At long last, it is finally time for the teams on Everest to begin their summit bids. The weather window looks like it is set to open over the weekend, and teams are moving into place to take advantage of it. According to Alan Arnette, many teams are on the move today, with an eye on reaching the summit on Monday the 18th. IMG, Peak Freaks, and Adventure Consultants are all indicating that they are headed up the mountain, and there are estimates that as many as 60 people will be looking to top out on Monday.
Of course, not everyone is so quick to make a move up the mountain. Billi Bierling, climbing with the Himex team, says she isn’t sure when Russell Brice will turn them loose on the mountain. Shifting to the North Side, Alan is also reporting that teams are still waiting for the weather to clear and the final ropes to be fixed, so it looks like they’ll be several days behind their South Side counterparts no matter what happens.
As I write this, the Lhotse-Everest Traverse team is moving up to the summit of Lhotse, the first goal in their expedition. If that goes as planned, and the weather cooperates, they’ll then move down to the saddle between the mountain and Everest, and move toward their next goal, namely the summit of Everest itself. It’s going to be tricky climbing between the two peaks, and area that few have have entered before They’ll be down climbing along a ridge that has not been scaled, in order to reach the South Col and begin their assault on Everest ahead of the crowds. If anyone can pull this off, it’ll be this very talented team.
Finally, while everyone else is moving into position, and we’re all waiting for word on their progress, you can read David Tait’s account of his summit back on May 5th. That seems like a really long time ago now, and as I said yesterday, I’m sure he’s enjoying the fact that his work is done. Check out his summit report here.
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