It looks like things are really starting to get interesting on Everest, as a new forecast has a weather window opening later this week that should allow the first good access to the summit of the mountain. It seem that the climbers will be looking to take advantage of it as well, with plans to begin the ascent tomorrow.
In his latest dispatch, Eric Larsen lays out his summit plans that begin with a climb to Camp 2 tomorrow, before moving on to Camp 3 on Wednesday. If the weather holds, and everyone is feeling healthy, they’ll then proceed up to Camp 4 on the 14th with a possible top out date in the very early morning hours of Friday. This is, of course, a very typical schedule, but it seems a bit accelerated since Eric hasn’t spent any significant amount of time high on the mountain. His acclimatization stay at C3 was aborted when his back started giving him problems. Hopefully he’ll be ready when the push begins.
The climb from the South Side for Eric and the rest of the team may be the only one to reach the summit this fall, as it appears that the Italians on the North Side have called it quits for the season. They cite a distinct change in the weather as their reason for going home, and that seems to be a common theme throughout the Himalaya this fall.
Meanwhile, over on Cho Oyu we’re still awaiting word on a potential summit today. ExWeb reports that Ecuadorian climber Santiago Quintero is making a bold solo climb from C2 today. Santiago was turned back by high winds last week after breaking trail alone for hours. The forecast says that high winds are still buffeting the mountain, but he’s giving it one more go none the less.
It seems the season is coming to an end very quickly, and it appears that there are only a few opportunities left for teams to reach the summit of their respective mountains. For Eric, this may be his only chance of successfully completing his Save The Poles Expedition, in which he hopes to become the first person to visit the “Three Poles” in a single calendar year. He’s already made it to both the North and South Pole, and now just has Everest, sometimes referred to as the “Third Pole,” left. Good luck Eric!
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