ExplorersWeb quick early Monday guide to the past weekend|
May 24, 2004 10: 51 EST
It has been another wild weekend and so here's a quick summary on which stories to look for in the past few days updates:
Tonight Everest was summited for the 10th day in a row, a record that has only happened on two earlier years in Everest history. Check in later today for the summits and the stats.
In addition, Everest has already seen more than 200 summiteers this year, before the usual weather window! That in spite of less climbers on the mountain than last year; the 50th anniversary had a record 275 summits.
The best news of all were that several missing climbers, Italian and Mexican were found alive. What seemed to be a gloomy year in terms of fatalities at the end of the week, with the recent survivors, we are down to 6 climbers confirmed perished - and the stats are now back at 4% - to compare with Everest modern summit/fatality rate of 4.4%.
Let's keep our fingers crossed it stays that way. Because there are more climbers pushing right now. The weather on high levels continues to be fine, but the wind is picking up some there, to around 5-15 m/s (10-30 knots). Climbable and dry, but breezy. Two sat phone calls from both sides of the mountain around the same time tonight differed in their wind reports. The South reported calm at 8750m whilst the North reported windy at 7800m.
The danger now is the snow that accumulated on the lower levels (below 8000) in the earlier period of troughs (no it's not the Monsoon!). The snow fall was immense, but the wind wasn't strong enough to blow it away. (Montagna has great before and after pics). Avalanche is therefore a bigger concern than the wind right now, especially upon descending.
On summit push tonight were of course the Cyber climbers - Alpine Ascents and Britton Keeshon, the youngest Seven Summits climber. The guys sent off a live pic from C4 just minutes before they left. Check their progress and summit in the stories.
On the North side were the Italian Everest/K2 expedition. Claudius Bastrentaz, Alex Busca, and Karl Unterkircher all reached the summit without oxygen and Mario Merelli meassured the mountain.
Success also for Himex, who had the second "first" Norwegian woman, Cecile Skog, on the summit of Everest - just a few days after Randi Skaug.
Himex reported that they expected Ian Wiper, Joanne Gambi, Rob Gambi, Barry Roberts, Paul Hockey and Andrew Marquis with Guide Bill Crouse to go up tonight.
Himex also made a report on the rescues of the missing climbers, find it in the "Features" section. There you will also find the chilling story of the Jannu climbers. Not to be missed! The guys are so close, so close - but they manage only 30 m per day right now.
The Everest Central Face is up any time now as well. Check a big special on them from Friday in the Features section. Annapurna is in focus too, the gang is in C2. And was it the FlyMicro team that Everest South BC saw soaring toward the Cwm this morning?! More: Makalu was summited and Karakorum is heating up!
And tomorrow, (or today for many of you), two favorites are off for their push: On the North Side, our own Dave (check his story in Sunday's news) and team Abramov. On the South side - the good guys arrives last - Rob Halls climbers are heading up in their legendary (and perhaps best ever) commercial expedition leaders foot steps.
Check all these stories and more in the last few days on MountEverest.net.
Mourning right now are however the families of the perished climbers. American/Bolivian Nils Antezana (check his story later today) was lost sitting down on the Balcony, Japanese climber Shoko Ota, fell on ropes and went unconscious. Park Moo-Taek was found dead, probably due to exposure (altitude) as he went without oxygen. This excellent climber had 7, 8,000ers; and a very speedy Everest, K2, and Kangchenjunga record in 1 yr 11 mo and 27 days. Lost were also his two friends, Chang Min and Paek Jun-Ho. Bulgarian climber Hristo Hristov's family issued a reward of 10 thousand dollars for his rescue but he was found dead earlier today by Russian climbers. He too is said by Sherpas to have died due to exposure. ("Lack of oxygen and exhaustion on his way back.")
Italian Adriano Dal Cin was rescued from high camp by Himex.
Important note: Thanks for all the mails guys, we can't reply to them all right now - but will beginning June. Summiteers not yet listed with ExplorersWeb will all be posted in a final Wrap-Up later this week. Thanks for the alerts, and for your patience - we are terribly understaffed. But be sure, we hear y'all!
Image of the Jannu team Portaledge and climber, courtesy of Mountain.ru