Everest 2008: China Refutes Summit Claims

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Earlier this week I reported on a story that I picked up from the Everest Is Ours Blog, which has since gone on hiatus it seems, who in turn grabbed it from the Peak Freaks Everest Dispatches. The story speculated that the Chinese may have reached the summit of Everest with the Olympic Torch, but that they couldn’t keep the flame lit due to the high winds that have been plaguing the area.

Yesterday, Everest News is reporting that the Chinese deny the story, and in fact may be a bit upset with the Peak Freaks team over the entire story. Everest News says that their “sources” tell them that the Torch Team never went to the summit at all, and that they climbers were still fixing ropes on the upper portions of the mountain.

The Adventurist has weighed in on the subject with a very well written editorial on the whole affair. He not only reviews the whole situation, he speculates on what is to come, with some indications that the Chinese could take retribution on Peak Freaks, and possibly all the South Side climbers. The story is a good one, and I highly recommend you read it.

At this point, the May 10th deadline is clearly looming. Reports have the route to the summit finally prepared, but high winds, and bad weather over the next few days could prevent a summit bid until mid-week or so. If that’s true, the Chinese team will have just a few days to successfully reach the top, Torch in hand, or the deadline will pass, and there will be an even bigger fiasco on their hands.

As I’ve said before, I’m looking forward to the communcations ban being lifted. We probably won’t hear the full story until much later however, after everything is finalized, and the climbers have returned home. I’m sure there is a lot of stuff going on in Base Camp that we’re not aware of, and eventually it’ll all come out.

Kraig Becker

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