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Everest and Himalaya daily wrap-up: Summit pushes begin despite weather woes
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May 17, 2005 14: 27 EST
Yesterday’s summit push from the North Side Catalan team was cut short when the climbers changed their minds and returned to BC to wait for better conditions.

But the first summits might still happen already tomorrow through Friday! South Siders have moved up to Camp 2 today, and possibly even higher. There are rumours of Sherpas fixing ropes already at the Hillary Step - just below the summit on Everest South Side! The weather? No window - but not too bad either. Winds jumping between 10 m/s and 20 m/s will leave it all up to luck and the climbers now.

On the North Side, some teams are mobilizing to move up to higher camps in case a summit opportunity presents itself. Ropes are fixed up to 8300, the final stretch to the summit to be fixed at the first summit push.

Other teams are circling dates in late May as possible summit targets. Struggling with up to 7 forecasts spread around BC, anxiety, and restlessness are brought on by inactivity. A few reports even talk about some 30% of the climbers already having left the mountain!

On both sides of Annapurna, climbers are hovering around Camp 2, waiting for their chance to strike. Meanwhile, on Dhaulagiri, we’ll see if persistence pays off. The seven remaining climbers have set out on their third (in some cases fourth) summit bid. So far, bad weather and poor conditions have turned them back on each attempt.

Everest Weather – Winds decrease, but no window

The current 20-25 m/s (45-56 mph) winds at the summit are expected to come down to around 15 m/s (34 mph) on Wednesday. That could be great news especially for the Annapurna climbers, currently in C2, but as we’ve mentioned before, the decrease in wind is not an indication that the weather window has arrived. Troughs moving in from the east will bring occasional showers for most of the week.

Base Camp MD – Any moment now…

After the flurry of patients from the avalanche, the Base Camp medical tent is quiet now. The docs report that six or seven teams have gone up the mountain in the last few days, hoping to be in striking position of the summit when the weather calms down. And here's a new trend: climbers coming by the clinic for a last check before going up…

Everest North

Everest Vitesse – No O2 speed climber greases wheels

In a recent dispatch, the team reports, “Bruno, who was accompanied by Christian, made the 18 km. descent from ABC to BC in an excellent time of 2 hours and 50 minutes without forcing the pace. The other group of guides that came down to BC made excellent times as well, and this gives us great hope for the day of the record when they will have to take turns aiding Bruno in his attempt.”

Jagged Globe North (Ranulph Fiennes and Sibusso)

“All climbers headed off to Camp 2 this morning,” the team reports. “Kenton, Eirik and Jack at 5:30 am and Greg, John and Nick at 6:30 am. There they will rest for a day and await a weather update today, before deciding whether or not to go higher.”

Project Himalaya- Last loads up to 8300m

According to the team, “Paul is now back at ABC; Julian and Jamie are contemplating going up, in which case there will be no dispatches for two days. The weather does not seem good enough to attempt the summit. Instead we are keeping fit only. It is likely Dawa, Namgyal and Wangchu will stay at North Col as well and try to take the last loads to 7700m and 8300m.”

Himex - Patience

The team is likely holding off their summit attempt until the end of May. They are feeling anxious about the high winds, but they’re also starting to feel restless hanging around BC. Most of the expedition will be moving up to ABC this week, and hopefully up to the North Col to stash a depot of food for the summit attempt. Then they plan to head back to ABC and wait for the wind speed to drop.

San Marino Italian team

The team is in ABC, trying their best to make the show time pass quickly. Antonio reports that the other day he made it up to 7300 m, where the wind was very strong.

Everest South

Gavin Bates w/o O2 – Don’t get caught in a traffic jam

In an audio dispatch from Debouche, Gavin reported that all his gear has been stashed on the mountain, and now he’s just waiting for the right time. He wants to let the big teams pass first, so he doesn’t get caught in a crowded, blocked situation without O2. Gavin also reports that some Sherpas have been trying to put in a fixed line up to the Hillary Step.

Adventure Consultants – Vegas in BC

In their latest dispatch, the team reports, “Rest days....hydrating, eating...and...gambling?! That’s right, an ancient game from Tibet called Sho. This game involves dice, coins, and actual seashells as part of a traditional game that traders brought from as far away as the Indian coast! The members today have split up a bit, some hiked down valley for a rest at lower elevations tonight, and others are content to read, lounge in the sunshine, and perhaps even take a shave! Lets see what tomorrow brings, as we are hearing and seeing reports of others teams going for a 21-22 may summit...fingers crossed for them!”

Leipzigers w/o O2 – Targeting summit days

The team plans to start their ascent on the 18th. And they’re looking at the 21st as a possible summit day.

Brazilians – Weather debate

Waldemar and Irivan are involved, as everyone else in BC, in weather discussions. They are comparing several weather forecasts, including one from Spain for which they pay 50 dollars a forecast. The conclusion is that they might expect far from ideal conditions during the summit bid. So their debate was: Should we go in clear skies but pretty strong winds, or are we better off climbing under overcast skies and maybe snowfall, even if the wind is calm? For Waldemar, the answer is clear: he would rather have snow falling on his head than freezing wind in his face.

Singapore NUS w/o O2 – Surprise, you’re going up

Ernest reports, “Just two days ago, we were relaxing and enjoying life at Base Camp. Then yesterday, the decision was made that the first team would be leaving on a summit bid tomorrow. And I am in the first team!”

Jim Williams – Passing Camp 1 ruins

“A couple of days ago we began what we hope will be our summit attempt. On the 16th we traveled from BC to Camp 2. The trip turned out to be a very long and exhausting day.”

”Our trip to Camp 2 took us through the remains of Camp 1 where earlier we had spent several nights. Many of the campsites we completely buried and others were just pieces of tattered tents flapping in the wind. Our old camp was pretty much in tact as we were just on the edge of the debris. We lost only one tent in the avalanche and a few odds and ends but most of our gear was saved. We were among the fortunate ones.”

”We had high hopes that the winds up high on the South Col to the summit would drop enough for us to climb around the 19th - 21st of May. The weather reports however have not indicated that the winds will drop until after the 20th. We took another rest day on the 17th here a Camp 2 and we are now ready to begin our summit push on Wednesday the 18th if the wind continues to decrease. We hope to summit now between the 20th and 21st.”

Summit pushes in the Himalaya

Annapurna – Action on both sides

On the North Side, the Italians (and Silvio) and the Australian climbers are stuck in Camp 2 hoping for the weather to improve so they can continue their summit push. Meanwhile, on the South Wall, Piotr was also holed-up in C2, looking to work his way further up today. See separate story published earlier for details.

Dhaulagiri – Why not take another shot?

The seven remaining climbers on Dhaulagiri (including Inaki and Ivan) are taking yet another shot at the summit. They’re hoping to reach the peak on Thursday. Let’s see if their persistence pays off. See separate story published earlier today for details.

Manaslu – Joining forces

The remaining climbers on Manaslu have joined forces for a new summit bid starting today. See separate story (coming later today) for details.

Cho Oyu – Weather slows one team, sends another home

As a result of heavy snow and wind, the Dutch Snow Leopard expedition has retreated to ABC.

Last week, the Amical expedition made it to Camp 2 before high winds and a poor weather forecast forced them to return to ABC. The Amical expedition has decided to pack it in and return to Kathmandu.

Adventure Consultants | Singapore NUS Centennial expedition´s reports | Jim Williams’ Exploradus dispatches | Nigel Clark’s dispatches | Jagged Globe dispatches | Gavin Bate’s – Adventure Alternative | Everest Vitesse 2005 (Italian) | Inaki Ochoa (Spanish) | Ivan Vallejo (Spanish) | Leipzig expedition´s news (German) | Silvio ‘Gnaro’ Mondinelli (Italian) | Waldemar Niclevicz’s dispatches (Portuguese) | Project Himalaya | Amical on Cho Oyu | San Marino | Himex

1. Image of climber descending ice courtesy of Project Himalaya.

2. Image of Thomas and gear courtesy of www.leipzig-online.de.

3. Live image over Contact 3.0 of climber w/ O2 mask courtesy of Nigel Clark and Alpine Ascents.

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





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