First up, ExWeb is reporting that Maxut Zhumayev has topped out on Manaslu, claiming his 12th 8000m peak in the process. Max called his wife Olga from the summit at 10 AM local time to share the good news. It is reported that he was breaking trail most of the way, and arrived at the summit alone, with several other teams struggling behind him. Max has once again shown why he is amongst the premiere mountaineers in the world, and now he has just two summits left to join the elite club of men who have topped out on all 14 8-thousanders. Congrats on a job well done Max!
The news isn’t so good on Makalu where there are reports that Santiago Quintero may be stranded at C3. The Ecuadorian climber summitted on May 11th, but had to be helped down the mountain by Ralf Dujmovits, who managed to get him back to C3. He’s been there ever since and been cared for by Argentinean Hernan Wilke. Preliminary reports are that two Sherpas have gone up the mountain to try to help Santiago down, but we have no definitive word about what exactly is his state of health. Keep your fingers crossed, and I’ll update as more becomes known.
On Lhotse, Brian Oestrike’s climb is going according to schedule. He’s currently back in Dingboche, where he’ll rest and recuperate for a few days before making his final summit push. He’s eyeing a projected weather window for around the 20th of the month, and reports that he is strong and healthy, despite making a climb nearly to the Yellow Band just two days ago. Brian is climbing to test out new gear from his sponsor Hypoxico Altitude Training Systems who are working on a system to help climbers acclimatize even when not at altitude.
Meanwhile, the Peak Freaks have updated their dispatches from Everest once again, and they’re saying that the team is doing well, and there are climbers in a number of spots on the mountain, but that they don’t anticipate a summit bid until the 17th or 18th. They also note that the Indian Army Team are probably in the best position to actually reach the summit first on the 17th, while most of the other teams are waiting for a predicted weather window that should arrive around the 20th of the month. Living at altitude has begun to take it’s toll however, as they report that climbers have started to lose weight and soon that will effect stamina as well.
IMG‘s latest Everest reports indicate that they are just about finished stocking Camps 3 and 4 and will do so over the next few days. Once that is complete, they’ll be set to begin their summit bids, which should put them on schedule with the Peak Freaks to possibly go up as soon as this weekend.
It looks like it’s going to be a very busy weekend with the first round of summits on Everest coming as early as Saturday. Otherwise we’ll be looking at mid-week next week before teams start topping out. Hopefully the weather holds, the traffic jams aren’t awful, and everything goes according to schedule.
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