Everest 2012: Climbers Ready For Round 2

trail to c3 on lhotse face

There isn’t a lot of news to report from Everest today as things seem to be proceeding exactly as planned. The teams have all moved up on both sides of the mountain and most are now in place to take advantage of the next weather window. The forecast once again seems to be right on target and the high winds above 8000 meters are starting to die down. As a result, the climbers are either in Camp 3 or 4, conserving their strength and getting ready to go.

One of the first climbers to head up will be Kenton Cool, who has been doing a wonderful job of blogging and sharing videos from his climb all season long. If the Twitter feeds are to be believed, as I write this Kenton is departing Camp 4 for the top. Yesterday he posted a great video of what he will be wearing on this summit push. You can see that video after the jump.

The National Geographic/North Face team was in Camp 3 yesterday and planned to head up to C4 today. They slept in the shadow of the overhanging seracs last night, which seemed to leave them a bit nervous about their position. Still, it seems those ice shelves have held and they are on track to move into position today and go for the summit most likely tomorrow.

Also heading up to Camp 4 today is the RMI squad which includes Dave Hahn who is going for his 14th summit of the mountain. Joining them on the ascent will be the second wave of climbers from the Peak Freaks, IMG, Mountain Trip and Adventure Consultants.

Two teams of female climbers representing the Indian Army are also on the move. Bad weather caused them to delay their first summit bid, but now they are ready to go and are looking forward to the climb. The first group is expected to summit tomorrow morning with a the second team reaching the top on Saturday.

Finally, the mainstream press has picked up on the 2012 Everest season, mainly due to the reports of fatalities. I’m often reluctant post links to their stories, as they are usually sensationalistic and don’t always represent the situation all that well. MSNBC has one, that includes video, that discusses the traffic jams that were an issue last weekend (and have been for several years!) and USA Today has a report on the Everest deaths this year as well. While of course this is news, it is a bit troubling at times that the only reports from the mountain that anyone ever hears are bad. Most people don’t have a good understanding of what the situation is on Everest, nor do they realize that hundreds of people go to the summit and return safely each and every year.

Early indications are that we can expect roughly 150 climbers on Everest in the next few days, which is about half the number that went up last weekend. Hopefully that means fewer traffic jams and an overall quicker pace. That makes for a much safer climb all around. Good luck to everyone going up. Be safe!

Kraig Becker