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Everest and Himalaya daily wrap-up: Trio summits Shisha Pangma South Wall!
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May 9, 2005 11: 40 EST
Summit pushes are lighting up several 8000 m peaks in the Himalaya, while hurricane winds have forced Everest climbers down to the “relative comfort” of BC. Ralf Dujmovits, Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, and Hirotaka Takeuchi completed a difficult push up Shisha's steep South Wall. Other teams are hoping to summit on Annapurna and Dhualagiri within the next couple of days. On Everest, the climbers injured in last week’s avalanche were finally evacuated by chopper on Saturday.

Summit pushes in the Himalaya

Shisha summit!

Earlier today, Ralf Dujmovits, Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, and Hirotaka Takeuchi reported that they summited Shisha Pangma in Alpine style on Saturday. Gerlinde became the first woman to make the summit from Shisha’s South Wall. See separate Exweb story for details.

Annapura North – Summit push tonight

Ed Viesturs, Silvio Mondinelli, and three other climbers left for C2 yesterday morning. They plan to start their summit push at 3:00 am, weather permitting. See separate Exweb story, published earlier today.

Annapurna South - Two kilometers of fixed rope

Piotr reported Saturday that the climbers returned to BC after almost nine days of work. They have fixed Camp 2 at 6900 m "in a very safe place under a serac". They also managed to fix ropes on the most tricky parts "We fixed ropes to the spot described by Sir Bonington as the most difficult place on the route." The guys will now rest for the next 2-3 days "I have to admit that after these nine days when we put two kilometers of fixed rope, we feel a little tired," but they hope that next time they leave BC - it will be for a summit push, hopefully end this week!

Dhaulagiri – Climbers gear up for third summit attempt

Inaki, Austrian Christian Stangl and Ecuadorian Iván Vallejo, will climb to Camp II (6,800 meters) Tuesday, and to Camp III (7,400 meters) Wednesday. Their summit push will take place Thursday at midnight. See separate Exweb story for details.

Everest Weather – Winds battering high altitudes

The jet stream has brought high winds to the upper elevations on Everest. 30-35 m/s (67-78 mph) winds batter the peak. Even at 7500 m (24,606 ft) winds are whipping by at 20 m/s (45 mph). The good news is that the winds should die down as the core of the jet passes in the middle of the week. Conditions are dry now, but the risk of showers will increase as new lows form over the Kashmir area.

Everest Traverse – Back in BC

The traverse team has retreated to BC to avoid the whipping winds. They’ll hole up there until the weather forecast improves.

Everest North – Teams descend to escape wind

Everest Vitesse – No O2 speed attempt

“It’s like a summer day at BC. Sunny, warm, and not a lot of wind,” reported Bruno on Sunday. That’s a huge difference from the conditions further up the mountain. Today, he reports another sunny day in BC, although the winds have picked up. The team awaits Lucio and Pietro, who are descending from ABC after spending a night on the North Col.

Jagged Globe – North team

The team that has been up at the North Col made it back to BC today. Climbing is on hold until the winds let up, so the team will take some time to wash their clothes…and themselves.

Sigrid Hammer – Norway’s first female flight captain

Aud and Sigrid reported that they made it up to 7500 m on May 4th. They have dropped down to 5400 m, and, like the rest of the teams, have postponed any summit plans until the wind dies down.

Himex – No rest for some

While most of the team is spending time in the “relative” comfort of BC, two team members (Charlie and Chuck) pushed back up to ABC for further acclimatization. Charlie even decided to take it a step further and headed up to the North Col. The rest of the team is anxious to get on with the summit push, but they’re doing their best to rest and recoup in BC while the winds hit the upper reaches of the mountain.

Everest South – Avalanche tales

Singapore w/o O2 – Team member barely escapes avalanche

On Friday, another big avalanche struck Everest, this time on the Lhotse Wall. Team member Robert Goh barely avoided it; he had reached the bottom of the Lhotse Face when he heard the rumble. "I saw a curtain of snow and ice falling right on me," he said. "I immediately crouched down and tucked my head in. Luckily, I had my helmet on because I felt several knocks on the helmets, which were probably chunks of ice.”

Jagged Globe – South team Sherpas brave bad weather

“Our South side climbers are now back in BC or C2 having been down the valley in Dingboche since they came off the mountain. They are all in good health. The Sherpas are doing another carry to Camp 4 on the South Col tomorrow, so that will be Camp 4 established.”

Peak Freak – Gabriel to the rescue

Last week, on his way to C2, Gabriel was one of the first people on the scene of the C1 avalanche, and he spent several hours helping with the rescue effort. Peak Freak reports, “It is a difficult season on Everest. Of the 125 teams on the mountain, 20 have quit already. »

North Face Cataract Project

With their eye camp success behind them, the team is now focused on climbing. Pete Athans sizes up the teams next goal, Cholatse: “Despite the clouds, we know what exists at the valley's terminus: 6000 feet of rock, snow, ice and altitude, our peak of Cholatse. While beautiful and alluring this mountain's sinuous ridges and enormous West face are unquestionably daunting.”

Jagged Globe dispatches | Ralf, Gerlinde, and Hirotaka’s dispatches | Everest Vitesse 2005 (Italian) | Silvio ‘Gnaro’ Mondinelli (Italian) | Mario Merelli (Italian) | Inaki Ochoa (Spanish) | Everest Traverse’s dispatches | Sigrid Hammer’s website (Norwegian/English) | Himex | Singapore Mountaineers w/o O2 | Gabriel Filippi’s reports through Peak Freak | North Face Cataract Project


1. Image of Ralf, Gerlinde and Hirotaka back from the summit of GI last year, courtesy of Ralf Dujmovits.
2. Image of climbers on the Lhotse Face courtesy of Jagged Globe.
3. Live image over Contact 3.0 of airlift helicopter courtesy of the Everest Traverse team.
4. Live image over Contact 3.0 of Luis’ and Piers’ Mother’s Day greeting courtesy of the Everest Traverse team.


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