Everest weather forecasts 2004: our 7th season
12:01 p.m. EST Feb 12, 2004
It’s that time again! This year will mark the 7th Everest and Himalayan season that ExplorersWeb in conjunction with Adventure Weather will be distributing free weather reports for all on the mountains. Again, we’ll have two separate sources – one European that we’ve been using for six Everest seasons and another back up from America that we’ve used for 2 seasons already.
Why do it?
Why do we do this? Well, this was what came through the grapevine from Robert Anderson of the Jagged Globe team last spring, “…even our skeptical Sherpa Manager tells me he thinks the weather report has saved more than a few lives from blowing off the heights of the mountain.” Last year, the Adventure Weather forecasts were able to predict two major storms on Everest as well as a dead-on weather window at the very end of May.
When they talk, people listen
When the sherpas talk, folks usually listen. This past fall even Wally Berg noted their reaction to the forecasts, “It’s really interesting this year, for the first time ever at Everest, the Sherpas take the weather forecast that comes from the members seriously. I’ve never seen them do that – they normally think it’s a joke.”
A part of a whole
The forecasts are made by professional mets offices, analyzed by climbers and then e-mailed to BC camps, and SMS’d in shorter versions straight to climbers sat phones in high camps. Last year the forecasts were posted at the South Side Everest Base Camp Internet Café. All of this is done free of charge to all the climbers on Everest and the Himalayan peaks – the only requirement we have is that those with email access share the reports with those smaller teams who don’t, and mail in feedback afterwards for improved services the next year. Again this year will be North and South Side specific forecasts, including surrounding 8000+ mountains.
We can only forecast the weather, not control it
Annually we send out requests to the climbers for feedback about the weather – this info is relayed to the forecasters. While forecasts by nature are not 100% accurate, every year we strive to make them better and better. We received this from a Russian 2003 Everest team,
"You informed us about the bad weather at the right time (free of charge)! How about you make the good weather come on time for some money? Sincerely thankful, Russian team”
Unfortunately we’re a few years away from that, but you never know what the future may hold!
Below are some more comments from various 2003 expeditions:
"This year we forwarded your forecasts to our spring Amical Alpin Cho Oyu, Shisha Pangma, Dhaulagiri, my own Kangchenjunga expedition and in autumn again to Cho Oyu, Ama Dablam and to two of our trekking groups: Icecol and Rolwaling trekking.
My colleagues and I at Amical alpin want to say thank you a lot, lot. We really profited very much through your forecasts. Not only during spring by spending the dangerous days in BC and by finding out the few better days with less wind for reaching the summits of Cho Oyu and Dhaulagiri, but also in autumn for reaching the summits of Cho Oyu again and Ama Dablam. Most helpful was to announce to our trekking tour guides the heavy snowfalls that by this way didn't surprise them and made it easier to take the right decisions in time without putting the members and porters in danger.
Overall it's a big, big help and I almost can't imagine how things would go on without your giant services. Thank you.
Very best regards,
Dear Friends at AdventureWeather,
I was the organizer and expedition leader of the Italian Everest Speed Expedition that last spring succeeded in putting the first Italian woman, Manuela Di Centa, on the summit of Everest. We strongly relied on the forecasts you were sending to us in BC by email and I have to say that a pretty big part of our success is due to your help in planning the dates of our summit bid. As you perfectly know, the weather in Everest this year was pretty bad for most part of the spring season and having regular and reliable forecasts was terribly important.
Furthermore we had two teams in Baltoro this summer and I suggested them to stay tuned on your forecasts. That was an ace for them! One team succeeded on GII with five climbers on the summit of six total members. The other team put all the members on the summit of GII, 8 people, and three of these eight climbed also GI and Broad Peak, all in 20 days!!!
So thank you very much again, I am sure we'll appreciate again your great job in the next year.
The Infinite Knot. Mountaineering & Trekking
For my expeditions, from some years ago, I use your forecast in order to decide on the best day for a summit bit. It always was a very useful tool for us. In my K2 and Makalu expeditions, results were accurate at 100% and due to this we could arrive at the summit. Sometimes, if we were climbing some mountain a little bit far away from Everest, results were no so good, but it’s something logical, I think.
For next expedition, I will use your forecasts again, because it’s become important for our expedition planning. For feedback, I will send my satellite telephone number and all e-mail data you need. In my last expedition on Kangchenjunga, because of the dramatic way down I had, weather data and feedback were lost. Next time will be Gasherbrum I and II, so, be sure you will have all you need from there.
Best regards and we will keep in touch,
Carlos Pauner - Spain
Image of the the ExplorersWeb and AdventureWeather forecasts posted at the South Side Everest Internet Cafe during the spring 2003 season courtesy of BaseCampMD.com.