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Everest South: Preparing for the Big Melt
image story

May 23, 2005 20: 50 EST

The forecasts continue to look bad. Toughing it out has paid off before though, it's not over until it's over. While waiting for a glimpse of hope from the weather gurus, Everest south side is gearing up for a late season in the collapsing ice fall - by training crevasse rescue!

WNI latest is pretty clear: Satellite imagery shows considerable cloudiness passing over Mount Everest. The Jet stream is just to the north of the mountain, but model forecast have it sagging southward during the day. With the clouds in place, winds are 25 m/s near the summit.

Damn the torpedoes?

Some expeditions have mentioned a damn the torpedoes gung ho assault on the summit, but that might not be a good idea. Scattered snow showers are possible through late Tuesday and the activity could be heavy at times, with the best chances just below the Summit. Upon the scattered showers tapering off, winds above 7500 will remain between 20-25 m/s before decreasing late in the forecast period (May 28).

Lazy monsoon

So what about the monsoon? It's building, but it's not fast and it's not moving. The forecast model continues to show signs of monsoon development across the Arabian Sea towards southern portions of India through the period. It will not impact Everest before May 28. So better wait it out, and brace for the big melt up high.

Real life scenario

BaseCampMD report that Mountain Madness organized a rescue exercise for their sherpas today. "Real life scenario: two climbers fell into a crevasse somewhere in the icefall, both are injured. A sherpa team was scrambled up the mountain and the two injured climbers where pulled from the crevasse (see photo left). As the days are getting warmer and we are getting close to the end of May, the Khumbu icefall is definitely changing for the worse, so scenarios like this are not just fiction."

Image of the exercise, courtesy of BaseCampMD.

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