Everest 2010: It’s All About The Weather

The topic of discussion on Everest today, as it has been for some time, is all about the weather. Teams on both the North and South Side are dealing with challenging conditions while they try to put themselves into position to take advantage of a weather window that is expected to give them access to the summit on Saturday. But today, they’re dealing with high winds on both sides of the mountain, and some fresh snow on the the South.

As I mentioned yesterday, all the major commercial teams are moving up, including the Altitude Junkies, Alpine Ascents, IMG, and Himex. Most of the climbers are hoping to be in position at Camp 3 today, and then move up to C4 tomorrow for a brief rest, before going on to the summit. Most of the updates from the mountain today reflect this plan.

There are a few things of note however, such as the update that Apa Sherpa set off from Base Camp this morning, beginning his summit push. If he is successful, it will be the 20th time that he has stood on top of the mountain, an impressive feat to say the least.

Similarly, Dave Hahn, climbing with the First Ascent Team, and guiding Leif Whittaker, son of Jim Whittaker, the first American to summit Everest, has set off for the summit as well. Dave is going for his 12th successful summit of the mountain, adding to his record for the most summits by a non-Sherpa. He’s also been sharing regular dispatches over at GreatOutdoors.com. You can read what Dave has to say by clicking here.

There are certainly a lot of people following Jordan Romero’s progress very intently. The 13-year old was the subject of a story in the New York Times yesterday that is sure to bring even more attention to his attempt on Everest and the Seven Summits in general. It appears that Jordan is currently in Camp 2 on the North Side and is hoping to take advantage of this impending weather window along with the rest of the teams.

South African Mandy Ramsden is climbing with the Adventure Consultants Team, and is currently in Camp 3, amidst very windy conditions. She’s looking to become the first South African woman to climb the Seven Summits, with just Everest standing in the way of that goal.

The way things are shaping up right now, this may be the last weather window for all the teams, which is why they are all moving up so quickly and en masse. It appears that the window may be open from the 22nd through the 25th, although we all know how quickly the weather can change sometimes. After that, the brewing cyclone in the Indian Ocean may very well shut things down for the season, and no one wants to be left out if that should happen. It looks like we’re in for another very busy weekend on the world’s tallest mountain. Expect traffic jams, delays, and lots and lots of summits!

Kraig Becker