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Everest and Himalaya daily wrap-up: 70+ mph winds halt summit bids
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May 10, 2005 13: 28 EST
The summit push has been delayed on Annapurna North, as the climbers are forced to remain in their tents at Camp 3 while high winds batter the upper slopes. On Dhaulagiri, Inaki Ochoa and Christian Stangl ditched their plan to begin a third summit push, opting to wait for better conditions. Most of the Everest teams are also waiting out the weather in BC, although some (such as the Leipzigers w/o O2) have determined that “the weather is ugly here, but it is still possible to ascend.”

Everest Weather – Winds peaking tonight

The jet stream passing over the Mount Everest area is creating high winds (25-35 m/s or 56-78 mph) above 7500 m (24,606 ft). The strongest winds are expected tonight through tomorrow; after tomorrow they will begin to weaken slightly. New lows moving into the area will also bring occasional showers.

Summit pushes in the Himalaya

Annapurna North – High winds pin down climbers in C3

Ed Viesturs, Silvio Mondinelli, and five other climbers are holed up in Camp 3 as 30 m/s (67 mph) winds whip their tents and prevent further progress. Over the next couple of days, there will be brief periods when the wind will die down slightly. The climbers hope for enough of a break to make a summit push. See separate Exweb articles for details on the Annapurna North teams and the weather forecast.

Dhaulagiri – Third attempt delayed

Inaki Ochoa and Christian Stangl were going to leave BC today to begin their summit bid, but they have decided to hold out until the winds let up. See separate Exweb story for details.

Cho Oyu – Summit push this week

Margit, Stefan and Joachim were in ABC over the weekend, finishing preparations for their summit push. Last week saw heavy snowfall practically every day, but conditions have become drier and windier. The team thinks they may have a window sometime this week for a summit attempt.

Chomo-Lonzo: North summit reached

Christian Trommsdorff, Yannick Graziani, and Patrick Wagnon reached the North Summit of Chomo-Lonzo (7,199m according to the team’s maps) on Saturday, May 8th. They pushed through strong winds and bitter cold to reach the peak. See separate Exweb story for details.

Super Couloir ahead

After summiting Shisha’s South Face in Alpine style, Ralf, Gerlinde, and Hiro are now heading over to Everest for the main event: The Super Couloir in Alpine style. See separate Exweb story for details.

Everest Traverse – New C1 site

The traverse team has a new Camp 1 site in the middle of the Western Cwm (check out the pic). “We moved to the middle of the cwm to be safe from any more avalanches,” the team reports. The team also said that they’ve noticed a lot of movement up the hill despite the winds, as a few teams still need to go to Camp 3.

Everest South

Leipzigers w/o O2 – Camp 4 push

Yesterday, the team reported, “Although already planned for last Saturday, we could not start our ascent earlier than today. The reason was that it was snowing during the last days and there was an increased risk of avalanches on the Lhotse face. After discussing with Lakpa, I decided to start the climb to camp 4 at the South Col today.”

“Both Lapka and me, we have learned one importing thing: If there is a possibility of getting higher one has to use it because the mountain may not give you a second chance. It is difficult to set the highest camp at the Everest because it depends on weather. At the moment, the weather is ugly here, but it is still possible to ascend. And 5 days of waiting was too long.”

If everything goes according to plan, the team will be back in BC on Thursday.

Keith Woodhouse – “Like being in a war zone”

“Doom and gloom around BC as the earliest weather window looks like after 16th,” reports Keith. “High winds are due to continue until Friday and then a deep low with lots of snow until early next week. Last night was like being in a war zone with loud bangs and the sound of avalanches every few minutes!! In BC the weather is quite tolerable but the Sherpa's were forced down from C3 this morning and most teams are back in BC.”

Alpine Ascents – Sherpas back from South Col

“A huge cloud plume was blowing violently from the summit. We spoke to Lakpa at Base Camp via radio today and he confirmed that the freight-train roar of the wind over the ridges and summits was back this afternoon, but not before all thirteen of our Sherpas who made it to the South Col with loads were safely back at Camp 2.”

The team has been resting amid the “forest, flowers, and songbirds of Deboche.” Now they’re on their way back to BC.

Everest North

Project Himalaya – The deceptive winds

“On 7 May fearsome winds ripped off Everest and the North Col,” the team reports. “On the 8th Everest looked calmer, and on the 9th we were beginning to worry that the jet stream forecasts might not be true; the mountain was stunning, a dark sky without a single cloud, and only the occasional snow plume, but Temba and Dawa brought the news that the KE sherpas could not even get above North Col due to extreme wind; deceptive.”

The team plans to stay in BC a few more days, but the only thing they’ve really determined is the need to stay flexible.

Silvio ‘Gnaro’ Mondinelli (Italian) | Mario Merelli (Italian) | Ed Viesturs’ dispatches | Inaki Ochoa (Spanish) | Margit, Stefan, and Joachim | Chomo Lonzo expedition website | Ralf, Gerlinde, and Hirotaka’s dispatches | Everest Traverse’s dispatches | Leipzig expedition´s news (German) | Keith Woodhouse’s reports | Alpine Ascents Cybercasts | Project Himalaya

1. Image of crossing over 5 ladders courtesy of www.leipzig-online.de.

2. Live image over Contact 3.0 of Keith courtesy of Keith Woodhouse.

3. Live image over Contact 3.0 of new AC camp 1 courtesy of Adventure Consultants and the Everest Traverse team.

4. Image of the Lhotse face at sunset courtesy of www.leipzig-online.de.

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