a snag while “fixing” the route through the Khumbu Icefall. It was not unexpected, but the Icefall Doctors struggled to find safe passage through the upper Icefall for several days. They had expected to reach Camp 1 about now and Camp 2 next week, but it obviously will take longer.

I’m not too concerned about this delay and expect the route to be through the Icefall soon. History shows the route is through the ‘fall between April 2, as in 2017, and as late as April 16, like in 2010. Look for the first teams to arrive at EBC around April 15 and enter the Icefall a few days later. Sherpas will establish Camps 1 and 2 in the Western Cwm as soon as the Icefall route is in.

Some teams are taking helicopters from Kathmandu to Lukla. The usual poor weather will ground fixed-winged flights. Nepal will also limit some domestic flights out of Tribhuvan International Airport due to congestion, capacity or construction. You just never know, so some trekkers and climbers fly from Ramechhap, a small airstrip 140 km (85 miles), five hours drive from Kathmandu.

Many teams are acclimatizing on Lobuche East, nearly 20,000 feet, to eliminate one trip through the Icefall.

The volunteer Doctors who will staff Everest ER on the Nepal side have set up their “ER Tent” and are already treating patients for minor problems like upper respiratory infections, cuts and sprains. The more serious problem will begin once people reach a serious altitude, i.e., above 20,000 feet, but altitude can hit anyone anytime. This organization provides a great service to the locals, including porters, Sherpas, and foreign climbers, who are asked to pay a nominal fee of $125 for the season—quite the bargain for a qualified and quality service.

Next Week

On the Nepal side, many climbers and trekkers will continue their six to eight-day journey, taking in the sights and changing their lives as they experience the majesty of the Khumbu. Meanwhile, Sherpas will finish building tent platforms at Everest Base Camp, aka EBC,  and preparing their team’s base camp for the next few months. There is similar activity on the Tibet side at Chinese Base Camp, aka CBC, where staff pitch tents and prepare for the climbers’ arrival.

The terrain at CBC is dramatically different from that at EBC. CBC is on a flat expanse of dirt that is often windblown, compared to EBC, which is pitched on the moving Khumbu Glacier. The latter melts throughout the season, occasionally requiring tents to be moved to more stable ground. Both sides offer stunning views—the Icefall from EBC and one of the most impressive sights in the world, Everest North Face, from CBC. There are no bad views!

However, the Chinese government banned helicopters on the Tibet side, so even though it’s windier, it is much quieter than the never-ending helicopters flying in and out of EBC. They are supposed to be curtailed this season, but I’m doubtful anything will change, and it’ll continue to be an airport.

Furtenbach Adventures Everest from base camp on the Tibet side by Rupert Hauer

 

Everest Base Camp on the Nepal side by Alan Arnette

Some teams will have their Puja ceremony, where a Lama from a local Monastery performs a ceremony to ask the Mountain Gods permission to climb, forgiveness for damaging the mountain, and safety for all involved. This is a solemn ceremony that, for many, marks the beginning of the climb. I’ll discuss it more when they begin.

Other 800ers

There’s lots of activity on Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. This week, we can expect the weather-dependent first 8000er summit of the season.

Nepal Permit Update

As of April 7, 2024, Nepal has issued 264 climbing permits to 30 teams for 15 peaks. This is the current tally for the 8000ers:

8000er Teams Male Clients Female Clients Total
Annapurna I 3 14 11 25
Dhaulagiri 1 10 5 15
Everest 13 119 30 149
Kanchenjunga 1 5 2 7
Lhotse 4 39 6 45
Makalu 1 10 0 10
TOTALS 23 197 54 251

 

 

 

 

 


 Everyday Everest

A new Podcast series during the Everest 2024 climbing season.

Based on my 2020 Virtual Everest series, I’ll have a twenty-minute updated episode of the story a few times a week for the next two months. Everyday Everest follows a fictional team of nine climbers and their personal Sherpas from leaving home, trekking to base camp, acclimatizing, and finally, on their summit push. The story’s protagonist, Harper, sets the tone for the story when she tells her husband, Marc, “Honey, I’m going to climb Everest.”

You can listen to Everyday Evererst on SpotifyApple Podcast, Breaker, YouTube, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, Anchor, and more. Just search for “alan arnette” on your favorite podcast platform.

Here’s to a safe season for all on both sides.

Climb On!
Alan
Memories are Everything


Here’s the video podcast version of this weekend’s update:

You can listen to #everest2024 podcasts on SpotifyApple Podcast, Breaker, YouTube, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, Anchor, and more. Just search for “alan arnette” on your favorite podcast platform.

217 views

Previous Everest 2024 Season Coverage Posts


Why this coverage?

I like to use these weekend updates to remind my readers that I’m just one guy who loves climbing. With 38 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 hope no other family will go through; thus, I asked for donations to non-profits, which 100% goes to them and nothing ever to me.
donate to Alzheimers

Ida Arnette 1926-2009

Preparing for Everest is more than Training

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If you dream of climbing mountains but are unsure how to start or reach your next level, from a Colorado 14er to Rainier, Everest, or even K2, we can help. Summit Coach is a consulting service that helps aspiring climbers worldwide achieve their goals through a personalized set of consulting services based on Alan Arnette’s 30 years of high-altitude mountain experience and 30 years as a business executive. Please see our prices and services on the Summit Coach website.

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2 thoughts on “Everest 2024: Weekend Update April 7: Climbers on the Trek

  1. Hey, on EverestER, you have them treating “springs”. Is that a typo for “sprains”? I saw this in a previous report, but didn’t figure out that time what you probably meant.

    Thank you for doing these. I always enjoy the early reports as from a trekker or climber, as well as the reports of current news. Very nicely done.

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