Himalaya 2010: Summits on Cho Oyu, Push Begins on Everest, Makalu

800px ChoOyu fromGokyo
While teams on Everest prepare for another weather window, activity in other parts of the Himalaya continues as well. As we approach the final days of May, the end is in sight for many climbers who have been tightly focused on these last days for months, if not years.

The projected summit day on Everest is now set for Saturday, May 22nd. The weather window looks perfect for another round of summits on that day, although bad weather is in the forecast for after that. As a result, most teams have moved up to Camp 2 on the South Side of the mountain, which puts them on schedule to take advantage of the expected calm weather ahead. Himex, Alpine Ascents, Altitude Junkies, and the Peak Freaks all have climbers in position.

On the North Side of the mountain, there is a similar level of activity and an anticipation of the same weather window. Climbers have moved up to ABC, and are eying this weekend to make their bids as well, which means weโ€™re likely to see traffic jams on both sides of the mountain.

All the teams are keeping an eye on the monsoon as well, which according to Alan Arnette is brew up in India at the moment. According to his latest update, feeder bands for cyclone Laila have already begun to work their way into Nepal, which could signal a quick end to the season. But as Alan also points out, it isnโ€™t time to panic just yet, but the teams will have to move with a sense of urgency over the next few days.

Elsewhere in the region, ExWeb is reporting that an IMG Team has reached the summit on Cho Oyu this past Monday amidst very cold temperatures. Reportedly it was a rough summit, with a lot of exposed rock above the Yellow Band, which made for tough going for all the climbers. They all made it up and down safely however, and were back in Camp 1 before the weather took a turn for the worse.

In that same article, ExWeb notes that summit bids are about to get underway on Makalu, where teams missed out on the first weather window due to conflicting reports. They aim to take advantage of the new one that hits the region at the end of this week, with teams planning on topping out on Saturday as well.

As is common this time of year, the news is almost always about the weather. Lets hope that there are no major shifts in that department over the next few days, as that will allow these climbers to reach their respective summits before the monsoon hits. Something that looks like could happen sooner rather than later. Busy week ahead.

Kraig Becker