If you’re not completely sick of all the Everest news yet, here is one more update for you as the teams move up. As I write this, climbers are on their way to the summit and are reportedly experiencing perfect weather. Updates have indicated that teams are already above the balcony and will soon stand on top of the world. We’ll no doubt have a host of updates on their progress tomorrow, but for now there were a couple of stories I wanted to spotlight.
First, it appears that Chad Kellogg is now ready to start his attempt at an Everest speed record. He is currently still in Base Camp, resting and getting ready to go, and in his latest dispatch he shares details of his plan, which includes attempting to go to the summit and back in a single push. He hopes to do this in about 30 hours total, provided everything goes to plan. When he reaches Camp 4, he’ll be joined by a Sherpa who will pace him to the top and carry bottled oxygen for him just in case he needs it. This is going to be an epic climb but it looks like things are lining up nicely for Chad now. The weather is reportedly great and the number of climbers going up are far less than last week, which should help alleviate the traffic jams.
On a different note, Jake Norton has called off his ascent of the mountain saying he just doesn’t feel like it is safe to go up at the moment. Earlier Jake sent a letter out to his supporters explaining his decision and outlining his goals moving forward. Jake and his team were on the West Ridge, and as we’ve heard already this spring, that has been a particularly treacherous route due to the lack of snow and ice. When that route became too dangerous, Jake decided to pull the plug and go home, saying that 70 days away is plenty.
You may recall that Jake is climbing as part of his Challenge 21 organization, which seeks to raise awareness of need for clean drinking water around the planet through climbing. The plan is to summit the three highest mountains on each of the seven continents over the next four years. So far, they’ve already knocked off seven of those, and Everest would have been eight.
Stay tuned for an update tomorrow. We should have word on the progress and success stories from a number of teams. Keep your fingers crossed that everyone gets back down safely.
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