Himalaya Spring 2018: The Name of the Game is Acclimatization

1280px Mount Everest

We’ve entered the phase of the 2018 spring climbing season that is a bit of the grind for the climbers. Now that most teams have settled into base camp and gotten a bit more comfortable, it is time for the acclimatization rotations to take over. For the next few weeks, everyone will simply being going up and down their respective mountains, sleeping at increasingly higher campsites along the way, all in an effort to prepare themselves for the thin air they’ll encounter as they prepare for the summit. It isn’t the most glamorous part of any expedition, but it is necessary for success.

As mentioned last week, the teams on the South Side of Everest have already started making their way into the Khumbu Icefall and up to Camp 1 and 2. More teams are jumping on that schedule now, making the route through the icefall a bit slower, and those two campsites increasingly crowded. The Adventure Consultants are currently at C1 with their entire team and report good weather conditions at the moment. The IMG squad is a bit higher at C2 where the team has already spent a couple of nights. They’ll head back down to Base Camp today, even as another group heads up Lobuche as part of its acclimatization efforts. The Jagged Globe team is also in C1 today and plans to head up to C2 tomorrow.

On the North Side of the mountain in Tibet the teams are on the move as well. Furtenbach Adventures has launched its first rotation up the North Col and will spend a few days at Advanced Base Camp. The team uses oxygen tents to pre-acclimatize at home before they ever arrive on the mountain, giving them a bit of a leg up in terms of preparation. Most other teams to be on a similar schedule with climbers heading out to intermittent camp and ABC over the next day or two.

Another team that uses oxygen tents prior to leaving for the Himalaya is Alpenglow Expeditions. As mentioned before, the team is hoping to nab a double summit of both Cho Oyu and Everest this year, and while company owner Adrian Ballinger has been in Tibet for a few days already, his team is now arriving as well. They hope to summit the first of those peaks by the end of next week, then jump over to the Big Hill shortly there after.

Finally, Matt Moniz is starting his first rotation through the Khumbu Icefall today, climbing along with Willie Benegas. Matt is attempting a double summit of his own, climbing both Everest and Lhotse. So far, his acclimatization efforts have been stymied by a stomach bug, which prevented a summit of Pumori. But, he seems to be back on his feet and pushing through his first rotation up the mountain. We’ll be keeping a close eye on his efforts in the days ahead for sure.

That’s it for today. We’ll be watching closely as things unfold over the next few days. Hopefully everyone gets up and down the mountain safely as they start to find their legs and get their lungs ready for the climb. More to come soon.

Kraig Becker

1 thought on “Himalaya Spring 2018: The Name of the Game is Acclimatization”

  1. Preparations are definitely a must. Thank you for keeping us informed. We look forward to hearing more about it.

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