MountEverest.net has issued a report stating that 2007 was a record year on Everest. 514 climbers topped out on the mountain according to the Nepal Mountaineering Association, the governing body responsible for keep records on the summits. This number breaks the old record, set in 2006, which saw 480 summitters in the Spring and another 11 in the Fall. The 2007 number could go up even more, as there are still three teams on the mountain who hope to summit before the monsoon arrives in early June.
There have also been 7 deaths on the mountain so far this year, down from 11 last year. Lets hope that that is one number that doesn’t increase any further as well. The media frenzy and controversy in the climbing community last year over deaths on the mountain seems to be down this season as well. At least for the most part.
The website also published an update on the 8000m peaks and the progress of climbers to summit them. The most likely candidate to join the list of elite climbers to summit all 14 8000m peaks is Italian Silvio Mondinelli, who is reportedly close to summitting Broad Peak, which will complete his quest to top out on all 14. They also note that Veikka Gustaffson has announced plans to finish his quest by topping out on Broad Peak as well as Gasherbrum I and II this year.
The ladies aren’t going to let the men have all the fun either, as Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner will be going for her 10th 8000-er on K2 this Summer, climbing with her husband Ralf Dujmovits. And while Nives Meroi doesn’t have any 8000m climbs planned that we know of, she did just top out on Everest, with out supplemental oxygen for her ninth, or tenth summit, depending on who you ask. Nives and her husband Romano claim to have summitted on Shisha Pangma in a raging storm years ago, but returned with little proof of reaching the top, and criticism in the climbing community had made some doubt the summit claims.
There are some ambitious climbs planned for this year, and it seems clear that the very exclusive club of climbers who have summitted the 14 8000m peaks will be expanding in size soon. It should be fun to watch these talented climbers continue to edge toward their goals in 2007.
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