Everest 2024: Season Summary – Everest at a Rubicon

Everest Alpineglow

Everest 2024 might be remembered for summits, politics, deaths, ignored rules, near misses and disturbing allegations of sexual misconduct. It’s difficult to put all this in a headline, but I believe the Everest guiding industry is at a Rubicon – a point of no return.

Not to be lost in this mix is the joy and satisfaction felt by hundreds of summiteers. They worked and trained diligently to celebrate standing on the top of the world for only a few minutes. It’s funny how you can work so long for a goal, and the moment is over in a blink, but the memory lasts a lifetime—well done to all who summited, to those who showed up.

Once again, the Sherpas proved they dominated the mountain with impressive altitude performance. The Himalayan Database shows that between 1950 and 2023, 6,097 Sherpas have summited Everest compared to 5,899 members, and that gap is growing each year. However, more foreigners have died than Sherpas, 197 compared to 118.

Big Picture

We may have heard the last chirps from Everest’s “canary in the coal mine.” Between the difficulty of getting the fixed ropes through the Icefall and the collapse of a cornice at the Hillary Step, climbing the reliable Southeast Ridge route could be at risk. The cause is most probably a warming environment.

Nepal’s winter was warmer and drier than any in the earlier decade. Temperatures climbed higher than the winter average, while precipitation was lower than average. Mountains, notably the Himalayas, are geologically unstable. These warm, dry conditions may have affected the Khumbu Icefall, creating challenges for the Icefall Doctors.

As for summits, I estimate Everest had around 670 summits this spring, well below the 2019 record of 877. The final number will come from the Nepal government and the Himalayan Database in a few months.

From the Nepal side, I estimate 250 clients, supported by 350 Sherpas, summited, totaling about 600 summits. This level of support came in at a 1:1.4 client-to-support ratio. Nepal issued 421 foreign permits, which makes for a 59% success rate compared to 58% for members in Nepal from 2000 to 2023, per the Himalayan Database. On the Tibet side, I estimate summits by around thirty clients, supported by forty support climbers.

All eight of the 2024 deaths were clients with Nepali operators. In 2023, fifteen of the eighteen deaths were with Nepal operators. In just two years, twenty-three people who have died were associated with Nepali mountain guide companies, 88% of the total for the two years, dispositionally higher than their market share.

Uneven Beginning

The Everest Spring season began with problems on the Tibet side. This was the first year since 2019 that foreign climbers could climb from Tibet after China closed the peak to foreigners, ostensibly because of COVID.

Using vague language about public holidays, China closed the Nepal–Tibet border until May 7 instead of the usual mid–April opening. The delay sent all but three foreign teams back to Nepal, fearing that a shorter season would reduce their summit chances.

I incorrectly thought more climbers would rush to climb on the Nepal side and avoid paying the higher permit fee scheduled for 2025. The fee will increase by 30% from $11,000 to $15,000 per permit. However, permit numbers were lower this year than last year: 427 compared to 487, a 13% drop.

The highly skilled Icefall Doctors tried in vain to find a straightforward path through the Khumbu Icefall, the troll on the Nepal side that demands satisfaction before allowing anyone into the Western Cwm. They finally found a suitable route for the fixed ropes, which was circuitous and life-sucking long. Some early climbers saw the expected six-hour journey drag to ten.

First Summits

Teams spent the delays acclimatizing on Nepal’s trekking peaks–Island, Lobuche, and Mera. The route reached Camp 2 on May 18th. The next milestone was to get the ropes from C2 to the summit, thus opening the route for the commercial teams.

A few people wanted to climb without supplemental oxygen, and usually, they needed to tag the South Col, so they anxiously awaited the Seven Summits Treks rope team to finish the job. The ropes reached the summit on May 10th, and the first foreigner summit was on May 11th by Ukrainian climber Valentyn Sypavin with Sanu Sherpa.

Meanwhile, by May 7th, the Tibetan rope team set up the summit route on the North side before the first foreign team could enter the country.

Wind or No Wind

This year may have been a bit more difficult than usual, with sporadic wind days. I used to call the weather windows “Summit Waves,” but they were more like Tsunamis with the occasional puddles this year. Usually, we see hundreds of summits each day, but this year, it was as few as two people for the entire day.

Professional forecasters like Chris Tomer, Michael Fagin, Marc DeKeyser, and Meteoexploration provide human-curated forecasts for the best teams. Other teams use free forecasts from the Internet.

Chris Tomer summarized the season:

Everest is a well-oiled machine. I think we lucked out this season with such a large window. Crowding and anticipation of crowding drive a lot of decision-making. The two summit windows were well forecasted. I was impressed by the teams, like CTSS, who were ready and willing to hit the first window (May 11-14). I was also impressed by teams like Madison, who normally wait and take the late window, knowing there’s no guarantee.

Michael Fagin (Everestweather) compared ’24 to a few previous seasons in the key areas that impact summit winds:

Cyclone

In 2021, two cyclones impacted the Everest region. On May 21, 2024, an area of low pressure formed in the Bay of Bengal and strengthened, becoming severe Cyclone Rema by May 26. On May 27, it made landfall in Bangladesh. The storm then curved east, far away from Everest. Of course, most climbers were done with the summits by this time.

Jet stream

This season was not like the 2022 season when the jet stream was located to the north and because this provided extended good weather windows. Alan was quoted as saying,  “For May, the jet stream was on vacation.”  Looking at May 2024, the jet impacted Everest from May 15 through May 18. I have not looked at statistical data, but in most seasons, the jet is over Everest generally more than roughly four days this season.

Moderate/Heavy Snow

There are usually several days when we see some moderate snowfall, which happens more often than not when a cyclone emerges from the Bay of Bengal. I believe there was one day of steady snowfall this season, perhaps up to 5” in one day. 

So, with forecasting being “well-oiled,” it was perplexing to see teams make summit bids on days in high winds.

The best-managed teams like Adventure Consultants, made real-time decisions rather than force a bad position. “Our initial planned summit day is not looking as good as it could. So, we will sit tight, continue to monitor the weather and keep you updated as we go. For now, even though Camp 2 is hard for your loved ones, it’s a little more fun today!”

Pushing the Known Limits

Unbelievably, around 50 people turned back after trying to summit on May 12th with winds forecasted to gust to 50 mph. The top limit for the best teams is 30 mph. Why expedition leaders choose to put their clients in obvious danger is beyond me. That said, it’s well documented that some operators have a different risk tolerance than others.

We’ve seen this many times, for example, last autumn on Manaslu when every Western operator abandoned their climbs after seeing several deaths due to avalanches and continuing heavy snowfall and high winds. At the same time, all the Nepali operators stayed for an extended time to make more attempts before eventually reaching the same conclusion.

Everest 2024 courtesy of Rajan-Dwivedi
Everest 2024 courtesy of Rajan-Dwivedi

Summit Summary

Despite the erratic winds, teams had enough days to spread out. However, due to the uncertainty, when a window appeared, so did the masses. There were very long lines, as shown in one image showing a cue of hundreds between Camp 3 and the Yellow Band.

With the entry delays into Tibet, the North side totals were much lower than expected. Around 60 people summited almost evenly split between clients and Sherpas.

On the Nepal side, there were over 600 summits from around 40 teams:

May 30: 23 on the Tibet side

Alpenglow Expeditions: All six clients with five guides and twelve Sherpas or 1:2.8

May 27: 5+ (4+ clients with 4+ Sherpas)

  • Dreamers Destinations: 3 Sherpas
  • Pioneer Adventures: 1 client with 1 Sherpa –  1:1

May 24: 10+ (5+ clients with 5+ Sherpas)

Summit Climb: 5 clients with 5 Sherpas – 1:1

May 23: 80+ (30+ clients with 50+ Sherpas)

  • 14 Peaks: 7 clients with 12 Sherpas –  1:1.7
  • Adventure Consultants: 6 clients, 13 Sherpas –  1:2.2
  • Alpine Ascents International (AAI): summits but no details
  • Ascent Himalaya: 3 clients with 5 Sherpas – 1:1.6
  • Kobler & Partner: 3 clients with 2 Sherpas –  1.5:1
  • Maddison Mountaineering: 4 clients, one guide with nine Sherpas – 1:2.5
  • Pioneer Adventure: at least 1 client with at least 1 Sherpa
  • Climbalaya: North (Tibet) side – 1 client with 2 Sherpas –  1:2
  • Furtenbach Adventures: North (Tibet) side – summits but no Sherpa or member names.

May 22: 50+ (24+ clients with 26+ Sherpas)

  • 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

May 21: 193+ (83+ clients with 110+ Sherpas)

  • 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

May 19: 163+ (73+ clients with 90+ Sherpas)

  • 7 Summits Club: 13 clients with Sherpas support not named
  • 14 Peaks Expeditions: 8 clients with 8 Sherpas – 1:1
  • 8K Expeditions 17 clients with 21 Sherpas – 1:1.2
  • Angs Himalayan Adventures: 1 client with 3 Sherpas – 1:3
  • Climbalaya: 1 client with 21 Sherpas –  1:1
  • Kaitu Expeditions: 8 clients, 13 Sherpas –  1:1.6
  • Satori Adventures: 5 clients with 11 sherpas – 1:2.2

Cornice Collapse–Canary in the Everest Coal Mine?

A long line of an estimated fifty climbers was too much for the Hillary Step, causing a soft cornice overhanging the Kangshung Face to collapse. Several people plummeted down the Face but were stopped by being clipped into a fixed rope. Apparently not clipped into the safety rope, tragically, British climber Daniel Paul Paterson, 40, climbing with Sherpa Pas Tenji Sherpa, 23, fell and have not been found. The search was called off, citing the vertical fall and the need for permission from China to go on their side for the search.

There are many questions.  Why did climbers overload the cornice? Why was the fixed rope near the overhang? Why didn’t experienced mountaineers see the developing situation and stop climbers from overloading it? Was this a result of the warm Himalayan winter? It’s dangerous to speculate, but this incident needs a full review by independent, experienced climbers like a Conrad Anker, for example.

Rules

Rules, new rules, ignored rules and silly rules.

The Nepal Supreme Court issued a series of well-intended but vague rules that potentially will join a long list of ignored rules. The largest and most well-connected operators have long learned that doing whatever they want has no consequences other than making more profit.

As expected, the new rules announced earlier had little impact. For example, the ban on helicopters for non-emergencies was simply ignored. In an IG post, Eduard Kubatov explains that climbers turned back on their summit push due to the forecasted high winds, and some took helicopters back to EBC.

The Nepal Supreme Court “new” rules were mostly reruns of previously issued rules that were largely ignored:

  • Issue climbing permits only after specifying the number of climbers and the capacity to accommodate the climbers.
  • All mountain climbing team members compile a comprehensive list of items they plan to take with them. The list should be recorded at the departure point before the ascent begins and upon their return.
  • The SC has urged the government to focus on mountain protection and cleanliness.
  • Coordinate garbage and corpse management in mountainous areas, establish a monitoring team (ranger) comprising experienced mountain climbers, and ensure adequate wages, accident insurance, and compensation for individuals engaged in the cleaning campaign.

But these were not the only rules issued this season. In February of this year, the Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality, the governing body charged with managing Nepal’s Everest Base Camp (EBC), announced new rules without warning or apparently investigating their feasibility. Some addressed trash, others EBC sprawl and others luxuries.

  • Climbers would be required to haul their feces off of the peak using WAG bags
  • Size limitations on square (box) and dome tents, plus no attached toilets
  • No business, e.g., massage services, bakeries, stores and the sort
  • Helicopters are banned from ferrying gear to camp,
  • Visitors and trekkers are banned from sleeping at EBC camp
  • Every climber is required to carry down at least eight kilograms (17.6 pounds) of garbage from the mountain

I’ve been tracking these rule announcements for over ten years, and it’s fascinating to see repeats. Still, the common theme is virtually none are ever enacted or enforced because of the instability of the Nepal government and the revolving door of Ministers who run the Ministry of Tourism. This eye chart shows the ones announced and often promoted by the mainstream press; however, virtually none were ever enforced. I have a red check by the ones I believe were implemented. Click the chart to enlarge it.

New Everest Rules 2024

Records

2024 revealed several records. While I am not sure they are newsworthy, they are noteworthy for the climbers. They included:

  • Sherpa Kami Rita Sherpa, 54: Achieved a record 30th Everest summit
  • Brit Kenton Cool, 50: A non-Sherpa record of eighteen Everest summits.
  • Slovakian Lenka Polackova: tenth female to summit without supplemental oxygen.
  • Polish climber Piotr Jerzy Krzyzowski: first and fastest person to summit both Lhotse and Everest without supplemental oxygen in 1 day, 23 hours, and 22 minutes.
  • Nepali female Phunjo Jhangmu Lama: fastest Everest in 14 hours and 31 minutes.
  • Nepali female Nangsal Choedon Lama: first Nepali female to summit both Everest and Lhotse.
  • Nepali female Purnima Shrestha: first woman to climb Mount Everest three times in a single climbing season.
  • Sherpa Dawa Finjok Sherpa: Three Everest summits in a single season, 8 days, 13 hours, and 35 minutes.
  • Ligia Madrigal Moya: first female from Costa Rica to summit Everest

One record was cited, but it is incorrect. Indian Kaamya Karthikeyan, 16, was reported to be the youngest Indian female to summit Everest, but in 2013, Indian Poorna Malavath summited at 13 years, 11 months.

And in the “I can’t believe I read this, and will soon forget” department, Devon Levesque did a backflip on the summit, and the video went viral.

Fly Like an Eagle (with a wingsuit)

Tim Howell wanted to fly off Lhotse in a wingsuit. Brit IFMGA guide Jon Gupta supported his aborted effort and gave me this update:

The Lhotse Wingsuit 8K project was awesome. We attempted to fix a new line, ‘summit down,’ I went with two Sherpas (Siddhi and Tendi) to do this. Siddhi and Tendi fixed as much as possible, but it was too serious/technical and committed at 8500m, so we descended after a long day.

A week later, we came back up. We (Siddi Tamang and I) then opened a new route from Lhotse C4 7700 all the way to the ridge at 8212m, just 50m below the proposed jump/exit location. The route was about 600m to the right of the main normal couloir. The climbing wasn’t too hard, but it was a cool direct line. It was amazing to be alone on an 8000m mountain on previously unclimbed terrain; it felt very special!

When we arrived at the ridge, in a mini col, the clouds were thick over Island Peak/Chukkung (none were on our side!). The final 50m looks technically challenging, but I can do it.

No O’s is Dangerous

Several deaths over the past few years have come from climbers shunning supplemental oxygen. This season, one was Kenyan Cheruiyot Kirui, 40. Kirui’s family requested that his body remain on the mountain. He was supported by Nawang Sherpa, 44, who has not been found. Some reports say they fell in a crevasse 48 meters from the summit, but this feels unlikely, given the terrain.

The two Mongolian climbers, Usukhjargal Tsedendamba and Prevsuren Lkhagvajav died on the SE Ridge after summiting. Initially, they would not use supplemental oxygen, but summit photos found on their phones revealed them wearing oxygen masks. Then, their logistics company, 8K Expedition, said they had given them a few bottles each. It’s unclear if oxygen played a role in their deaths.

Highly experienced climbers like Tunc Findik, who has all fourteen 8000ers, planned to summit without oxygen assistance, but seeing the crowds and other factors, he used the O’s and successfully summited. Norwegian Frank Loke aborted his no Os plans.

A few did accomplish the rare feat of a no-O’s summit and lived: Slovakian Lenka Polackova, Indian Skalzang Rigzin, 42 and impressively, Polish climber Piotr Jerzy Krzyzowski, who became the first and fastest person to summit both Lhotse and Everest without Os.

Disturbing Developments

In an explosive New York Times article, two of his female clients, Fin Lotta Hintsa and American Dr. April Leonardo, accused Nimral Purja, 40, of sexual harassment. Through his lawyer, he denies the accusations with “… unequivocally denies the allegations of wrongdoing. These allegations are false and defamatory.” Nepal’s Department of Tourism (DoT) reacted quickly to launch an investigation.

The allegations came as no surprise to many insiders. Quoting James Baldwin, “I can’t believe what you say because I see what you do.”

Many in the mountaineering guide community, Nepali and foreign, have stayed on the sidelines thus far, not commenting about the powerful influencer’s alleged behavior. Alpenglow’s founder, Adrian Ballenger, immediately posted his thoughts on Facebook when the NYT article went live. This is an excerpt:

This week, one of Everest’s biggest new stars, Nirmal Purja (Nimsdai), was credibly accused of sexual assault by multiple women. I’m choosing to share this article because I believe we need to empower victims to speak out through our support. I’m deep enough in this world to have a pretty good sense of where the truth lies. It’s way past time for that truth to have its day. And it’s always time for women to know we want this playing field to be safe and equal for them like it is for us.

Several other foreign guide companies followed his lead, such as Adventure Consultants, Climbing the Seven Summits, Furtenbach and Maddison Mountaineering. I have not seen comments from any Nepali guide companies on their company sites or social media. Also, there has been no statement from the Expedition Operators Association, an industry group of Nepali guide companies.

In an environment without meaningful regulation, it’s up to the industry to regulate itself.

One of the women allegedly assaulted, Lotta Hintsa,  gave this update on her Instagram account, and Elite announced they would sue the NYT:

While none other than the principals knew what happened, the “me too” movement showed where there was smoke, there was fire concerning high-profile, powerful men. The NYT article quotes one woman saying, “a ‘No’ means nothing.” I hope his supporters don’t do the traditional “victim shaming.”

Purja has ambassador or sponsorship agreements with several companies, including Redbull, Scarpa, and Grivel and previously with Osprey Packs, which dropped him as an ambassador this week.

According to the Kathmandu newspaper, The Himalayan Times, “Lawmaker Rajendra Bajgain has urged the government to ban prominent climber Nirmal “Nims” Purja from entering Nepal.”

Flaunting the Rules

Several incidents involving him and his company occurred this season. In a video posted on Sunday, May 27, the founder of Elite Exped claimed the fixed ropes had been cut, preventing his team from going to the summit. Meanwhile, another team, Pioneer Adventures, reported using the ropes to summit. Elite said the claims in the video were valid. This is a case of “he said, he said.”

Nepal’s aviation regulator, Civil Aviation Authority, CAAN, refused to grant him a permit for skydiving in the Everest region, citing “a serious issue of aviation safety.”

On May 19th, CAAN suspended the senior captain of Prabhu Helicopters, Sobit Gauchan, for flying Purja on an unauthorized flight from Kathmandu to Camp II on Mt. Everest. Non-emergency helicopter flights had been strictly banned this year, but he claimed that on the morning of May 19th, some of his VIP clients became unwell and needed medical attention. Since he had medical training and was the expedition leader, he went on the rescue mission to C2 to assess the situation.

Finally, Nepal’s Department of Tourism has started a probe after witnesses and officials said his company, Elite Exped, allowed one of its teams with a permit for neighboring Lingtren to climb Everest’s Camp 3. Elite said they followed the common practice of using another team’s permit, in this case, Seven Summits Treks.


Everest’s Rubicon

I think 2024 will be looked at as Everest’s Rubicon. Let me explain.

  1. Soaring Sherpa Crowds: The permit numbers were down from last year, and so were the client summits. Meanwhile, Sherpa summits have soared. Kami Rita got his 30th; another Sherpa did at least three this season, and on and on. Heralding these summits is akin to saying an airline pilot is a hero for flying so many miles. As Kami Rita said, “I did not climb for world records. I was just working.” Also, the support ratio was over the top this year, with some teams as high as 2.5 Sherpas for each client. If we want to reduce the crowds, limit Sherpa support to one for each foreigner.

2. Safety Crisis: The cornice collapse near the Hillary Step directly results from too many people in an area suspected of collapsing. At a minimum, the Sherpa guiding clients should have known better, or a Western guide, seeing the line of 50 people standing there, should have raised the alarm and spread people out. If we want a safer mountain, ensure all guides are qualified and empowered to report problems, even if it means stopping summit climbs at any moment.

3. Impotent Rules Lure the Naive: The Nepal Supreme Court, local authorities in Namache, the Ministry of Tourism and the Expedition Operators Association received global publicity that many new rules would “keep Everest safe and clean.” For example,  the required use of a  “GPS Chip” was a RECCO reflector used by skiers. And the requirement to use WAG bags with zero plan on separating the plastics from the waste and disposing of each properly. Also, the rule helicopters should be banned and used for only emergency rescues. None of these new rules have made significant advances, and the operators, especially the high-profile ones, ignore these rules. These false announcements impact families who send their loved ones to Nepal, believing it is well-managed and safe. If there is a problem, help is moments away. Tell that to the 25 families from the past two years. If we want to stop deaths and rescues and reduce helicopter flights, implement meaningful rules like client experience requirements and true training for guides and hold everyone accountable, starting with the guide company leaders.

4. Political Unpredictability Puts Climbing at Risk: China played political gamesmanship with the border opening, causing several teams to climb from Nepal instead of Tibet, thus increasing the crowds and padding the permit numbers. China has proven unreliable, so most operators favor Nepal despite all the inept management. At least China tries to manage their side with limited permits, etc. If we want a stable environment, China and Nepal publish schedules and stick to them.

5. Climate Change Impact is Real: The Icefall Doctors took an extra 12 days to get the route in because of the growing instability in the Khumbu Icefall. While it is unclear why the Icefall changed so much, we know it is thinning, thus creating more crevasses. It took teams three to five hours longer to get through the fall this year—that’s the canary in the coal mine for how Climate Change is changing mountaineering. If we want a safer mountain, perhaps ban climbing through the Khumbu Icefall and send a team on other routes or to the Northside.

6. Consolidation in the Works: In my view, while it may seem like a “low-drama” year on the surface, I think there are so many suspect areas, and we are seeing a total slow-motion collapse of Everest, Inc. I believe there will soon be an industry consolidation, leaving only a handful of less than ten qualified, fully functional operators for both sides. We saw several high-profile guide companies not guiding any 8000er this spring. I predict six Nepal and four Western left once the shakeout occurs. Meanwhile, the permit numbers will continue to soar, as will deaths. Last year’s 18 was the most deaths of Everest climbers actually climbing. 2015 had 21, but several were non-climbers, so 2023 holds the “honor.” If we want a safer, more predictable environment, Nepal and China should implement authorized guide programs like the US National Park Service does for Denali, with only seven operators authorized to guide the mountain. Independents are allowed but highly discouraged.

Other 800ers

There were summits on Annapurna, Makalu and Lhotse but none on Dhaulagiri, Kanchenjunga, Manaslu, Cho Oyu or Shishapngma.

Death Totals

All eight of the 2024 deaths were clients of Nepali operators. In 2023, fifteen of the eighteen deaths were with Nepal operators. In just two years, twenty-three people who have died were associated with Nepali mountain guide companies. That’s 88% of the total for the two years. These teams had deaths in the last two years.

  • 8K Expeditions: 6
  • Asian Trekking: 3
  • Imagine Nepal: 3
  • Pioneer Adventure: 2
  • Seven Summits Treks: 3
  • Annapurna Treks: 2
  • Peak Promotion: 2
  • Expedition Himalaya: 1
  • Glacier Himalaya Treks: 1
  • International Mountain Guides: 1
  • Madison Mountaineering: 1
  • Makalu Adventure: 1
  • Yeti: 1

The bodies of Usukhjargal Tsedendamba, 31, Purevsuren Lkhagvajav, 53, and Romanian climber Gabriel Viorel Tabara, 48, were brought to Kathmandu. Nepal issued a rule that all dead bodies have to be taken off the mountain. The Nepal Army assisted in the efforts.

Everest Eight Deaths

  1. May 28 – Indian Banshi Lal, 46, died in a Kathmandu hospital after being evacuated from Everest with AMS. He was climbing with 8K Expeditions.
  2. May 23 – Nepali (not a Sherpa) Binod Babu Bastakoti, 37, died near the south Col after summiting and climbing with Yeti Adventure.
  3. May 22 – British Daniel Paul Paterson, 40, is missing near Hillary Step collapse after summiting with Pastenji Sherpa and climbing with 8K Expeditions.
  4. May 22 – Pastenji Sherpa, 23, is missing near Hillary Step collapse after summiting with Daniel Paterson and climbing with 8K Expeditions.
  5. May 22 – Kenyan Cheruiyot Kirui, 40, died above the Hillary Step, climbing without Os and with Nawang Sherpa, with Seven Summits Treks.
  6. May 22 – Nawang Sherpa,44, is missing above the Hillary Step, climbing with Cheruiyot Kirui and for Seven Summits Treks.
  7. May 13 – Mongolian Usukhjargal Tsedendamba, 53,  died on the SE Ridge after summiting, climbing with Usukhjargal Tsedendamba, and logistics by 8K Expeditions.
  8. May 13 – Mongolian Prevsuren Lkhagvajav, 31, died on the SE Ridge after summiting, climbing with Usukhjargal Tsedendamba, and logistics by 8K Expeditions.

Lhotse One Death

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

Nepal Permit Totals

For Everest, the Ministry of Tourism issued 421 permits to foreigners comprising 76 female and 345 male clients across 45 teams.   The Ministry of Tourism collected USD$5.1 million in royalties for all climbing permits. For Everest alone, they collected USD$4.5 million. This is the 2024 tally for the 8000ers the MoT posted through May 22.:

8000er Teams Male Clients Female Clients Total
Annapurna I 3 14 11 25
Cho Oyu 1 1 0 1
Dhaulagiri 3 22 8 30
Everest 45 345 76 421
Kanchenjunga 5 21 14 35
Lhotse 16 128 28 156
Makalu 7 43 21 64
Manaslu 1 2 0 2
TOTALS 80 574 158 732

Again, congratulations to all who showed up and those who made the top. My sincere condolences to the families of those lost on the mountains this year.

Climb On!
Alan
Memories are Everything


Here’s the video podcast version of the season summary:

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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.


Previous Everest 2024 Season Coverage Posts

 


 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.

Previous Everyday Everest Episodes


Why this coverage?

I like to use these 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

There are five Summit Coach  clients on Everest in 2024

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Everest 2024: Last Summits of the Season and Another Death

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7 thoughts on “Everest 2024: Season Summary – Everest at a Rubicon

  1. > If we want a safer, more predictable environment, Nepal and China should implement authorized guide programs like the US National Park Service does for Denali

    The corruption levels in China and Nepal are too high for to this be an effective strategy to improve safety. The “authorized guides” would just end up being those that paid the largest bribes or have powerful political connections. The end result would be higher costs and lower safety.

  2. During your post you mention “need for permission from China to go on their side for the search” about the missing climbers from the Hillary Step collapse. Was the permission needed because they were presumed dead due to the fall? If a climber fell onto ‘Chinese Soil’ but was known to be alive, would the border politics prevent a rescue effectively killing the climber? I know politics can get ugly, but would they prevent an active rescue?

    Thanks for your coverage and thoughts!

    1. Good question. I would *hope* everyone would work together if someone was known to be alive. I think in this case it was so severe, that was unlikely. Yes, politics can be prickly, for example China refuses to give anyone permission to traverse Everest i.e. climb from north to south or south to north via the summit.

    1. Thanks for sharing. Great for a change to read from a team summiting (on the Nepal side) and having the mountain completely to themselves. Also always love to read some Irish guys are around on the mountain. Cheers. Lisa

  3. In your list of deaths by guide service in ‘23 and ‘24, you neglect to mention that Elite lost two people on Shishapangma last fall.

    1. The list was only for Everest, and the one for Lhotse at the South Col. I never intended for it to be an allinclusinve its for the 8000ers. I did something like that when there were 19 deaths across multiple 8000ers in 2019. Thanks for the note.

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