Everest 2024: More Summits and More Missing Climbers

Everest 2024 courtesy of Rajan-Dwivedi

Summits continue, but multiple climbers are missing near the Hillary Step after some sort of route collapse. I estimate that through May 22, Everest has seen 379 summits, compromising 214 Sherpas, or 56% and 165 members or 43%.  The largest summit days so far were May 19, with 100 summits, and May 21, with 104 summits. Nepal issued Everest permits to 414 foreigners. Perhaps another 60 to 100 people may summit on May 23, and activity will quiet down quite a bit.

Missing Climbers

Some sort of route failure near the Hillary Slope sent climbers falling down the Kangshung Face. Three were saved by being clipped into the fixed rope. However, later, 8K Expeditions buried the report of  two of their climbers are missing:

“Big congratulations to our 8K Expeditions Team B & C for their successful summit of Everest! Despite harsh weather conditions, the entire team successfully stood atop Everest. They are now descending to the base camp. While celebrating this success we regret to inform you that a cornice collapse occurred yesterday at Hillary Step. Two of our brave team members, Mr. Daniel Paul Paterson (UK) and Mr. Pastenji Sherpa (Nepal), are missing. Eyewitnesses reported the incident took place between Summit Ridge and South Summit and some climbers were swept away in Kangshung Face. Our dedicated search and rescue teams are deployed on the ground. They are working tirelessly to locate our missing climbers. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families during this challenging time.
Stay tuned for further updates.
Lakpa Sherpa
MD, 8K Expeditions”

Hillary Step, now the Hillary Slope

The traditional Hillary Step disappeared in the 2015 earthquake. Today, the route goes up a relatively steep snow slope with the Kangshung Face to the climber’s right when ascending. These are some before and after pictures from posts I made years ago:

Hillary Step 2018 by Casey Grom

And the traditional Hillary Step before 2015:

Climbing the Hillary Step
2011 Hillary Step by Brad Jackson

 

East Face–Everest Routes. Courtesy of National Geographic

Tragically, the death and missing counts continue to rise:

Everest

  1. May 22 – British Daniel Paul Paterson is missing near Hillary Step after summiting and climbing with 8K Expeditions.
  2. May 22 – Pastenji Sherpa is missing near Hillary Step after summiting and climbing with 8K Expeditions.
  3. May 22 – Kenyan Cheruiyot Kirui, 40, is missing above the Hillary Step, climbing without Os with Seven Summits Treks.
  4. May 22 – Nawang Sherpa is missing above the Hillary Step, climbing with Seven Summits Treks.
  5. May 13 – Mongolian Usukhjargal Tsedendamba, 53,  died on the SE Ridge after summiting, climbing with 8K Expeditions.
  6. May 13 – Mongolian Prevsuren Lkhagvajav, 31, died on the SE Ridge after summiting, climbing with 8K Expeditions.

Lhotse

  1. May 21 – Romanian Gabriel Tabara, 48, was found dead inside his tent at C3 attempting Lhotse. Climbing with Makalu Adventure.

May 22 Summits

Teams reporting summits on Wednesday morning, May 22, 2024, included

  • 8K Expeditions: 7 clients with 10 Sherpas – 1:1.4
  • 14 Peaks: 2 clients with 4 Sherpa – 1:1
  • Adventure Peaks: 3 clients with 2 Sherpas – 1: 0.6
  • Climbing the Seven Summits: 5 clients with 9 Sherpas –  1:1.8
  • Pioneer Adventures: 1 client with 1 Sherpa – 1:1
  • SPCC: 2 Icefall Doctors with 2 SPCC Executives – 1:1
  • Seven Summits Treks: 2 clients with 2 Sherpas – 1:1

Kami Rita Sherpa got his 30th summit, extending his Everest record.

May 23 Hopefuls

Several teams left the South Col on Wednesday evening, May 22, looking to summit the morning of May 23.  Garret Maddison of Madison Mountaineering gave this nice update about their plans. Ryan Mitchell is with the summit team.

Hello! This is Garrett calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Everest (8848m/29,032ft) climb – today is May 22nd. (It is) 6:40 PM and we are about to go to sleep up here at the South Col(7900m/25,919ft) on Mount Everest, Camp 4 at nearly 8,000 meters, 26,000 feet.

We had a great rest day up here after pulling in about 24 hours ago. The team is doing excellent! Everyone has been very productive on their rest, eating, drinking, and getting their gear organized and ready for the big climb tonight! The weather forecast looks amazing. It looks like we’re going to have awesome weather tomorrow on the 23rd, so fingers crossed that the forecast holds true.

We’re just feeling very lucky, very fortunate, and grateful to be up here in position at Camp 4 on Mount Everest, ready to go for the summit tonight! The team has worked really hard for this night, months if not years of sacrifice! We’re here in position. We’re feeling strong and healthy! Our team is excited to go for the big climb tonight! So, wish us luck.

We’re going to start out around midnight, hopefully get to the top around 7:00 or 8:00 AM, and be back midday in high camp here, Camp 4. We’re going to bed with anticipation for a beautiful summit day ahead and returning back safely here to Camp 4!

Other teams going tonight include:

With the spates of good weather days around bad weather days, teams became backed up, and long lines formed, similar to 2019. This video posited on Twitter by Rajan Dwivedi is disturbing. The climbers are around the Yellow Band on the Nepal side on May 20, 2024. So much for the Ministry and officials at EBC managing the crowds this year.

12,790 views

Tibet

On the Tibet side, Furtenbach’s five-client team, with 1:1 Sherpa support, are at C4 on their summit push, targeting the summit on May 28th.

Cyclons

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center shows a developing storm in the Bay of Bengal off the Indian coast. This warrants that all teams, north and south, stay aware of any development using professional weather forecasters. Chris Tomer of Tomer Weather Solutions advises being done with Everest by May 23rd.

I estimate that through May 22, Everest has seen 379 summits, compromising 214 Sherpas, or 56% and 165 members or 43%.  The largest summit days so far were May 19, with 100 summits, and May 21, with 104 summits. Nepal issued Everest permits to 414 foreigners.

Climb On!
Alan
Memories are Everything


Podcasts

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