Himalaya Spring 2018: Collapse in Icefall Injures Two Sherpas

climbers Mt Everest

As if the climbers, Sherpas, and porters on the South Side of Everest got a sharp reminder of the dangers they face yesterday when a section of the Khumbu Icefall collapsed, injuring two. At least one of the injuries was serious enough to warrant an evacuation and temporarily preventing the teams from climbing up from Base Camp to Camp 1. 

According to The Himalayan Times, the accident occurred at 4:00 AM local time when a group of Sherpas was headed up to C1 and passing through the icefall. A section of the route through that area of the climb – located just above BC – collapsed while the porters were moving through the area, causing a severe back injury to Ngima Sherpa, who was airlifted to Kathmandu for treatment. Dendi Sherpa was also injured in the incident, although the extent of those injuries is unknown. He was treated by doctors in Base Camp and returned to his climbing team. 
The collapse shutdown the route through the icefall, which has been described as the safest and most direct path through this section of the climb in years. It took the icefall doctors about two hours to repair the route and reopen it to climbers. 
The Khumbu Icefall is easily the most dangerous section of the climb on the South Side and the site of many injuries and deaths. Collapses like this one are a common occurrence however, and the icefall docs make similar repairs on a regular basis throughout the season. Thankfully, no one was killed this time out and according to reports Ngima Sherpa is out of danger and doing well in Kathmandu. 
Meanwhile, the Sherpa team in charge of installing fixed ropes on Everest continues to work away. According to the latest reports, they are now approaching Camp 3 on the mountain and have passed the famed Yellow Band. The team will finish placing the lines on Lhotse within a few days as well, with a summit push coming on that mountain very soon. 
We also have a quick update on Spaniard Carlos Soria, who is climbing Dhaulagiri this year at the age of 79. He and his squad are current back in Base Camp on that mountain after making an acclimatization rotation up to Camp 1 and Camp 2, spending the night at both locations. All is proceeding well and Carlos hopes to nab his 13th 8000-meter peak in a few weeks time. 
Stay tuned for more updates soon. 
Kraig Becker