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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Himalaya Spring 2017: More Summits on Everest as Others Line Up For Second Weather Window

More updates from Everest today as the seemingly never-ending summit window continued to stretch out for a third day yesterday. And while winds are likely to briefly quiet things down, there appears to be more summits to come as the week unfolds.

Yesterday we wrote that more teams were reportedly on the move to take advantage of the current weather window before the jet stream shifted today. At the time, it was unclear how many had reached the top, as things were still influx, and the climbers could have been turned back from the summit if conditions changed suddenly. Fortunately, that didn't happen, and now there are various reports indicating that more than 100 climbers topped out in good weather on Monday. Of those, 45 were said to be foreign climbers, while the others were Sherpa guides.

As usual, Alan Arnette has a complete rundown of the proceedings, with good information on where the teams are currently at on the mountain and who successfully reached the summit. Among those finding success yesterday were 7 Summits Club and Asian Trekking, as well as a few smaller squads as well.

Alan also points out that Polish climber Janusz Adamski pulled off a rare traverse of Everest by first summiting on the North Side and then descending along the South Col route into Nepal. This was not only a solo climb, but Adamski made the traverse without the use of bottled oxygen, something that has only been done once in the past, by Jozef Just, who perished in the process.

While congratulations are in order to all of the summiteers, those of us following along at home barely have time to breathe before the next wave of climbers heads up. After today, the winds are expected to die down once again, and so there are numerous squads getting ready to make their ascent between Wednesday and Friday of this week. That wave will include another round of IMG climbers, Himex, Alpenglow, Alpine Ascents, and others. All told, the next few days could be just as busy as this past weekend.


In other news, Japanese climber Nobukazu Kuriki is in place on the South Side and waiting for better weather before he begins. His forecasts show improved conditions for the attempt on the West Ridge and a summit along the tough Hornbein Couloir starting today, so now Kuriki is looking to summit around Thursday or Friday of this week, provided conditions stay the same.

Not far from Everest, the summits continue on Lhotse. Elisabeth Revol topped out on that mountain yesterday amidst very high winds that not only prevented her from sending a message from the top, but swept one of her gloves away too. She is safely back down the mountain now and heading to BC.

Finally, Simone Moro and Tamra Lunger are preparing for their attempt to traverse the entire Kangchenjunga Massif. The duo went up above 7000 meters (22,965 ft) yesterday, but then turned back because Simone fell ill. The plan is to now rest up and get healthy, then attempt the traverse again later this week.

Good luck to all the climbers as they set out for their various summits. Get up and down safely, and remember – the summit is optional.

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