First, we’ll start on Everest however, as that’s where most of the attention is now while we wait for the Chinese to summit with the Torch. ExWeb says that the South Side Teams are either in BC or scattered throughout the villages in the Khumbu Valley, while they wait for news. The earliest opportunity the Torch Team has will be tomorrow, but at this point we don’t even know if there is even a team in position to go to the summit at the moment.
The reports also say that the mountain and Khumbu Valley, are crawling with soldiers and checkpoints to make sure that no one is attempting to communicate without authorization. Cameras and video equipment remain off limits, as do flags and banners that mention Tibet as well. The mood is said to be disgruntled, as the teams wait their opportunity. On the South Side, the weather has been good, and there are fears that when it becomes their turn, they may not have the same opportunities that they currently do.
Either way, the speculation is that the Nepal side of the mountain may remain closed until May 10th, even if the Chinese do summit tomorrow. You can bet, however, that when the word is given that it’s time to go, there are going to be an awful lot of climbers scrambling up the mountain. Lets just hope that doesn’t cause any unforeseen issues as well.
Moving away from the big hill, and over to Makalu, this past weekend British Airman Jonathon Percival, along with his Sherpa guide Dawa, reached the summit of the mountain. They are on their way down now, and are expected back in BC soon. Other summits are expected in the next few days as climbers such as Denis Urubko, are in BC resting before making their final bid. Denis and his climbing partner Boris have already been as high as 7500m, and are now feeling ready for the final push.
Sad news on Dhaulagiri over the weekend, as the news that Spanish climber Rafael Guillén has fallen to his death. It seems that Rafael had turned back on a summit bid last week, but his partner Jesús Morales continued to the top. On his way down, Jesús experienced the symptoms of frostbite, so Rafael decided to climb up to assist him, only to have an accident in the process. My condolences to Rafael’s friends, family, and teammates.
On Annapuran, the third push for the summit has begun for the Russians. Inaki and Horia are back in BC resting before making their next climb up the mountain, but snow has hit the area, which is making things a bit treacherous at the moment. They hope a weather window will open in the next few days, and they’ll finally be able to make their summit bid.
Finally, for a little taste of what it’s like on the summit of Dhaulagiri, check out this video below. It’s from Spanish climber Carlos Pauner, so much of it is in Spanish, but you can still appreciate the conditions, even if you don’t speak the language.
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