Everest: It’s Go Time!

The news is flowing in quickly already this moring with ExWeb already reporting in on Everest and the ongoing summit bids.

It seems that David Tait has already topped out and is now making his way down the mountain into Nepal. You’ll recall that Tait is attempting the first ever double traverse, and it looksl ike he’s closing in on the first half of that endeavor. He started on the North side, reached the summit around 1:30 AM and then began his descent down the South side. He is climbing with Phurba Sherpa of the HiMex team.

Not far behind him was six members of the the SummitClimb team and Ken Noguchi of the environmental team. SummitClimb reached the top around 7 AM Nepal time, with Noguchi about an hour behind. Reports from the summit have six other climbers, four foreigners and two sherpas, reaching the summit between 9 and 9:30 AM.

These are no doubt the first of many summits over the next few days It’s going to be very busy on the highest peak on the planet, as all indications are that a short weather window will open up today and tomorrow. Winds are expected to die down some, allowing teams to make their final push to the top.

As always, be sure to watch MountEverest.net, along with The Adventurist and of course Alan Arnette’s excellent Everst 2007 page for updates and summit reports. I’m sure they’re all going to be very busy the next 24-48 hours.

Congrats to the teams who summitted already, now get down safe. You’re only half-way home. And in the case of David Tait, you’re only a quarter of the way home. Great work so far, and I’m pulling for you on the second leg of that traverse.

Update: MountEverest.net has posted another update with news that David Tait and Phurba Sherpa have reached C2 on the South side of Everest, which is good news, as it means they are likely to now be able to stop and take a well deserved rest before proceeding further down the mountain.

There are also reports that over 50 people have summitted on the North side today alone, including a large contingent from the Indian Army. It looks like they are taking advantage of this weather window from the North, while word is that on the South side, the weather isn’t quite as good, but teams are moving up to get into position for when the winds die down today as well. Expect a large number of summits from the south later today and into tomorrow.

Update 2: The Discovery Channel Everest 2007 blog is reporting that David and Phurba topped out at 6:10 AM this morning and not 1:30 AM as has been reported elsewhere. Discovery is there filming another season of Everest: Beyond The Limit and are once more climbing with the HiMex team, who is handling all the logistics for David Tait.

The blog says that David and Phurba set out from C4 at 11PM last night in an attempt to stay ahead of what is believed to be more than 60 climbers going for the summit today and tomorrow. When they reached the top, they radioed back to ABC and made some Sat Phone calls, before changing out their oxygen tanks and proceeding down the South Col route, where contact was lost, but the team was kept well informed by other teams on the South side radioing them with progress reports.

Thanks for the info on this Carl!

Kraig Becker

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