It was another busy day on Everest as the final teams pushed to the summit. These last few squads had shown remarkable patience and perseverance as they waited for their chance to come. Fortunately, the weather stayed cooperative and the high winds that were in some forecasts held off. As a result, there were approximately another 50 summits that took place earlier today in what could be the final push for the 2013 season.
Amongst those topping out was Dave Hahn’s RMI team. For Dave this was his 15th successful summit of Everest, the most ever by a non-Sherpa. He was joined at the top by Seth Waterfall and their three Sherpa’s Tshering, Kaji & Gyaljen. They reported cold conditions at the summit, but an other wise beautiful day to be on top of the world. It was quiet enough for the team to spend 30 minutes enjoying their accomplishment before heading back down.
Alan Arnette is reporting that 80-year old Japanese climber Miura Yiuchiro has summited, setting a new age record in the process. Yiuchiro is now the oldest person to ever climb Mt. Everest, although his rival from Nepal, Min Bahadur Sherchan, is still planning to launch his summit bid. Sherchan has been suffering from a stomach bug but hopes to climb to the top next week, provided the weather allows it.
Alan is also reporting that the Himex team put 22 climbers on top although there has been no official word on their website just yet. Last year, Himex boss Russell Brice elected to pull the entire team from the mountain because he felt the conditions weren’t safe, but this year seems like it has been a very successful campaign. Patience and timing has certainly paid off once again.
There is no word yet on Chad Kellogg’s progress in his attempted speed record on Everest. Checking out his GPS locations given by his SPOT device it appears that he may have made it to the summit, but just how quickly he did so remains to be seen. The tracking show on his page may not be accurate either, so we’ll have to wait until we hear from Chad to see how things went.
Back in Base Camp, the teams that have already completed their climbs earlier in the week are busy celebrating their success and packing to head home. Some have already departed for Kathmandu by helicopter while others will make the trek back to Lukla to catch a flight. At this point, BC on the South Side is quickly becoming a quiet place. The Sherpas will be there for a few more days as they collect gear, but already the winds of change are blowing and the curtain will soon drop on the spring climbing season in the Himalaya.
On the North Side of the mountain a similar scene is playing out. Most of the teams are either back in BC or already departed. Of course, on the Tibetan side the climbers can drive in and out of Base Camp, so most will be picked up by trucks in the next day or two.
That’s all for now. With the major summit pushes all but over at this point, I’ll try to keep tabs on some of the still evolving stories from the end of the season.