The summit wave that began over the weekend had continued into the week as more and more climbers continue to top out on Everest. The weather window that is currently open may be starting to get a bit dicey however, as there are now reports of high winds returning to the region. Still, more climbers are on the move as the position themselves to reach the top over the next few days.
The third IMG team topped out yesterday, putting another ten climbers on the summit. That marks the end of a very successful season for this group, which has done a good job of balancing when to send their three squads up the mountain. It seems that a lot of teams have perfected their scheduling process this year and the addition of the second set of ropes off the Hillary Step has helped to alleviate traffic jams. While there have been a lot of people heading up the mountain the past few days, I’ve heard very few reports of any kind of serious back-up in traffic. That bodes well for future expeditions to the mountain.
The Adventure Consultants are reporting that their entire team summited this morning and are now back at the South Col for some much needed rest. While the winds were challenging during their ascent, it was still with the acceptable safety guidelines, which allowed them to put 16 people on top. Everyone reached the summit within a relatively short time of one another and all are said to be doing well on their descent.
Alan Arnette, who continues to provide the best coverage of the Everest on the Internet, says that Mountain Trip is one of the groups that elected to wait out the winds at the South Col. They’re currently in Camp 4 and hoping conditions will improve. More teams are expected to join them there today or tomorrow, including RMI, Himex and a few others. Several of those are now eyeing Thursday as a possible summit day.
Alan is also reporting that Japanese climber Yuichiro Miura has gone up to Camp 3 and is expected in C4 today. The 80-year old is looking to top out for the third time and set a new age record for the oldest to ever climb Everest. 81-year old Nepali climber Min Bahadur Sherchan is somewhere on the mountain too and is hoping to nab that record for himself. It’ll be interesting to see if either of the men top out as these octogenarians are making us younger folks look like sloths. Hopefully no matter what happens, they both get up and down the mountain safely.
Melissa Arnot is leaving for her summit push today. She and her Sherpa guide Tshering made an attempt last week with the hopes of being one of the first to top out, but high winds and failing oxygen masks put an end early end to that bid. Melissa had been hoping to summit twice this year, but that looks like it’ll be a difficult challenge to meet as the season begins to wind down. Still, I’m sure if she can still pull it off, Melissa will give it a go, weather and time permitting. If all goes according to schedule, she should probably reach the top on Friday or Saturday.
On the North Side, the Altitude Junkies have now moved up to Camp 3 today and are preparing for their summit bid tonight. The team is rested and ready to go, as they’ve waited until a number of other teams on the Tibetan side of Everest have already completed their climbs. That means it should be a relatively safe and straight shot to the top, provided the weather remains good. Climbing with this team is Edita Nichols who called her home team to let everyone know that the winds are currently calm and that the summit push would start at 10:00 PM local time tonight.
That’s all from Everest today. It is pretty much business as usual there at the moment with teams going up and down as expected. That is a very good thing however, as it means they are safe and proceeding as planned.
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