First Everest Summit of the Season! is reporting that Maxut Zhumayev & Vassily Pivtsov have topped out on Everest! This is the first summit of the season on Everest, and it was accomplished with out supplemental oxygen or Sherpa support as well. The pair left their high camp, at 7900m last night around 10 PM and radioed back to ABC at about 6 PM Chinese time from the summit.

The pair first attempted to reach the summit last week, but were turned back due to poor weather conditions. They returned to ABC on Friday, but launched another bid on Saturday. The two Kazakhs climb in alpine style, carrying all their necessary gear with them, and not using established camps. The report is that they reached the top just as HiMex’s Sherpa team were laying down the last of the fixed ropes to the summit.

Currently they are descending the mountain on those ropes and will camp tonight above 8000m. Weather conditions are said to be good, with no high winds. Congratulations guys! What an amazing climb! I can’t wait to hear more about it.

In other Summit news, word has come in that Denis Urubko is making a speed summit push tonight on Dhaulagiri as well. Denis is hoping to set a new summit speed record by beating the old time of 17 hours 15 minutes set back in 1995. Good luck Denis. We’ll want to hear about your climb as well!

Update: Alan Arnette is now reporting that 5 Sherpas from the HiMex team actually summitted about a half-hour ahead of Maxut and Vassily. The Sherpa team was up near the summit setting fixed ropes and upon completion of that task, felt like continuing higher. This means that all the fixed ropes are now in place on the North side, and the way is clear, weather permitting, for teams to start to make their push. Alan notes that this is the exact same date that the Sherpas finished the task last year as well. Rumor has it the Olympic Torch practice run may go for the summit before weeks end.

Kraig Becker

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