Himalaya Fall 2012 Update: Summit Attempts On Everest And Lhotse?

Everest kalapatthar crop

Over the past six weeks or so, we’ve been following the fall Himalayan climbing season quite closely, watching as various teams attempt to summit Makalu, Dhaulagiri and of course Manaslu. But it seems there may have been a few teams flying under the radar and ExWeb now reports that there may be summit bids brewing on Everest and Lhotse as well.

According to this story, posted late yesterday, there is a large Korean team, consisting of ten members, who are attempting Everest along the South Col route. Perhaps more intriguing, ExWeb also says that there is a lone Japanese climber who hopes to summit along the seldom visited West Ridge as well. Those teams haven’t been alone in Base Camp this fall however, as the report also indicates that there is a seven member Polish team, along with another two-person team, that are attempting to climb Lhotse. As many of you know, Everest and Lhtose share the same face, only diverging at Camp 4 where climbers go their separate ways.

Apparently this has been a relatively fast climb. ExWeb says that the Ice Doctors didn’t have the route through the Khumbu Ice Fall finished until September 19 and the teams have worked with limited Sherpa support. Some of then even built their own high camps in preparation for the summit bids. The Polish squad as reportedly been as high as Camp 4 this past weekend and are now preparing to make their summit attempt ahead of the shift in the jet stream.

The weather forecasts say that the jet stream has already settled in over the region, but there will be a lull in wind speeds around the 8th. That means that any teams left in the Himalaya who hope to top out this fall need to get underway now with the hope that they can finish their climbs on Monday. Among those who are making a last minute attempt is Billi Bierling, who thought her chances of summiting Makalu were over after her Sherpa team put their Camp 4 in the wrong place. Billi left BC this morning with an eye on topping out early next week.

Stay tuned for more updates when we get them. It seems we have one more potentially busy weekend in the Himalaya before the season comes to an abrupt end next week.

Kraig Becker