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Everest/Lhotse 2016: Winds Let Up for Next Summit Push

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May 182016
Everest/Lhotse 2016: Winds Let Up for Next Summit Push

After the surprise wind storm on Tuesday 17 May, the winds seem to have let up on Wednesday 18 May and teams at the South Col are preparing to give it a go tonight – in a few hours actually. Potentially close to 200 people. Those positioned at Camps 2 and 3 will move up to the South Col for their summit attempts hoping to top out on the 19 of May. Punishing Night Those that spent last night and today at the South Col were punished. I had a similar experience in 2003 when we expected good weather but it turned continue reading

May 172016
Everest/Lhotse 2016: Huge Winds Stop Summits

After a span of six consecutive summit days, the jet stream got revenge today with high winds that have stopped summit pushes and even forced some teams to re to lower camps to wait out the storm. This is not unusual. In fact, most of the summits thus far this year have been in high winds, but not quite this high! To state the obvious, when winds are gusting over 30 mph (48kph), the risk of frostbite dramatically increases – even with the worlds finest down suits. Fingers and toes get numb, climbers struggle to breathe and even move; visibility becomes limited continue reading

May 152016
Everest/Lhotse 2016: Wave #3 Summits and Major Push On

Once again the Everest 2016 teams are getting summits from the Nepal side but they are having to work for it dealing with high winds and deep snow. Russell Brice told me by email “When they [Himex Sherpas] made the route to the summit the snow was thigh deep between South Summit and top of Hillary Step.” When I climbed the same route in 2011 to the summit, I found the snow between the South Summit and Hillary Step not a factor at all. Meanwhile teams on both sides of Everest are moving into position for the next wave of summit attempts. Wave 3 continue reading

May 142016
Everest/Lhotse 2016: Fast Summit Start Slows with Wind

Gambling that the current high winds will let up during the summit climb, multiple climbers and at least one team, Adventure Global are on their push to summit Everest. Most teams however are looking at topping out on the 18th or 19th of May. Fast Start to the Season After a fast start to the season with an impressive team of Sherpas fixing the ropes to the summit on May 11th, a couple of high profile climbers who were under the radar at base camp, made a stealth climb to summit on the heels of the Sherpas to claim first foreigner summit status. What I called continue reading

May 122016
Everest/Lhotse 2016: Summit Wave #2 has Success - Updated

After a few individuals – three foreigners and three Sherpas – summited just after nine Sherpas fixed the route to the summit, the first commercial teams are seeing success on Friday morning, May 13, 2016 Himex sent their entire team up and are reporting that all six have summited about 9:00 am along with at least that many Himex Sherpas. They had 5 members climbing, plus 1 guide and at least 6 Sherpas. Update: The summitters were: Richard Grant Hunter, Andreas Friedrich, Tracee Lee Metcalfe, Jacob Wilem Ottink, Gregory Scott Paul, Semba Takayasu, Lakpa Nuru, Ngawang Tenjing, Ngima Sona, Phura Namgya, Son Dorjee, Sonam Tashi Jagged Globe has at least two climbers on the summit around 9:45 continue reading

May 112016
Everest/Lhotse 2016: Sherpa and Western Summits

For the first time since May 24, 2013, climbers officially summited Everest from Nepal. First this year was the rope fixing team of nine Sherpas then on their heels were two Sherpas and two UK climbers. A slew of other teams are on stand-by but the weather is closing the window quickly so it will be a race to see if anyone else summits in the next few days. Sherpa Summits A team of nine Sherpas from multiple teams completed the rope fixing to the summit from the South Col on Wednesday, May 11, 2016. These were the first summits since Jing Wang continue reading

May 112016
Everest/Lhotse 2016: A New Face of Everest Guiding?

Before I get to an interview with a new face on Everest, a quick update on the summit push news from the mountain. The ropes were fixed to the summit from the Nepal side on Wednesday, May 11. The Sherpas were from Adventure Consultants, Ascent Himalaya, Asian Trekking, Arun Trek, Himalayan Ascent, Himalayan Expedition, International Mountain Guides, Madison Mountaineering and Seven Summits Trek according to Russell Brice, Himex. This opens the door for the upcoming short summit window. I still expect to see over 100 climbers (members and Sherpas) on this first wave. Look for summits from the Nepal side early Sunday morning, May 15, continue reading

May 102016
Everest/Lhotse 2016: Stampede for the Summit

With a narrow summit window opening, many teams are rushing to make their summit bid while many veterans are content to wait this one out. In spite of the warm temps at Everest Base Camp, the summit conditions can be deadly and a few more days can make all the difference in conditions. There are two currently anticipated summit windows: May 14-16 and May 19-20, with more to come to be sure. Summit Chess South African Ronnie Muhl’s Adventures Global, Seattle’s Garrett Madison’s Madison Mountaineering and the Jagged Globe team are all reported to be pushing towards the top. There are many other smaller teams continue reading

Everest/Lhotse 2016: Normal Season, Summit Windows Next

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May 072016
Everest/Lhotse 2016: Normal Season, Summit Windows Next

What can I say but 2016 continues to progress like the seasons of old – acclimatization rotations getting completed, ropes put up to the Cols and soon will be to the summits. Teams are eagerly awaiting that spat of calm winds that define the summit window. The summit window is rumored to begin around May 11, but in my opinion, only the overly eager will push to summit at that time as it is still extremely cold near 9000 meters and frostbite risks are real. Waiting another week is not  a big deal. With  the good overall weather, there should be – should be continue reading

Everest/Lhotse 2016: All Good in this Weekly Update

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May 052016
Everest/Lhotse 2016: All Good in this Weekly Update

The spring Everest season continues to move along nicely.  A bit of snowfall this past week slowed the rope fixers down but nothing seriously in spite of gripes from a couple of small western commercial guides that they were inconvenienced by the delays. South Many teams have now completed their acclimatization rotations to Camp 3 on the South side and are back at Everest Base Camp. The next step is to wait for the weather window when four to seven days of low winds are forecasted for the summit. Once that occurs, the mad rush will be on for many teams anxious to continue reading