Himalaya Fall 2012 Update: Go Time On Everest And Lhotse

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The next few days could potentially be exciting ones on both Everest and Lhotse. The promised weather window appears to be on track and ready to open starting tomorrow, which will grant access to the summit at last. As a result, the teams that have been struggling there most of the fall are now ready to make the final push to the top.

Among them is Japanese climber Nobukazu Kuriki, who is attempting the West Ridge of Everest alone and without oxygen. Kuriki has spent much of the past week in Camp 2, waiting for his opportunity to go higher, and over the weekend he was able to move up to Camp 3 in order to get into position for his summit bid. According to his Facebook page, Kuriki will stay in C3 for today, gather his strength and wait out the weather. Tomorrow he’ll proceed up to Camp 4 and weather permitting he’ll go to for the summit on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the Polish team led by Artur Hajzer climbed up the South Col route over the weekend and now have five climbers in Camp 4. Their weather forecasts indicate that starting tomorrow things improve quite nicely with a window that will remain open late into the week. Having struggled in high winds and snowy conditions the past few days, the team is a bit weary and battered, but they are excited to get the chance to tag Lhotse’s summit at last. If the weather window stays open as expected, a second group of climbers will attempt to make another summit bid on Friday.

Finally, there have been no updates from the Korean team that is attempting Everest along the traditional South Col route but presumably they’ll be moving into position as well. It wouldn’t at all be surprising to learn that they are also in Camp 4 and waiting on the weather window tomorrow as well, but for now we’ll just have to wait to see if they are able to complete their climb as well.

Good luck to all the climbers. Stay safe and get up and down in one piece.

Kraig Becker