Everest and Himalaya daily wrap-up: "At Camp 3 and feeling fine”|
May 19, 2005 13: 01 EST
Everest summit pushes are on! The mountain is still divided into two schools of thought: One believes in waiting for the weather window before launching any summit bids, while the other intends to go for the summit during the brief period when the winds are forecast to die down. For those teams that decide to head up before the weather window, the margin for error is slim. One party can go up and make it in a pocket of low winds; the second will be turned back by high winds the very next day.
On the South Side, a handful of teams are at a very cold Camp 3. Keith Woodhouse reports counting 20 climbers making their way up the Lhotse Wall. And the Valencia team said they have confirmation from a Sherpa that their Brazilian friends have also made it to Camp 3. But there’s still no news that any team has reached the summit. Meanwhile, the Adventure Consultants team reports that several groups have retreated back to BC after aborting their summit attempts.
North Side climbers have been struggling with the fixed ropes, as well as the weather forecast. Apparently, the ropes have been fixed up to 8300 m since April 24th, but the winds have been too high since then to make much more progress. The final fixing of the ropes will be carried out by teams leaving on summit pushes today. See separate Exweb special story for details.
Most of the North Side teams are looking at a possible summit date in early June. They have that luxury since they don’t have to worry about the Khumbu Icefall closing down. However, the Jagged Globe team reports that roughly 25% of the North Side teams will be attempting the summit around May 21/22.
Everest Weather – Winds decrease for a few days
The AdventureWeather forecast predicts that the summit winds will be around 5-10 m/s (11-22 mph) through Saturday. But then Sunday the winds are expected to jump back up to 20-30 m/s (45-67 mph). Occasional snow showers are forecast for Friday, with drier conditions over the weekend, and a return to occasional showers next week. In an article published last night, ExplorersWeb emphasized that there may be brief decreases in wind, but these are not stable conditions. A weather window will bring a prolonged period of less wind, but we have not seen indications of that yet. There is currently no sign of the monsoon (a predictor of the weather window), but it’s likely that the conditions will improve greatly around May 25.
Keith Woodhouse – Camp 3 is a mess
Keith reports, “At C3 and feeling fine. Came at a steady pace with two other teams; Jagged Globe from UK and Henry Todd (US) I think. The Koreans are here two! The Lhotse wall was just as steep and intimating as before. I counted 20 climbers in all but not a word spoken in hours. It really does take all your effort and concentration. When I arrived the camp was in a mess. Some tents are full of ice and water, some completely destroyed in the winds. Not a comfortable night I think.”
”This is our last night for our summit attempt and I'm a bit nervous but not too bad. If I can arrive at the South Col in no worse shape than now, I'll have a fighting chance if the weather behaves. It’s very cold here. I’m not sure what the temperature is, but snow inside the tent shows no sign of melting! Still not sure about the Oxygen. I will definitely use it but it doesn't give you quite the kick you might expect.”
Leipzigers w/o O2 – Summit push starts today
The Leipzigers have decided to start their summit push on the 19th. According to their latest dispatch, “It is our last and only chance and we hope for less wind than predicted. The first teams should be on the summit already, but we still not have any information from there at the BC. The weather is bad today; the summit of Everest is obscured by clouds.”
Adventure Consultants – Tension is palpable
Mike reported for the AC team, “At BC the tension is palpable as groups attempt to define acceptable summit conditions. In the last couple of days several groups have been torn by great deliberation and have retreated back to BC from summit attempts. A small number of climbers have decided to attempt the summit in the next day or so. The inclement and unusual weather of this season is posing challenges.”.
Jagged Globe South – Joining the current summit push
The team moved on up to camp 3 this morning. They plan to climb to the South Col tomorrow, with the aim of summiting on the 21 May, when the forecast is for the winds to die down slightly.
Jim Williams – Wind and cold drives team back to BC
“After careful consideration we decided to return to BC from Camp 2 as most of the weather reports showed the possibility of very high winds near the summit and cold temps. The team decided that we would be better off waiting for a more certain weather window and not waiting our summit bid on a iffy weather window so we are once again back in Base Camp.”
Valencia – News from the Brazilians
The team reports that they spoke with a Sherpa from the Brazilian team who said that Waldemar and Irivan had made it to Camp 3.
Carlos Pauner – A night in C3
Yesterday, the team reported that they slept in Camp 3 at 7200 meters. They reported very cold temperatures (-20 C).
Jagged Globe w/ Ranulph Fiennes and Sibusso – June summits?
“All the teams are now in ABC where it is sunny, but there are still very high summit winds as previously forecast. There was a large meeting of expedition leaders yesterday to discuss strategies and the fixing of rope. It was decided that the mountain was too dangerous for the Sherpas to work above 8,000m, where temperatures are around -30 and winds are blowing at 35-50 knots. “
“The winds are still forecast to be very high until the end of the month. About 25% of teams (mostly smaller teams), will attempt the summit in the potential small window of 21/22 May, but most teams, including the Jagged Globe North Ridge Expedition, will be waiting until perhaps the first couple of days in June.”
The team is back in ABC after aborting an earlier summit push due to high winds. They’re planning on attacking the summit again on May 20th.
Catalans – Summit push, part 2
Last week, the Catalan team tried to make an early summit bid, but were forced to turn back. Yesterday, the team had to make another decision: Stay put and wait for better weather, or make a go for it. They decided to launch another bid. They hope to be at Camp 2 today, and reach Camp 3 by tomorrow. If everything goes well, they plan to make it to the summit on the 21st.
Seven Summits – Plans for ropes to the Second Step
Abramov reports, “Tomorrow four Sherpas will leave for the North Col, and the next day to 8300 m. They plan to fix ropes up to the top of the Second Step. Also it is possible, that tomorrow Nikolay Cherny will climb to the North Col. The weather is quite unstable.”
Jean and Monica (supermom)
In their latest dispatch, the two are struggling to maintain their virtues: “Patience, determination, and focus, are required in these times. The summit is right there, we can almost touch it, but the conditions are just not right yet.”
Everest Vitesse – No O2 speed attempt
After rejuvenating in the thermal waters of Tingri, the team is back in BC, except for Lucio who is at ABC, and Adriano who has left for Kathmandu to help Abele’s team. The Vitesse team sends its heart-felt sympathy to Christian Kuntner’s family.
Summit pushes in the Himalaya
Melungtse – Wall down, ridge ahead
The team (including Carlos Buhler) has made it to the top of the wall section on Melungtse’s North Face. Now they’re hoping for better weather to reach the summit. See separate story for details.
Manaslu – Climbers flee lightning storm…Japanese expedition aims for summit
Most of the Manaslu climbers aborted their summit push after finding Camp 2 buried under two meters of snow, in addition to the onset of a lightning storm. See separate Exweb story for details.
However, Goro, from the Japanese Alpine Club, reported that the Manaslu team is circling May 22nd as their summit day. They’ll take only one shot at it, as the time limit for their expedition is May 23rd. According to the AdventureWeather forecast, the winds may pick up dramatically on Sunday the 22nd.
There’s been no news from the Dhaulagiri team for the last couple of days. But check back, as we expect to get an update from them soon.
Adventure Consultants | Jim Williams’ Exploradus dispatches | Keith Woodhouse’s reports | Jean Pavilliard and Monica Kalodzi’s dispatches | Esplugues al Everest (Catalan) | Jagged Globe dispatches | 7 Summits/Harry Kikstra’s dispatches | Valencia expedition’s website (Spanish) | Everest Vitesse 2005 (Italian) | Leipzig expedition´s news (German) | Carlos Pauner’s website (Spanish) | Russian Climb | San Marino team
1. Live image over Contact 3.0 of Sherpa hauling water courtesy of the Adventure Consultants team.
2. Live image over Contact 3.0 of Sherpas courtesy of Alpine Ascents.
3. Mountain vista image courtesy of www.leipzig-online.de.
4. Image courtesy of sanmarinoeverest.com.
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