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Everest and Himalaya daily wrap-up: Summit pushes ahead!
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May 11, 2005 13: 34 EST
Everest climbers are taking it easy; instead, all the action is on the sourrounding Himalayan peaks.

The climbers on Annapurna North are still waiting in Camp 3 for the main force of the winds to pass. On the south side of Anna, Piotr and team have decided to start their climb, regardless of the high winds. The Everest teams are taking a much more cautious approach. Most of the Everest climbers are aiming to leave BC not until the end of the week, to start their pushes to the summit.

Everest Weather

The jet stream continues to move slowly south, but the wind is still screaming “like an express train.” At the summit level, the wind speed is roughly 30 m/s (67 mph). The good news is that the wind should decrease gradually over the week. Expect occasional showers moving east from Kashmir.

Summit pushes in the Himalaya

Shisha Pangma– Romanians

Romanian Cristian Tzecu was with Gerfried Göschl on the summit of Shisha Central last week. Fellow Romanian climber Dragos Dubina is making a summit push on Shisha Main today. See separate story for details.

Shisha south face

Check out the special Exweb debrief and spectacular pictures from Ralf, Gerlinde, and Hiro's Shisha summit later today.

Annapurna North – Still pinned down in C3

Climbers are still stuck in their tents at 7000 meters. They’ve been battered by high winds for the last few days, but Ed Viesturs has said that he’s willing to hold out there for several days if necessary. See separate Exweb story for details.

Annapurna South – Heading up today

Unwilling to wait any longer for the weather to improve, Piotr Pustelnik announced yesterday that the team would start climbing to ABC today. See Exweb story published yesterday.

Dhaulagiri – Korean summit mystery

Yesterday, Nepal’s Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation has just published a press release reporting that one Korean climber and three high altitude Sherpas have reached the summit of Dhaulagiri. However, the official press release contradicts previous reports from the international team members also on the spot. See yesterday’s story for details on the controversy.

Everest North

Jarle Traa – Alone on Everest w/o O2

Jarle is back in BC after spending a few days in New Tingri recovering from a chest infection. He reports, “I have established ABC after carrying all the equipment up there on my own back. I have melted and cleaned my own water, cooked my own food and all the other chores of camps. I have been on two acclimatization trips, one to NC and one to C1, but I have not slept above ABC yet. I am going to do that on my last acclimatization trip which will start in a day or two. Then my plan is to rest for some days before going for summit.”

“I will not have any camps on the mountain when I start my summit bid - and I am a little uncertain of which tactic to go for on the summit push. Should I go for only one camp (appr. 7500) as I did on Cho Oyu or should I spend two nights on the way up - NC and C3? Am I strong enough for a two day push to the summit? How high do I want to sleep without oxygen? My last acclimatization trip will decide. On other mountains I have had the strategy almost finished even before leaving home, but Everest is different... and bigger...”

7 Summits – Parties, plans, and high altitude skiing

The Seven Summits party planners took advantage of the Victory Holiday (marking the end of WWII) to throw another bash in BC. While most of the guests was recovering from the party, some members of the Seven Summits team went to surrounding villages in search of rams. Ritual sacrifices? The team has bought six rams, which will be transported to BC.

As far as climbing, the team reports,”The first group leaves Base Camp upwards May 13th, the second – May 15th. The beginning of an ascent from АВС will occur approximately between the 16th and 18th. Each team consists of 10 members and five Sherpas. And three more Sherpas will stay, probably, in camp at 7700 meters. They will make up a reserve group in case the need arises to replace sick Sherpas, or to help out if there are any unforeseen situations on the mountain.”

The team also reports, “Sergey Semyonov has fulfilled his plan and comes back home. He has climbed to the North Col, to a height of more than 7000 meters. And then Sergey has made a dangerous descent by ski on a steep glacier slope, almost to ABC (6500м). The steepness of a slope reaches 60-70 degrees, and in many places it is crossed with huge crevasses.”

Jagged Globe North – Late May summit push?

“It's sunny now, but quite windy, although the valley temperature is increasing to be pleasantly warm,” the team reports. “Currently, there are no thoughts on being able to summit before 18-20 May.”

Everest South

Jagged Globe South – Fixing route above Camp 4

“Our south side team has been meeting with other teams today in base camp to coordinate putting in the route above Camp 4. Depending on the forecast tomorrow, they may well leave Base Camp on May 13 to head for the summit. This would have them summiting around May 19. With a strong team this year, all of whom have already slept at camp 3, it looks like the strategy again is to push the route out and be among the first to summit.”

“However, it has been extremely windy today and our Sherpas had to turn around at the Geneva Spur en route to Camp 4 on the South Col, where they had planned to finish stocking the camp. This means that they will have to get ahead of the main climbing team, who will probably arrive in C4 on 18 May, to make sure that all the oxygen, ropes, stakes, ice screws etc are in place. It's high-altitude supply chain management!”

Carlos Pauner w/o O2 – Acclimatization cut short

Carlos wanted to spend the night in C3, and perhaps even reach the South Col. But after the avalanche on the Lhotse Wall last Friday (See separate Exweb story), he determined the conditions weren’t safe enough. Now, he’s in a difficult position; he has not acclimatized enough for a no O2 climb. He may have to go back to C3 again before making the definitive summit push.

Keith Woodhouse – Public outbursts

“The weather window continues to dominate everyone and everything,” Keith reports. “Anxiety and general pressure is taking its toll on climbers and there have been a few public outbursts. I'm sure we will get our chance, and to go just because we want to get it over with will invite disappointment or worse. Those who do not know what its like to be in high winds on mountains like these invite disasters. I will only go when we get the right signs even if that means waiting a couple more weeks!”

Gavin Bates – Alone w/o O2

In his latest audio update, Gavin was huddled in his sleeping bag in a very cold Camp 2. Even as the wind whipped around him, he was making plans to go up to Camp 3, and possibly Camp 4.

Adventure Consultants – Climber twists knee, cancels summit plans

The team reports clear skies, but winds that roar “like an express train.” One of the team’s climbers, Katrina, twisted her knee and was forced to descend to BC with Luis. She has decided that climbing Everest this season is no longer an option. The rest of the team is planning to head to Camp 3, winds permitting.

Czech expedition - Miroslav Caban

Readers have requested information about the South Side Czech team led by Miroslav Caban. In their last update (from May 4th) they reported that they had slept Camp 3 and their acclimatization is complete. Upon arriving back at C1, they found the tents destroyed by the avalanche. They offered their help, but since so many people were already assisting, their services were not needed. The Czech team descended down to BC, where they learned that Jardy was feeling much better. After enjoying a good dinner in BC (with plenty of beer), the team was going to head down to Debouche for five days of R&R.

Adventure Consultants | Ed Viesturs’ dispatches | Inaki Ochoa (Spanish) | Silvio ‘Gnaro’ Mondinelli (Italian) | Mario Merelli (Italian) | Carlos Pauner’s website (Spanish) | Jagged Globe dispatches | Gavin Bate’s – Adventure Alternative | Czech south side expedition | Keith Woodhouse’s reports | Ralf, Gerlinde, and Hiro's dispatches | 7 Summits/Harry Kikstra’s dispatches | Jarle Traa's dispatches


1. Image of climbers on Shisha Pangma courtesy of amical.de.

2. Image of Sergey Semyonov skiing courtesy of www.7summits-club.com.

3. Image courtesy of Carlos Pauner.

4. Live image over Contact 3.0 courtesy of Adventure Consultants.

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