Everest and Himalaya daily wrap-up: Higher camps ahead...weather permitting|
Apr 27, 2005 15: 20 EST
North Side teams are hovering around the North Col, while Sherpas start fixing the route to Camp 2. South Side teams are keeping pace with their northern counterparts. Many of the teams are already at Camp 3. But so much depends on the weather, and progress may be slowed by frequent showers later in the week. And of course, the dreaded Khumbu cough continues to take its toll.
Wind speed jumps Friday
The jet stream may be gone for the moment, but winds are still 10-15 m/s (22-34 mph), and could jump to 20-25 m/s (45-56 mph) on Friday as a weak jet passes the Mount Everest area. You can expect frequent showers in the area from Thursday to Saturday, but those should dwindle down to occasional showers after Saturday.
There’s been a lack of dispatches lately from Luis and Piers, but their technology seems to be back on track: “Thanks to a backup PDA, we are back in business! We are safe in Base Camp from our four-day run up the hill.”
Everest North - ropes
Teams have reached North Col (7050) and are heading up to C2 (7500). Yesterday (see separate story) Australian Duncan Chessell, currently guiding for Himex, reported on the bolting plans for the upper sections of the mountain.
“Kari Kobler and Russell Brice work a 36V cordless hammer drill capable of sinking a 16mm diameter bolt into the summit ridge of Everest. The plan is to use the drill to fix 10mm bolts in more than 100 holes. Kari wants to fix “Via Ferrata Style” 150mm long “step bolts” onto the second and first step to speed up the climbing for everyone. Hmmm this is a new level to the commercialization of Everest. Already we have ladders, fixed lines, pitons, Sherpas and oxygen – now we are looking at metal steps for the tricky parts…”
The extremely strong Himex Sherpa team has almost finished its work on the North side and it is still April. Last season one ladder was required to provide easy access across a narrow crevasse below the North Col. This season is no exception, and the ladder has been re-installed. A second ladder was expected by mid April to be installed over a new crevasse on the way to the North Col.
Everest North – normal route teams
7 Summits Club
“Today our Sherpas finished putting up our North Col Camp: They put up 6 tents, brought 15 sleeping bags, etc. Tomorrow they are moving to 7700m. And in 2 days more they are going to put up Camp at 7700m. Before May 1 we are planning to have 6 tents put up on the North Col, 5 tents – at 7700m and some loads will have been brought to the last Camp at 8300m.” Read ExWeb’s full story on the 7 Summits expedition, published yesterday.
“We are now resting at base camp after 4 days at ABC (6400 meters). Noel has encountered problems with his eyesight, so we will remain here for the minute.” Check Special story posted late yesterday.
Jean Pavillard and Monica (supermom)
“After a week at ABC, and a climb up to the North Col, we are back at base camp for a few days’ rest. We will hike again to ABC on April 28, then continue to the North Col, Camp 2 and 3 at 7,900m before returning again to BC and another rest.”
Climbers have reached C3 (approx 7300m). There are rumors that Himex is considering fixing a ladder on the Hillary step - from the Tibetan side!
“Feeling pretty down!! Spoke to Dirk and he's had enough! All sorts of mixed emotions from me, some selfish some wishing I'd seen the signs earlier. I should be elated I'm at C3 -- got here exhausted in 5 hours -- but I'm not! I'm going to really miss Dirk’s down to earth attitude and humor.”
“We have three tents literally hewn out from the Lhotse face. The climb up here was much harder than I expected and frankly much more exposed and technical than I had thought. It’s basically blue ice all the way. Very difficult to get an ice axe as it just splinters and because we are one of the first groups up here there are no obvious foot holds.”
Team member Jose Maria Alvarez has been battling persistent respiratory problems. After deciding to descend below 4000 meters to prevent the risk of pulmonary edema, Alvarez has changed his mind. He has felt much better after taking medication, and has chosen to stick it out for the moment. Team members will watch him closely over the next few days before deciding if he can chance further climbing.
“After climbing up to CI with us Lakpa Rita decided to head directly to CII for the night in order to take care of some logistical issues,” reported Dave. “So far the Sherpa team has moved over 2/3 of our oxygen bottles to CII. Four of our Sherpa "gunners" headed up to CII today as well in order to start in on the fixing up to the South Col tomorrow morning. Unbelievably strong and positive they can't be acknowledged enough for their work.”
“Our weather dependent plan is to move to CII tomorrow, take a rest day there the following day, then move up to CIII on Saturday for a night of tossing and turning rather than a night of sleep.”
“A 6:30 am departure from C2 saw us reach C1 as the sun hit and allowed us to return to BC in time for a sumptuous lunch.” Mike also noted, “The hanging seracs in the Khumbu Icefall behaved themselves (i.e. didn't moan, groan or conduct any 'gravity relocations' at unwanted times). “
“Yes, we are finally leaving Base Camp to go up the mountain! We can’t even be dissuaded by the 3:30 am wake up call,” reports team member MC. “We get to go play on ladders and with ropes in the Icefall and then chill in Camp I for a night before continuing up to Camp II for two nights. Then the real fun begins as we get our first taste of the Lhotse Face. We’ll be spending one night ‘sleeping’ (I hear it’s more like restlessly laying in your sleeping bag until it gets light) at Camp III before coming back down to Camp II for one additional night on the mountain.”
Team member Harold reports: “Today, under a sunny sky, I accomplished my goal. I got to the foot of the Lhotse face. This is the start of the final climb to Camp Three. To give you an idea of how steep the ascent is to the Lhotse face, it took me and my climbing Sherpa three hours to get up there and only one hour to get back – we literally flew back down.”
“A bad cough (the Khumbu cough) kept Gabriel awake at Camp 2 and he had to go down to Camp 1 for the next night to try to get some rest. As his cough irritates his throat, he was unable to drink and became dehydrated. He then had to come back down to Base Camp where he saw a doctor who confirmed that his lungs are intact and that he just needs to heal his throat.”
Leipzigers without O2
"No one can really understand the real gigantic dimensions of Everest until he actually gets there, overcomes the Khumbu Ice fall, crosses the Valley of silence and climbs the Lhotse wall. That's precisely what we did during the last two days, along with Lakpa and Nuri. We've set camps 1 and 2, spent one night at each, and pushed forward up the Lhotse face before returning to BC today. So far, so good. And hey, I've climbed the Khumbu ice fall for the first time in my life. What an experience! Dangerous and fascinating at the same time!"
“We planned to get to C3 tomorrow but weather forecasts announce worsening conditions. Therefore we will wait in C2 and see what happens.”
Gerfried called from the summit of Jebo Kangijale Peak, here is his latest report:
"Gerfried Göschl, Guenther Unterberger and Martin Nuess reached the summit of the 7068m high Jebo Kangijale Peak, possibly a first ascent, for sure the first Syrians on the summit ! It is a first 7000m high mountain for Günther, and Gerfried's second."
"On 24.05. the situation did not look too promising, bad weather turned into a thunderstorm and strong winds which did not abate until after midnight. But despite lots of freshly fallen snow, the expedition group decided to head for the summit, and all male members of the expedition at least reached 6800m, and Gerfried and his 2 friends finally reached the summit."
"The ladies acclimatized in Camp I. Tomorrow the whole group will descend to the ABC, and after some celebrations and rest days hope for good weather conditions to attempt the summit of Shisha Panmga."
Everest Traverse’s dispatches
Singapore Mountaineers w/o O2
Singapore NUS Centennial expedition´s reports
Alpine Ascents Cybercasts
Jim Williams’ Exploradus dispatches
Dirk Stephan and Keith Woodhouse’s reports
Jean Pavilliard and Monica Kalodzi’s dispatches
Nigel Clark’s dispatches
International Mountain Guides dispatches
Mountain Madness dispatches
Climbing for a Cure’s dispatches
Esplugues al Everest (Catalan)
Jagged Globe dispatches
7 Summits/Harry Kikstra’s dispatches
Ed Viesturs' dispatches
Shaunna Burke and Ben Webster’s dispatches
Czech Expedition - Hornbein Couloir (English on the right side of page)
Gavin Bate’s – Adventure Alternative
Norway for Everest’s dispatches
Iranian expedition’s news
Valencia expedition’s website (Spanish)
Canadian Kanatek expedition’s website
Martin Minarik’s dispatches
Sigrid Hammer’s website (Norwegian/English)
Everest Vitesse 2005 (Italian)
Ralf, Gerlinde and Hirotaka’s dispatches (German)
Inaki Ochoa (Spanish)
Ivan Vallejo (Spanish)
Leipzig expedition´s news (German)
Silvio ‘Gnaro’ Mondinelli (Italian)
Mario Merelli (Italian)
Carlos Pauner’s website (Spanish)
Waldemar Niclevicz’s dispatches (Portuguese)
Mallorca Expedition’s news (multilingual)
O’Brien brothers/HDF expedition’s website
Japanese Team Honda’s website (Japanese)
Gabriel Filippi’s reports through Peak Freak
1. Crossing ladder, live image over Contact 3.0 courtesy of Alpine Ascents.
2. Climbing a ladder in the Khumbu Icefall, live image over Contact 3.0 courtesy of Adventure Consultants.
3. Among the boulders, live image over Contact 3.0 courtesy of Alpine Ascents.
4. Jean and Monica’s reading break at BC (over Contact 3.0), courtesy of Jean Pavillard and Monica Kalozdi.
BEST of EXPLORERSWEB