Everest 2010: More Climbers Summit In Bitter Cold Weather

Leif Whittaker Follows FatherGÇÖs Footsteps to the Top of the World
Following the snowstorm that hit the mountain on Sunday, a number of teams were hunkered in on the South Col of Everest, waiting for an opportunity to go up to the summit. Thankfully for them, the weather cleared yesterday, allowing for another round of bids that resulted in more climbers from both the North and South Side of the mountain standing on top. It wasn’t easy however, as when the skies cleared, the cold the weather moved in, making it a very chilly ascent. Reports have the temperatures sitting at -18ºF at the summit.

Perhaps the biggest news of this most recent round of summits is that Dave Hahn, climbing with the First Ascent Team, topped out for the 12th time of his climbing career. That breaks his own record for the most summits by a non-Sherpa, and definitely puts him in rarified air with the best climbers in the world. Dave was also guiding climbing royalty to the summit, as he took Leif Whittaker with him up the mountain. For Leif, it was his first summit of the mountain, as he followed in the footsteps of his father, Jim Whittaker, who was the first American to successfully climb Everest back in 1963.

The Outdoor Research Veritculture website has an update on Chad Kellogg and his attempt to make a speed climb of Everest. Reportedly, he was on track to reach the summit, but turned back in the high winds that hit the mountain a few days back. Apparently, Chad was approximately 400 meters below the summit when he made the decision to abort the climb with 40+ mph winds whipping around him. He is now back in BC, and will wait to see if another weather window opens, as he would like to complete the climb, although it will now not be for a speed record.

It hasn’t been smooth sailing for everyone however, as both Alan Arnette and Explorers Web are reporting of rescues on the mountain. In his latest update, Alan indicates that he has heard about a number of rescues, but few confirmations, although it is believed that Melissa Arnot and Dave Morton, also on the First Ascent team, helped a Sherpa down the mountain after a large piece of ice broke off a serac and struck him, breaking either an arm or a leg. The man has already been evacuated to Base Camp and should recover just fine.

Similarly, ExWeb says that a pair of Spanish climber had to be helped down from C3 after their successful summit bid. The two were out of oxygen, exhausted, and possibly suffering from frostbite. They did set off under their own power, but were met by a group of Sherpas delivering extra oxygen at about the 8000m mark. They are expected to recover as well.

Weather reports indicate that conditions are now worsening on Everest, and it is likely that we may have seen the end of this year’s spring season. There will be a few holdouts in base camp on both sides of the mountain, as they wait to see if they can get one more crack at the summit this year, but right now, things aren’t looking great for that to happen. The annual monsoon is brewing, and will close off the mountain until fall. If conditions do improve however, I’ll post updates on late season summit bids.

Congratulations to all the climbers who made the climb this year.

Kraig Becker

5 thoughts on “Everest 2010: More Climbers Summit In Bitter Cold Weather”

  1. You wrote
    "Apparently, Chad was approximately 400 meters below the summit."

    400m? Wrong.
    Per Kellogg's own report below, 618m below summit, 2,000 vertical feet below.

    Kellogg's report
    "26 May, 10 – 22:23
    Base Camp to Balcony and Back"

    4th paragraph from the bottom.
    "I had made it nearly 10,000 vertical feet from Base Camp to the Balcony at 27,000 ft."

    Unconfirmed by witnesses though.

    You write
    "The Outdoor Research Veritculture website has an update on Chad Kellogg and his attempt to make a speed climb of Everest."

    That website doesn't state "400m". What's your source for 400m.

    Please correct the inaccuracy.

  2. 27,000 foot high point.
    2,029 feet below the summit (618m)

    6th paragraph:
    "I looked at my watch and realized it was 11 am. I had been going for nearly nineteen hours. I sat down on a rock at 27,000 ft and watched as dozens of climbers passed me on their way down to the South Col

    19 hours from basecamp to 27,000'.
    With hired Sherpa aid at two locations, and tent aid at a location.

    Marc Batard in 1988 did 22h:30m no O2, no support, no Sherpa, solo, oneway ascent to summit.
    Though time-unverified, of course.
    No summit photos reported, of course.
    Fraudulent? Maybe. Probably.

  3. He didin't summit, much like a number of other people. There are no records to be set, and the cilmb is otherwise indistinguishable from the dozens of others who also turned back amidst bad weather. Why are you obsessing over a climb that achieved nothing, including not reaching the summit?

    Get over it and move on.

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