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Everest and Himalaya daily wrap-up: Weather window ahead!
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May 26, 2005 11: 18 EST
Climbers are finally seeing signs that the long-awaited weather window is just ahead, with winds projected to drop early June 1st.

On the South Side, there are reports that up to half the teams have left Everest. That’s good news for the remaining climbers, though. There won’t be as much crowding in the narrow sections of the route, and there’s an opportunity to buy up unused Piosk O2 bottles from departing climbers. Carlos Pauner (South Side w/o O2) has decided to throw in the towel on Everest this season.

On the North Side, an early June summit is looking even better for a lot of teams. The advantage will be that the weather should be much calmer, and the first wave of summiteers will have already passed. Meanwhile, Jarle Traa, the no O2 hopeful, is pushing up to Camp 2 today with his sights set on a Saturday summit. And Duncan Chessell is also moving up today, hoping to summit on the 30th, even if the winds won't be at their lowest.

Everest Weather – Strong signs of the window

Winds are currently whipping at the summit, 20-25 m/s (45-56 mph), but the big news is that we finally have indications that the weather window is on its way. The signs are pointing to early Wednesday (June 1), when winds will drop to under 10 m/s (22 mph). It looks like conditions will also be dry above 7000 meters.

Everest South

Adventure Consultants – Active Icefall, and a very lucky fall

“After ten days at base camp resting and biding our time we are once again on the move. Our summit push has begun and today we traveled through to Camp 1. The effects of recent hot temperatures are starting to take a toll on the icefall which has become noticeably more active. The twin 5 ladder sections at the top of the icefall are now six sections high!

“Since our mid morning arrival at C1 things have not been uneventful. A guided client (not from Adventure Consultants) traveling alone fell 15-20m into a crevasse and landed on a bridge. Miraculously he was rescued unharmed. He was not clipped into the fixed rope at the time.”

Alpine Ascents – Nuptse avalanche, but safely in C2

Vern reports, “It's Time. TIME TO CLIMB. We rose at 3am. this morning to relatively warm calm weather and a fabulous full moon. Off we went into the ice fall. This is our forth time through and we are getting rather good at it. So the day is near perfect and the team is psyched when all a sudden a large mass of ice calved off of Nuptse and avalanched across the trail in front of us. It was quite impressive to watch but did little damage. We remained quite vigilant until we were safe at Camp Two.”

Brazilians – Strategy set

The team reports, "We are finally set our strategy. We are going up on the 28th, aiming to reach the summit between the 1st and 2nd June. About half the climbers here have already abandoned BC. There were around 350 climbers on the south side two weeks ago. After the last leader's meeting we figured out there were about 140 left.”

Valencia – Switching O2

The team has decided to go for it. They bought extra bottles of Piosk O2 (to replace their Summit Oxygen) from Carlos Pauner’s teammate. See separate no O2 story, published today.

Peak Freak – Moving up

Gabriel is planning to climb above BC today, hoping to re-validate his acclimatization after such a long period in BC. He reports that about 150 climbers and Sherpas from the South Side are making their way back up the mountain.

Gavin Bates w/o O2 – Waiting for Sherpas to break the trail

Gavin is in C2 after a 5 ½ hour climb from BC. He reports that, there are still no ropes above South Col and as he can't go up alone he's waiting for Sherpas from other teams to break trail.

Everest North

Jagged Globe North – Fiennes and Sibusiso

“David Hamilton has just called in from ABC on the North side of Mount Everest. Our team are in good spirits and are looking at trying to summit around 1/2/3 June, after what they anticipate will be the initial wave of climbers going for the top around 30/31 May.”

Jean and Monica (supermom) – Summiting in 6 to 7 days

“We left base camp today, walked to interim camp for the night. Tomorrow we will continue onto advanced base camp, Rest for a day or two then go on to camp 1, 2, 3 and 4. Summiting in 6 to 7 days.

Project Himalaya – First we have to get to the summit

Jaime reports, “I sorted out the logistics of how the expedition will end but we still have considerable flexibility thanks to the liaison officers. Our current plan is the 19 yaks will turn up to ABC on 3 June, take our gear to BC on 4 June and we will be back in Kathmandu on 5 or 6 June. Phew! But first we have to get to the summit.”

Adventure Consultants | Alpine Ascents Cybercasts | Jean Pavilliard and Monica Kalodzi’s dispatches | Jagged Globe dispatches | Gavin Bate’s – Adventure Alternative | Valencia expedition’s website (Spanish) | Carlos Pauner’s website (Spanish) | Waldemar Niclevicz’s dispatches (Portuguese) | Gabriel Filippi’s reports through Peak Freak | Project Himalaya

1. Live image over Contact 3.0 of icefall action, courtesy of Adventure Consultants.

2. Live image over Contact 3.0 of avalanche off Nuptse, courtesy of Alpine Ascents.

3. Image of climbers on fixed ropes up to the North Col, courtesy of Dave Walsh and Jagged Globe.

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