Thursday, May 19, 2016

Himalaya Spring 2016: 200 Climbers Head For Everest Summit

While we've seen a steady string of summits on Everest over the past week, today looks like it will be the busies day of the season by far. According to reports, more than 200 climbers are now on the move with the intention of topping out today. That means we can expect long lines and traffic jams at key points of the mountain, but with the weather reported very good, it should be an incredibly successful day on the world's highest peak. 

The Himalayan Times reports in the link above that more than 150 climbers have already been successful in their bids to top out on Everest, with a number of others still pushing to the summit. Their number indicate that 41 foreign climbers and 58 Nepali guides had gone up yesterday, with another 87 foreigners and 110 Nepalis setting their sites on the summit today. After two years of no summits on the mountain, it is safe to say that Everest is back open for business.

No matter how many people summit today, it won't bring an end to the steady stream of climbers that are on the move. More teams have now moving up to Camp 3 and Camp 4 as they get ready to make their final summit push over the next couple of days. 

Meanwhile, on the North Side of the mountain the teams are moving up to take advantage of the current weather window as well. They are still waiting for the ropes to be fixed to the summit, which hopefully will be done today, allowing teams to go to the top at long last.

Sad news from Lhotse as well today, where it was revealed that a Sherpa guide has fallen to his death. Reportedly he was part of the team that was working to fix ropes to the summit on that mountain, and slipped and fell above Camp 2. The guide was helping to take a seven-member commercial squad to the summit at the time. Our condolences to the Sherpa's friends and family. 

Over on Dhaulagiri, Chris Jensen Burke checked in with the news that her expedition to that mountain is now over. After successfully summiting Annapurna a few weeks back, the Aussie climber had hoped to pull off a Himalayan double-header this season, but alas it wasn't meant to be. After making a summit bid earlier in the week, climbers there were turned back by high winds and deep snow near the top. She'll now head home, even as other teams move into place for possible summits over the next few days. 

Elsewhere in the Himalaya other teams are on the move too. With good weather conditions across the region, it now looks like the current summit window is one that numerous teams will take advantage of. The monsoon is looming near the end of May, but for now, things are calm and safe. Hopefully they'll stay that way as all of the teams get up and down their respective mountains successfully. 

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