Everest 2024: Summit Tsunamis and Puddles. An unconfirmed Death

Sherpas on the Lhotse Face

I used to call the weather windows “Summit Waves,” but they are more like Tsunamis with the occasional puddles this year. Usually, we see hundreds of summits each day, but this year, it can be as few as two people for the entire day. The summit winds continue to be fickle this spring. May 21, 2024, was a huge day for Everest summits, with an estimated 160 summits, and tomorrow may exceed it, with some estimates of over 300 climbers positioned at the South Col. One death was reported, but I have not been able to confirm it.

Some teams’ support levels are very high; for example, the highest from today was CTSS at 2.8 Sherpas supporting each client. Elite was not far behind, with 1.9 Sherpas supporting each of their clients. Teams reporting summits included

  • 14 Peaks: 8 clients with 8 Sherpas – 1:1
  • Arnold Coster (Seven Summits Treks): 3 clients with 4 Sherpas –  1:1.3
  • Asian Trekking: 11? summits but no details
  • Climbing the Seven Summits: 5 clients with 14 Sherpa –  1:2.8
  • Climbalaya: 1 client with 1 Sherpa –  1:1
  • Elite Exped: 10 clients with 19 Sherpas – 1:1.9 (exact date unclear)
  • Himalayan Ascent Team: 8 clients with 9 Sherpas – 1: 1.12
  • Imagine Nepal: 14 clients with 18 Sherpas – 1:1.28
  • Furtenbach Adventurs: summits but no details
  • Makalu Extreme: 12? summit but no details
  • Mountain Experience: 5 clients with 7 Sherpas – 1:1.4
  • Peak Promotion Team: 2 clients with 4 Sherpas – 1:2
  • Pioneer Expeditions: 3 clients with 3 Sherpas –  1:1
  • Summit Force: 1 client with 3 Sherpas –  1:3

Everest Chronicle is reporting that Romanian Gabriel Viorel Tabara, 48, was found dead in his tent. He was climbing with Makalu Adventure. If confirmed, this would be the third death on Everest this season, all with Nepali companies. Mongolian climbers using the base camp logistics of 8K Expeditions died while descending from the summit. It’s reported they used oxygen and ran out on the Southeast Ridge. They had no Sherpa support.

Pakistan’s Sirbaz Khan summited Everest sans supplemental oxygen, becoming the first Pakistani to climb eleven of the 8000ers with no Os. He now has thirteen in total, leaving Shishapangma. He wanted to get it this spring, but China refused to issue him a permit.

In a sign of the times and another reason there are such high numbers these days for Everest summits, Dawa Finjok Sherpa summited for his third time this season while working for Seven Summits Treks, guiding clients and using supplemental Os. He got it on May 12, 17 and 20 and will go for a fourth this season.

There are still many summits to come. Western operators positioned for summits on May 22 or 23 include Madison Mountaineering, Adventure Consultants, Ascent Himalaya, Summit Climb, plus another from Furtenbach. Also, there are countless small Nepali teams – one client with a few Sherpas. It will be crowded over the next few nights. Chris Tomer of Tomer Weather Solutions advises being done with Everest by May 23rd.

On the Tibet side, Furtenbach is at C4 on their summit push, targeting the summit on May 28th.

Thus far, over 300 summits, clients and Sherpas have been held on Everest, and 414 permits have been issued to foreigners.

Climb On!
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 Everyday Everest

A 16-part podcast series during the Everest 2024 climbing season.

Based on my Fictional 2020 Virtual Everest series, I posted a twenty-minute updated episode a few times a week throughout this season. Everyday Everest follows a fictional team of nine climbers and their personal Sherpas from leaving home to 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 Everest on SpotifyApple Podcast, Breaker, YouTube, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, Anchor, and more. Just search for “alan arnette” on your favorite podcast platform.

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