It was an incredibly busy weekend on the world’s tallest mountain, as the first summits of the season were notched on both the North and South Sides of Everest. Rope fixing efforts are now complete, paving the way for a very busy climax to the spring climbing season in the days ahead. The weather is currently quite good on the mountain, but forecasts call for that to change in quickly, so most teams are back in a holding pattern while they wait for a longer, safer summit window.
We’ll start on the North Side, which saw its first summits at the end of last week when a team of Sherpas finished fixing the ropes to the top. On Saturday, the first commercial squads took advantage of the open route and favorable weather to put six Indian climbers and ten Sherpas on top of the mountain from the Tibetan side between 8:20 AM and 9:30 AM that morning. Reportedly the weather took a turn for the worse later in the day, preventing other teams from reaching the top, and causing some to turn back.
According to The Himalayan Times, the climbers who summited were part of the Transcend Adventures team with Suresh Babu, Durga Rao Kunja, Bharat Thammineni, Krishna Rao Vooyaka, Satya Rao Kare and Sunda Raju Repalle all topping out. Joining them were Pema Chhepal Sherpa, Phurba Sherpa, Tashi Chumbel Sherpa, Nurbu Sherpa, Pasang Dorjee Sherpa, Phura Tenzing Sherpa, Kami Temba Sherpa, Sonam Tashi Sherpa, Lhakpa Tshering Sherpa and Karma Dorjee Sherpa.
Of special note is Lhakpa Tshering Sherpa, who set a new record for most summits of Everest by a female climber. This was Lhakpa this was her eighth trip to the top of the world’s highest mountain, extending her previous record for accomplishing that feat. She tells The Times that she hopes to summit two more times to reach 10 before she hangs up her crampons.
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