- I know we were talking on the other thread about cheering on the gay, young guy. Cason something. We were not hopeful about the 60 something dude who is trying for like the 4th time. There was also a young Brit girl who was raising gluten awareness or something like that. Can't wait to see all the reports!
- and we already have our first death. One of "ice Doctors" setting ladders and lines in Khumbu icefall fell to his death. RIP. I hope his family (wife and son) are financially cared for by the expedition teams. Without these guys, no one would be climbing the south Col route.
- re1 here is his twitter feed
- I am surprised that someone already died. I get a feeling that there will be some casualties this year but didn't think there would be one this soon..
- Here is a video from Altitude Junkies as they discuss Everest
- Here is another person to follow. Elia Saikaly via epals
- group of arabs plan to climb
- here is the twitter page for the arab team
- Thanks for the twitter links all. I saw Cason's and the Arabs and I am just dumbfounded that people can even tweet from there..it's crazy. No Sandy Hill and her huge modem, etc.
- So many sherpas have sacrificed their lives for these trivial pursuits.
- I know r10. It's right up there with canned hunting that people do on those game reserve places where the animals are already stocked and they give guns to all the rich fools and make them feel like big men when they shoot a fucking cornered deer or whatever they go after. I think the other thread had mention of a guy who actually had a conscience and couldn't take the credit for the summit because he realized his sherpa had done the whole thing. Good for him.
- Is there a betting pool anywhere?
- I don't know r12, who do you want for the win? I think Cason will summit as he is young and has done the other 6 mountains. I don't know enough about the others, I wish we had all the info right here. On one of the other threads there were things being posted in dribs and drabs but they all announced their climbs at different times so it was never all on the same page or anything.
- Jesus, there's a Saudi woman on the "Arabs with Altitude" expedition!
- Interesting blog from Everest base camp. Never really thought about number of people who quit, but now that I think about it, I am sure some must just walk away.
This is kind of a long post but there is lots of stuff happening here at EBC so I hope you will hang in to the end… and to see the great photos.
Tents are being erected hour by hour at EBC. As Puja ceremonies take place and prayer flags are hung, EBC becomes more and more colourful. We did an acclimatization walk above EBC by about 400m (the peak did not have a name so Sumit named it ‘Sainty Hill’ after Margaret in our team. From the high point, we were amazed at just how many tents there are at EBC already – an impressive sight.
Some teams have huge numbers of climbers. I love being part of the small team that we are. One of the big teams had 2 team members leave as soon as they saw they Khumbu Icefall. They didn’t even want to attempt their lesser acclimatization climb of Lobuche East. It’s not uncommon for climbers to walk out on a daily basis throughout the season… there are no taxis to the top, or magic helicopters.
I was scheduled to be heading to Camp 1 (C1) early this morning but I woke up 2 nights ago with my head feeling like it wanted to explode and I knew immediately that my blood pressure was up for some reason – it can be due to slow acclimatization or something else. I checked my pulse and it was good and drank heaps of water through the night. I monitored myself and checked in with Lakpa so that I had someone else aware of my condition. By morning, I felt much better but was still not 100%, maybe 85%. I started to suspect a sinus infection as my sinuses hurt to touch.
Lakpa suggested I go to the ER Tent (the Everest doctors) for a check up (they are only 30 metres or so from our camp) so I went with Warren from our team. It’s really good because they check the things relevant to staying well at high altitude and if you pay a fee upfront then you can visit them as many times as you want during the climbing season.
All my systems were good except my blood pressure was slightly high (for me) but still low for altitude, reflecting I was acclimatizing well except… sure enough, I had the start of a sinus infection. So, I’m taking some antibiotics and Lakpa made a good call to stay one more day at EBC before we headed to C1 to sleep – so that we could check I really was getting better.
The Canadians in our camp who are also climbing Lhotse also decided to hold back for one more day so, weather permitting, we will all head to C1 in the early hours of tomorrow morning (12th). We will have 2 nights at C1 and on the second day we will try to ‘touch’ Camp 2 (C2) before returning to EBC for a rest. This will count as my first acclimatization rotation. 2 more longer ones will follow. The Canadians have had one of their number decide not to climb Lhotse and at some stage over coming days he will make his way home.
Its always hard to lose a team member – team work is critical on mountains, especially ones as big as these and there is always some reflection when one of your number leaves, for any reason…
Carol Masheter, our Salt Lake City Utah gal, left us today to climb Island Peak and we were sad to see her go. She was such a great team member and her achievements inspired so many people that she met – likely every one of them. Carol took no short cuts to the top and at the time of writing she remains the oldest woman in the world to complete the 7 Summits (both lists) and the 3rd oldest to climb Mt Everest at the age of 61 years and 7.5 months). Carol documented her Mt Everest journey in her book ‘No Magic Helicopter’ which is available on Amazon, in case you want to buy it online. When I hear how Carol goes on Island Peak, I will let you know! Jangbu Sherpa, Lakpa’s nephew, will guide Carol on Island Peak. We wish them both success and a safe descent.
Peter, our Irish team mate, arrived yesterday and after a couple of days rest he will start his acclimatization and head into the Khumbu Icef
- Tim Mosedale is also climbing. He tweets and posts on his facebook.
Thanks to the old Everest thread and now this one, I'm obsessed. I follow climbers I don't even know, I watch ICE FALL on youtube at least three times a week, I've read books, do the google views.....
- Shooting fish in a barrel r11.
- I can't even function with a sinus infection near or at sea level let alone at Mt Everest base camp. I've followed the Everest threads avidly but I have zero interest in getting anywhere near the mountain. It just sounds like terribly difficult slog.
- Me too r26! I never cared and now I am dropping names like I know these people!
- Alan Arnette has an interesting post about the khumbu icefall and the process. for some reason I never realized that they sometimes tie more than one ladder together. I mean sweet jesus that is not sound engineering.
- Arab team has a new video up. Anyone speak Arabic that could translate.
I am hoping the Saudi Women can summit. That would be a very powerful message to the women and men of that nation.
- Italians Ueli Steck and Simone Moro discuss arrival to base camp.
- It looks like our Brandon is twittering Cason. Why do I think this will not end well.
- Seriously r23? Oh no, I don't want Cason to lose focus.
Video for Londoner, Danial Hughes at EBC
- Kind of cool time lapse video of everest basecamp
- New Post from Alan Arnette
- Climbing Everest with a Mountain on My Back The Sherpa's Story
- British photographer injured in ‘terrifying fight’ between climbers and Sherpas close to the peak of Mount Everest.
- Everest is so over.
- Read about that fight earlier. The European climbers sound like entitled assholes who think they know more than the sherpas. Glad the sherpas kicked their asses.
- BRAWL ON EVEREST: UELI STECK’S STORY
God this guy sounds like a prick.
- Update from Alan Arnette
Multiple incidents on the Lhotse Face this weekend requiring 3 helicopter rescues up to 22,000 feet.
37 year-old DaRita Sherpa from Phortse dies from sudden cardiac or cerebral event at Camp 3. Worked for IMG
Westerner (name pending) died at Advanced Base Camp, north side, climbing with Monterosa Treks
- Gay climber Cason Crane witnessed the fight. He was not involved. He is preparing to climb Everest now.
- What a clown.
- [quote]The European climbers sound like entitled assholes who think they know more than the sherpas. Glad the sherpas kicked their asses.
[quote]I think the other thread had mention of a guy who actually had a conscience and couldn't take the credit for the summit because he realized his sherpa had done the whole thing. Good for him.
He was on the second season of the Discovery Channel show "Everest: Beyond the Limit". He was actually going to ascend Everest twice in one season: up the North face and down the South, then rest a few days at ABC, then back up the South face and down the North again.
But when he finished the first ascent/descent, he felt bad, because he realised that his Sherpa was in so much better shape than him, I mean the Sherpa had already summitted to fix everyone's ropes before summitting with him, and so his achievement wouldn't actually be that great compared to what Sherpas do, and he didn't feel it was fair for him to get all the credit for such an achievement (because who names/knows about/cares about Sherpas, right?)
- UPDATE: There are reports of a Sherpa with Seven Summits Treks falling down Lhotse Face between C3 and C2. This would be the 3rd Sherpa 2013 death. IMG reports “wind was really ripping up high on the mountain, with the “freight train” on the South Col audible all the way down at Camp 2″
- teams are planning to summit in a week or so. some individuals are likely to summit tomorrow or saturday as they follow the sherpas as they fix lines to the summit.
- Final rotation complete!
May 3, 2013
EBC to Camp 2
Climbing days start early. This is necessitated by the heat that comes with daylight and the resultant instability it brings to the snow and ice surfaces we must climb in, on, and around. On this day we ate breakfast at 2:30 a.m. By now we are expected to show up at breakfast with climbing harness on and ready to go. There is a nervous energy about the team and we rush at our tasks to release it, though there typically is no cause to rush. Conversation is limited to requests for items spread out along the long table we sit down to, our persons ringing like wind chimes from the metallic climbing implements hanging at our waists. Each of us is studying the day ahead in our minds.
On this day we would climb from EBC directly to Camp 2, omitting the overnight at Camp 1 we found so welcome on our last ascent. It would be a big day, launching our third and final acclimation rotation. Like most of my team mates, I had a plan. I would climb steady through the ice fall, but only at 70% of my pace. This would allow reserves to then carry me on to camp 2. But the ice fall had other plans.
As Mingma and I entered mid ice fall the adjacent hillside released an avalanche of boulders and ice. Quickening our pace, we entered an area of large roundish ice blocks called The Popcorn. A singular strand of prayer flags hang over this section signifying the heightened danger of same. I could hear Mingma chanting prayers in low tones just ahead of me as an ice avalanche broke loose next to us. There was a concise snap, followed by a roar not unlike a locamotive going by. The break of the fall line carried the debris beneath us. I wondered about the other climbers for a moment, but sensed Mingma’s urgency and put all I had into staying with him. We arrived at a safe zone called The Football Field just as one of the Air Force climbers was leaving to continue up the hill.
Mingma listened on his radio to the chatter among Sherpa and Basecamp Leaders as I tried to eat and drink. No one had been caught up in either avalanche. Just then a third avalanche released above us in a notoriously active section known as “Lo La Pass.” By my estimate the Air Force climber who had just left would be square in the middle of it. We cut our rest stop short and hurried up to check on the Airman. Indeed Lo La Pass had been swept through by the ice fall, but the fresh foot prints of the climber and his Sherpa confirmed they had arrived after the release. We continued to press hard through the remainder of the ice fall, arriving at camp 1 just four hours after leaving EBC. This was much faster than the 6 hours normally consumed. I was spent and nerve-wracked as I collapsed into a vacant tent to lay down for a moment. One by one, other team members emerged likewise “knackered”. We rested here for a bit, before then proceeding on to camp 2.
The wind was blowing hard and the pre-dawn cold left us in single digits as we tried to consume the contents of our packed lunches; frozen juice box, frozen salmon spread, frozen cheese square, and frozen dessert pastry. After 20 minutes of futility, the frustration combined with a creeping cold to inspire the kind of vigorous movement that might generate some body heat. Myself and another team member set out with our Sherpas for camp 2. I could see direct sunlight slowly working its way down the side of Nuptse, staging a soft landing on the gaining valley floor. At some point I left the othe team member behind and it was just Mingma and I. I could see the tents of camp 2 an hour and a half up the valley, but now the over-exertion of the ice fall came to collect and I “bonked”. I stopped in the trail and breathed hard for twenty chest-fulls. Feeling marginally better, I motioned to Mingma that we should continue on. 100 steps later I had to stop and breath again. “I’m sorry, MIngma” I apologized. “I just can’t catch my breath.” “It’s OK,” he offered, “we go slow.” I continued to deteriorate, only able to go 80 steps, then 60, and so on before needing to rest and breath hard. We straggled into camp 2 six and a half hours after leaving EBC. I am unsure by what hidden strength I managed the last quarter mile. Remaining team members staggered into camp 2 over the next 4 hours. Our stories were very similar; the fear and adrenaline of the ice fall had over-taxed our resources and from there on the will to place one foot in front of the other had gotten us to camp 2. We slept until dinner, then logged another 12 hours to breakfast.
- May 5, 2013
Camp 2 to Camp 3 (Touch and return)
Camp 3 sits at an elevation of 24,000 feet, carved into the side of the Lohtse face by the mean trade of ice axes. Ten tents cling there, an outpost of the most minimal accommodations for climbers in route to camp 4 (the South Col). Our original plan for this rotation was to have each team member spend a night (without supplemental oxygen) at camp three to establish the high threshold for his acclimation. “You probably won’t sleep. It will be a miserable night,” Big Boss Greg Venovage promised during our preparation talk. Our first team of three climbers spent the night of May 4 at camp 3 in accordance with this plan.
By the next morning the weather forecasts had changed to then predict severe wind and cold up high, So the remainder of the team was instructed to climb to camp 3, spend a few hours acclimating, then return the same day to camp 2. This was a welcome change as an earlier climber had descended from camp 3 a few days earlier with a frostbitten finger and ear.
Mingma and I left camp 2 at four a.m. in our down suits and warmest gloves. We arrived at the Lohtse face an hour later and began climbing the steep icy incline. So steep is the Lohtse face, that I could reach out and touch it while standing plumb vertical.
We were only 20 minutes up the face when Mingma stopped to listen to his radio. “Sherpa sick,” he said to me with concern. He said one of the Sherpas above us at camp three had gotten up, dressed, eaten some breakfast, but then said he felt dizzy. The Sherpa vomited, then went to lay down in his tent. A camp Physician was patched onto the line and I could hear her instructing the people at camp three to administer Niphedipine and place the Sherpa on bottled oxygen. We continued our climb upward.
Mingma stopped again ten minutes later and turned to me. “Sherpa died,” he said pointing at his radio. He also told me this Sherpa was his brother in-law. We would later learn that two team members had worked frantically to save the man’s life and would later descend, traumatized by what had happened. This Sherpa was a longtime veteran of IMG and had spent much time higher than camp 3 on Everest.
Theories evolved, none of which could be conclusively proven, but the available symptoms suggested the victim had contracted High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) which then progressed quite quickly to High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE). I told Mingma how sorry I was for his loss and suggested we should turn around and go back to camp 2, but he insisted we continue up. I believe this was because he felt an obligation to get to the body as soon as possible so he could make certain proper Buddhist traditions were observed. Our climb to camp 3 was called off 1,000 vertical feet short of the camp. Mingma continued up. I was assigned another Sherpa to lead me back down. A team of Sherpas lowered the body down the Lohtse face, where a helicopter picked up Mingma and his deceased brother in-law, transporting them to their home village of Phortse. IMG located the man’s parents in another village and had a helicopter take them to Phortse as well.
- First summit on Everest: Rope Fixing Team on top
(Newsdesk) The rope fixing team on Everest South side summited at 11:30 AM May 10th, reported Adrian Ballinger from Alpenglow Expeditions.
The weather is good says Adrian, with sun and moderate winds. "This means the team has not only been able to summit and string ropes, but has also been improving anchors, and looking at ways to lessen traffic jams on the difficult sections of the route."
Adrian recalls his rope-fixing to the summit with the rope-fixing Sherpa in 2010 and 2011, "To be on the highest mountain on Earth with no footsteps in front of you and no ropes is humbling. And to be up there with 10 or so of the strongest high altitude climbers on the planet makes it even better."
The rope fixing team is descending to Camp 2 to spend the night.
- this year sherpas set up a new decent route opposite the hillary step to help prevent bottlenecks. Only thing I wonder is whether people will get confused up there with the new route. Should be interesting.
- r44, that route looks a lot more vulnerable to my armchair eye.
Also, with the number of climbers, who decides which route is used and how do you avoid the bottleneck at the top join?
Any climbers have thoughts on it?
- This is the discussion associated with the route image:
Today at Base Camp the various expedition leaders had a big rope fixing meeting to discuss the strategies for above the Col. If the winds up high diminish as predicted, the tentative plan is to start on the 9th with 14 fixing sherpas heading to Camp 4. From there, half the group will continue on to fix up to the Balcony that afternoon, while the other half of the team sets up the Camp 4 and starts melting water, etc. They will spend the night at the Col, and then on the 10th, they will head up to fix the upper part of the route to the summit and then return back to Camp 2. This year we are using 10mm rope all the way to the summit which are stronger but heavier to carry. The goal will be to get double ropes on the Hillary Step and summit ridge to avoid the traffic jams that occurred last year. A number of the senior sherpas including Phunuru (IMG), Lhakpa Rita (AAI), Phurba Tashi (Himex), and others are working together to identify the best places for anchoring the additional ropes. Sounds like they will try to add a descent rope to the climbers' left of the Hillary Step, so descending climbers can rappel down the rock without having to wait for ascending climbers.
—Eric Simonson, IMG Partner
I am another sofa fan,but I am with you there re 45. That path seems a bit precarious and its newness concerns me. However when you look at how many damn people were on the step last year, it is no wonder. This is what happens when 500 people try to summit on the same day...
- Too bad the gay guy has gone the "mountain climbing as metaphor for being gay" route.
- Alan Arnettes take on the new route by hillary step.
New Hillary Step Route
The Hilary Step has been a notorious bottleneck anytime the route is crowded. There are pictures of climbers lined up waiting their turn to climb up the Step or to rappell down. Waiting in the cold and wind, they used up precious oxygen.
In a few previous season, there have been two ropes used, an up and a down line, but they were close together and not all that effective. For 2013, the Sherpas have put in anchors for an entirely new route exclusively for people descending from the summit.
New 2013 Descent on Hillary Step. Courtesy of IMG
Eric Simonson, IMG, explained it to me this way:
The rappel from the new anchors is quite steep and lands people on a slab, below and climber’s left of Hillary Step ) and they then have to climb/traverse back up to the main trail below the step.
Putting in these anchors is a huge change for South climbers. But it took the incredible strong work of the Sherpas to make it happen. They carried a battery powered rock drill, some weigh around 5 pounds (there are smaller models) and drill holes in the rock to attach small metal anchors directly to the rock.
Another team was supposed to deliver the rope for this section but according to Himex, they missed the hand-off, but in any event a rope will be strung from the anchors in this section allowing climbers to bypass the normal up climb area on their descent.
While an improvement, it will be interesting to see how many people take this route and not continue to use the current one. Rappelling down 20 or 40 feet at 28,750 feet/8760 meters after climbing for 8 to 10 hours will be tough. They cannot afford any mistakes as the exposure on that side is tremendous – a drop of several thousand feet down the SW Face. Once they rap down they still have to make a short climb back up to the normal route per my understanding.
Stay tuned for how it turns out.
- SUMMITS ARE STARTING!!!!
According to Alan Arnette
35 climbers reported at South Col in moderate winds. Potential summits bids starting tonight with summits Thursday AM
Alexey Bolotov, has died from a fall at 5600m. He was climbing with Denis Urubko on a new route on SW Face
- More Summit attempts underway. Another sherpa has died. :(
- Some of larger teams like alpine ascents and img are past the balcony and expected to summit tonight.
- It is 6 am here in Nepal and our climbing team has just reached the South Summit of Mt. Everest. The sun has risen and I can only describe the climbing conditions as...Perfect!! It is an amazing day outside. Not a single cloud in sight and no sign of wind anywhere.
The South Summit is 8,750 meters, just 100 meters from the true summit. From here the climbers can look across the ridge, up the Hillary Step, and see the top. Normally this final portion of the climb would take around an hour, but don't be alarmed if my SUMMIT cybercast does not show up for short while longer than that. The Team reports seeing people across the ridge, people on the Hillary Step, and people on the Summit. It does not sound like the lines are all too bad. It is only 6am so we have plenty of time, the team may just have to move a bit slower and really take in the amazing views they must be enjoying up there!!
My next update will be reporting the summit!!!
Mt. Makalu from the Summit of Everest on a year with a few clouds in the valleys.
Posted by Alpine Ascents at 5:45 PM
Sounds like it may be a bit crowded today.