Everest 2009: More Summit Bids!

Another round of summit bids are on tap today, although traffic is a lighter on Everest. Weather reports indicate that winds have picked up substantially, although most teams are still going to make their attempts as planned. In his most recent update, Alan Arnette reports that winds are calm enough for teams to proceed up, but they are being cautious. With this shift in weather, we might be seeing the end of the current window, which has been so great up until now.

According to Alan, the team leading the way at the moment is First Ascent, with Dave Hahn at the front. Dave is going for his 11th summit of the mountain, which would add to his record of the most summits by a non-Sherpa. Over on the First Ascent blog page, which has been outstanding the entire climb, they are posting regular updates, including audio dispatches from the team.

Dave did tell ExWeb that some of the FA team assisted in a rescue on the South Side today, in which a number of teams aided an unnamed climber down. John Griber, along with our friend Jake Norton, suited back up and and assisted in the rescue, and from what I can tell at this point, the climber was brought down safely.

First Ascent isn’t the only team going up in the high winds. The Eight Summits Team is also on the move, and were expected to make their summit bid today as well. Bill called in from C4 yesterday, exhausted, but happy with his performance, and ready to go up. Hopefully we’ll hear positive news on a summit from this team as well!

Meanwhile, another rescue was conducted on the North Side, where the Summit Climb Team had one of their Sherpas aid in bringing down two climbers stuck in C3 who didn’t have the energy to climb down on their own. The rescued climbers are expected back in C1 today, but the loss of the Sherpa and the effort put fourth in the rescue, caused a couple of Summit Climb clients to give up their bids.

Speaking of the North Side, Exweb is also reporting that there were several successful summits from that side of the mountain yesterday as well, with World Wide Vikings putting several climbers on top. Obviously news from the north has been a bit quiet this season, but there are still some teams there finishing their attempts, and for the most part, it has been a successful season there, despite the uncertain start.

Back on the South Side, IMG put 11 people on the summit yesterday, taking advantage of the fine weather while they could. You can bet that a Discovery Channel team was with them, capturing much of the climb. Discovery was also along for the ride with Himex, who made their final bid yesterday as well, although I haven’t seen a list of who made it yet, and Bili Bierling isn’t updating her blog either, possibly indicating that she isn’t back in BC at the moment.

Kraig Becker

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