The scoop on the Everest weather window, take 2|
May 16, 2005 11: 46 EST
Everest climbers are on a summit push, some as high up as Camp 3 on the North Side. There seems however to be a misconception about the lower winds being a "weather window.”
Have to be lucky
ExWeb/AdventureWeather has sent out a special alert clarifying the conditions. As we mentioned in our Saturday special weather story: "The winds are predicted to come down to 15 m/s at he summit, which would allow for successful summit bids, but only by very experienced climbers or climbers lucky enough to catch temporary patches of low wind."
'Tis no window said the weatherman
However, the weather window is probably still a week or more away, as there have been no signs of Monsoon movement. The Monsoon is usually the key for a brief window of great weather on Everest.
A few commercial expeditions also seem suspicious towards Russell Brice’s advice to hold the pushes. The low budget expeditions are not happy about the new order of organized rope fixing on Everest’s North Side - especially the fact that now everyone must contribute to the work financially.
The expeditions seem to suggest that Russell has a hidden agenda behind his advice to hold the pushes.
Stern leader with a clean record
Although Himex is a tough outfit that doesn’t always rule the North Side of Everest in a smooth, democratic manner (his ways has not exactly won him a popularity prize with ExWeb staff either) - the fact is that Russell is the most seasoned commercial outfit veteran on the north side of the mountain, and he has never lost a client’s life. In addition, we've never had any complaints about him from either his clients or other, well reputed commercial expeditions. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for some of the outfits criticizing him.
That said - good luck!
The current winds could be a good opportunity for strong Sherpas to finish rope fixing high up, but they are not ideal for average climbers to try a summit push. Russell's advice might be based on exactly this fact.
Nevertheless, the winds are not bad, and climbers who are prepared to turn back just might get lucky tonight. Fingers crossed, guys!
Image of sunrise over Everest summit, ExplorersWeb files.