Both Alan Arnette and ExWeb are reporting that the first summits of the season have taken place on Everest, and as you probably could guess, they come courtesy of the Sherpas fixing lines to the summit on the South Side.
According to Alan, a team of nine Sherpas worked hard yesterday fixing ropes from the South Col to the Balcony, and today they went back up the mountain to finish setting the lines to the summit. Those nine Sherpas come from three different teams who worked together to ensure that the ropes are secure and in place for the summit push ahead. There were three Sherpas from each team, which included Himex, Alpine Ascents, and IMG.
With the lines now fixed, the door is open for the climbers to begin their summit push. Many are still in the acclimatization process, so it is unlikely that we’ll see any summits from the rank and file climbers this week, although it wouldn’t be out of the question for the main summit push to get underway next week, weather permitting of course. That will be the real question now. When will the weather window open, giving teams a safe passage to the summit. It won’t be long now, that’s for sure.
But it wouldn’t be out of the question to see some of the faster, more elite climbers, to take advantage of the fixed lines now before the crowds start to head up. Both Alan and ExWeb hint that it would be possible for climbers like Simone Moro and Denis Urubko to have a go at the summit. Now that Simone’s client has gone home ill, he is more than likely itching to make his ascent. Reportedly, he and Denis are planning an assault on Lhotse, but are currently weighing their options on routes to take.
Looks like things should start to get really interesting in the next few days. Stay tuned!