Everest and Himalaya daily wrap-up: Viesturs bags his 14th!|
May 12, 2005 14: 04 EST
The action is still burning hot on the peaks surrounding Everest. Today’s top story is that Ed Viesturs summited Annapurna without O2, and became the first American climber to reach the peaks of all 14 8000+ meter mountains. On Everest, the mystery of the ghost chopper is solved, whilst teams are still reporting high winds. On the North Side, plans are set to fix the route above 8300m. South Side teams are anxious to get the climb started before the Icefall becomes too unstable.
On another note, don't forget to check out the incredible debrief from the Everest supercouloir team's recent Shisha ascent - part 1 was published yesterday, and part 2 has been postponed until tomorrow (Friday) due to today's breaking Annapurna news.
And on a lighter side, Annabelle Bond summited Denali yesterday according to local media, becoming the fourth youngest to finish the seven summits at age 36. Another British woman, Rebecca Stephens, completed the feat in 1994 at the age of 33.
The jet stream continues to linger over Everest, but there are indications that it will move south this weekend. Winds near the summit will remain high, around 30 m/s (67 mph), but may dip down to 20 m/s (45 mph) by the end of the weekend. There’s a chance of showers over the next few days, but overall, conditions should be mostly dry.
Summit pushes in the Himalaya
Annapurna North – Viesturs joins the 14 8000m club!
They made it! Earlier today Ed Viesturs and four other climbers summited Annapurna, after spending three very windy days in Camp 3. The summit caps off Ed’s quest for all 14 8000+ meter peaks. See separate Exweb stories, and today's Ed special for details.
Cholatse – North Face Cataract team summits!
Earlier today, the team reported “The official word from Conrad's last radio call at 2:00 PM is total success! All of the second climbing teams reached the summit this afternoon and are en route back to Camp II.”
See separate story for details.
Dhaulagiri – Inaki and team abort third summit attempt
Inaki, Ivan, and Christian aborted their summit bid on Dhaulagiri. According to the team, snow conditions were dangerous, the avalanche risk was too high, and new hidden crevasses had opened. See separate story for details.
Cho Oyu - Dutch Snow Leopard expedition
On May 10th, team member Edwin spent the night alone in Camp 2. While looking for a lighter for the stove, Edwin ran into a group of French climbers who were returning (due to a storm) from an aborted traverse attempt. High winds battered Edwin’s Camp 2 tent throughout the night.
Manaslu – Teams itching to go
Yesterday, Russian climber Serguey Bogomolov told RussianClimb that he and his team reached 7100m and returned to BC. They are ready to take another crack at the top. See yesterday’s story for details.
Chopper mystery solved
Today, Jamie (Project Himalaya) reported spotting another helicopter near the summit of Everest. ExWeb received information from AP that there is a team, led by French pilot Delsesalle Didier, attempting to break the record for the highest landing by a helicopter. See separate story for details.
Everest traverse – Pushing up to C3
Piers and Luis report: “Greetings from C2, hopefully tomorrow we overnight at C3 and back down for a rest to let the first summit wave go ahead and get outta the way (if only the winds would cooperate!).”
Czech Hornbein Couloir expedition
“The night was wild,” the team reports. “Many of us spent the night deciding to fall asleep or get up and hold the tents down. Breaks between the winds blowing are not longer then 20 seconds!!! This went on the whole night long. Sometimes the wind blew up to 100km/h and I am not exaggerating. In the morning we were all extremely tired, nobody slept and there is no way we will leave for the face today. Because of the wind, we postpone our plans for one day. (How many times we have already had to do that here...).”
“There is a great chance that on 15th there will be the first summit news of this season from the top of the Everest. This is a big opportunity for us, but our route is a bit more difficult and we need 2 - 3 days to build C1 and C2 and then 2 more days of good weather to continue up. Now this could mean (if the good weather lasts) we will also try to summit, but to be realistic it looks as though we will build our camps and we will retreat down one more time.”
Northern Irish – Goodbye to Everest
Here’s the latest dispatch from Noel and Lynne: “Hello everyone, it looks like this will be our
final mail from Mount Everest...the news on Noel’s eyes is not good; he has hemorrhages on both eyes and all medical advice is to return home...as you can understand I will not go on alone we came as a team...so we have decided it must not be our time to summit? Many thanks to all our friends and family for their support. We will see you all back home.”
Jamie Project Himalaya – Moving up to ABC
“Today climbers from at least four teams started the trek up to ABC,” Jamie reports. “Some are heading back up for the exercise, others are beginning to feel the pressure from expedition end dates in late May, and still others want to be better prepared for a summit window that opens up with less warning. There are plans for the ropes from 8300m to the summit to be fixed on the first couple of days of OK weather, a tough job. That bolting of the second step, has apparently yet to begin.”
On the Tibetan side we are lucky in that at least we don’t have any pressure to climb before the icefall starts falling apart (around 25 May?). Here as the monsoon approaches and the slopes warm up climbing is still safely possible into early June.
Jean and Monica – Extreme gusts
“The wind is persisting with gusts up to 200 km near the summit. Today we took the opportunity to visit Karsang village near base camp.”
Adventure Consultants – Sherpas at C4
Mike reports, “Today our strong climbing Sherpa team carried loads through to C4 on the South Col in highly challenging conditions. The winds adjacent to C3 were gusting to 70 knots according to our Climbing Sirdar Ang Dorje. Understandably, it was hard not to get blown over at times. It is impossible not to be humbled by such selfless highly meritorious acts of physical endurance. All going well tomorrows dispatch will be made from C3!”
Jim Williams – A famous visitor
The team reports, “Right now, it is looking like the first window of opportunity lies around Saturday the 14th or Sunday the 15th, therefore, the plan is to gear up and go up at that time. If the winds continue to remain too high, the team will then come back down to Base Camp after waiting it out in Camp 2 and make a second attempt toward the end of the month.”
“We did have a special visitor today, Jamling Tenzing Norgay dropped by our camp to say hello to Jim. We were excited to meet the son of the first man to stand on the summit of Everest along with Sir Edmond Hillary. Jamling, a fine mountaineer in his own right, and also the original subject of the IMAX film, Everest, was leading a group of Trekkers from Lobuche to Everest Base Camp and then down to Gorek Shep.”
IMG – blistered by the wind at C3
Eric Simonson reports, “Mark Tucker just phoned in from Everest and there's no other way to frame it, the Everest community is in the seemingly torturous Waiting Game mode now with respect to the weather. Dave Hahn, Doug Brockmeyer, Walter Laserer and Renate Schachinger spent the night at Camp 3 and got fairly blistered by the wind up there.”
Keith Woodhouse – Avalanches like earthquakes
“My best guess is that we will make a start up the mountain on Sunday or Monday,” Keith reports. “The ice fall is becoming more unstable every day so crossing this will be a night job and there are very few people crossing it for exercise. Some of the avalanches in the night have been like earth quakes and I'm glad our camp is well away from the resulting debris.”
Alpine Ascents – The right time to move
The team has been sucking down the oxygen rich air in Pheriche. Vern Tejas reports, “So now we are pondering the weather reports intently...trying to divine the right time to move up. Too soon and we risk frostbite and hypothermia, to late and we could miss our opportunity entirely.”
Adventure Consultants | Ed Viesturs’ dispatches | Inaki Ochoa (Spanish) | Silvio ‘Gnaro’ Mondinelli (Italian) | Mario Merelli (Italian) | Everest Traverse’s dispatches | Alpine Ascents Cybercasts | Jim Williams’ Exploradus dispatches | Jean Pavilliard and Monica Kalodzi’s dispatches | International Mountain Guides dispatches | Esplugues al Everest (Catalan) | Czech Expedition - Hornbein Couloir (English on the right side of page) | Jamie’s dispatches | NF Cataract Project | Dutch Snow Leopard | RussianClimb | Northern Irish | Keith Woodhouse’s reports
1. Image of climbers on Cho Oyu courtesy of www.snowleopard.nl.
2. Live image over Contact 3.0 of team in front of Lhotse Face courtesy of Adventure Consultants.
3. Image of ABC courtesy of Everest Vitesse and www.progettomontagna.com.
4. Live image of Piers over Contact 3.0 courtesy of the Everest Traverse team.
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