Despite predicting summit bids on Dhaulagiri last week, MountEverest.net now brings us news that the Spaniards were turned back in their summit bid by a nasty storm above 7000m. The team climbed from BC to C2 on Saturday with the intention of resting before going for the summit yesterday morning. But the mounain had other ideas, as high winds and a nasty storm kept them up all night, and prevented them from pressing on in the morning. Team leader Iñaki Ochoa says that they climbed an additional 300m before throwing in the towel and retreating back to base camp.
At this point, all the teams on Dhaulagiri are in BC and waiting out the storm. It will likely be several days before it passes, and teams can climb back up to Camp 2 to inspect for damage, so we’ll just have to wait to see when a weather window will open for the summit once more.
Meanwhile, the the news from Everest is that the North Side is so crowded that teams have to fence off the area they’ve claimed as their spot to set up camp. There are even reports of armed guards patrolling the Chinese camp, which is said to dominate the area.
On the South Side, snow delayed a lot of departures from base camp as it made the already treacherous Khumbu Ice Falls even more dangerous. The Ice Fall has been particularly active this year with the ice still moving and forcing new paths to be made on a regular basis. For those that don’t know, the Khumbu Ice Falls are the most dangerous area of the mountain, and they reguire the Sherpas to lay down a series of ladders that climbers use as bridges to cross the gaps between the slabs of ice. Falling into on of these gaps means falling into a crevasse that you may never get out of.