Friday, May 11, 2018

Himalaya Spring 2018: Holding Pattern on Everest and Scary Video

Just a very brief update from the Himalaya today to report that teams are now mostly in a holding patter and are spread out across the Khumbu Valley waiting for the word that the summit bids are about to begin. We also get one scary video that reminds everyone of just why climbers ALWAYS stay clipped into the ropes.

This weekend was suppose to be the start of summit pushes on Everest, but teams are mostly staying in place in Base Camp or have wandered down the Khumbu Valley to breathe thicker air while they wait for the word that it is time to go. Plans to install the fixed lines to the summit have stalled out due to very strong winds high on the mountain, both on the North and South Sides. That is expected to change today, with forecasts indicating that the weather should start to improve, but it could take another day or two before the Sherpa teams finish getting the lines in place.

This will probably delay the start of the summit push into early next week. Yes, there will probably be a few climbers who will follow close behind the rope fixing team just to nab a quick summit before the crowds start to gather. But if I were a betting man, I'd say we'll start to see the main push taking place on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week – which would pretty much be right on time historically speaking.

That same schedule seems to be firming up on other mountains other than Everest too as the weather reports indicate improving conditions across the region starting this weekend. That means that the other 8000-meter peaks are likely to get very busy soon too. Stay tuned for more as news breaks.

Finally, check out this scary video that was shot by Nobukazu Kuriki, who is on the mountain attempt Everest once again. It shows a pair of climbers crossing a ladder in the Khumbu Icefall when things certainly take a bad turn. Fortunately, no one was hurt but the video will probably make you wince. Thanks to Alan Arnette for sharing this.

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