I’ve been reminded that most of you have probably been keeping up on a lot of the big events while I’ve been away, so I’ll make this my last recap of some of the action that has been going down over the past few weeks. As usual, ExWeb and Alan Arnette have done a great job of keeping us all in the know as the climbers continue their acclimatization process on Everest and similar peaks, while others have already topped out on Annapurna, with a major milestone reached.
We’ll start there, as it seems that Korean climber Oh Eun-Sun topped out on Annapurna yesterday, becoming the first woman to reach the summit on all 14 8000 meter peaks. She has been in a race with several other female climber to claim that distinction, and the climb ends a 13 year quest to bag them all. Miss Oh was turned away on Annapurna last year do to treacherous conditions. The Associated Press video below gives more details on the climb.
But, since this is mountaineering, there is a bit of controversy to go with the achievement. A certain “Spanish rival” has hinted that Miss Oh may not have actually reached the summit on all the mountains. Is there truth to these claims or is it just sour grapes?
Meanwhile, on Everest, conditions remain quite treacherous on both sides of the mountain. Avalanches have been frequent occurrences, with one on the North Side coming as recently as yesterday. That slide as left Hungarian climber László Várkony missing, and presumed dead. All others, including 13-year old Jordan Romero, are reportedly safe in BC.These conditions have made for slow going thus far, as the ropes are not yet fixed above Camp 3, although most climbers have already spent a night in that location.
On a personal note, I can attest to the shakiness of the snow. While making the trek to BC from Gorak Shep, I personally witnessed three avalanches in one afternoon, with the biggest, and closest one to Everest occurring just on the far side of the Khumbu Ice Falls, but off the Lhotse Face. It was a humbling experience to hear that rumble and watch all that snow come tumbling down.
Finally, Alan is also reporting that a true search for Irvine’s Camera may be on! It appears that an Austrian team may be on Everest to specifically look for the mythical camera, that could at last, shed light on whether or not Mallory and Irvine reached the summit. They are reportedly using data garnered from Everest Historian Tom Holzel to aid in their search. A few months back it was widely reported that Holzel had used satellite imagery to identify a “blob” that he believes is the body of Sandy Irvine, who died on the mountain with George Mallory back in 1924. Should be interesting to see what they find.
That’s all for now. More updates soon.
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