Home > Expeditions & Adventures > Summits, rescues and casualties as weather window closes – LET team up again

Summits, rescues and casualties as weather window closes – LET team up again

The last wave of climbers topped-out Everest on Saturday – as the weather window closed and conditions rapidly turned for the worse.

There are reports of climbers in trouble being helped down on both sides, with the most serious case being that of Jarle Traa, currently reportedly in critical condition on the North side ABC.

Media also published names of reportedly two climbers perished on Everest since last week; some climbers report three fatalities on the north side alone. ExWeb expects further confirmation of details. Meanwhile, despite the stormy weather, the Kazakh LET team is reportedly back on a second summit push.

Everest North side: Jarle Traa seriously ill in ABC

Norwegian climber Jarle Traa is in critical condition in Everest’s North side ABC.

Jarle latest reported on May 22st from 8.450m on his summit bid – he was reportedly tired but pushing on. His home team waited in vain to hear summit news that day. A rescue operation was launched on Saturday: a group of sherpas found Jarle, according to Norwegian media.

Jarle’s website just stated he somehow reached ABC yesterday, in critical condition with frostbite and hypothermia. Apparently, Jarle is accompanied by another Norwegian team comprising Lars Oma Erichsrud and Petter Lindén Nyquist – who summited on May 22th at 6.30 am.

According to Norwegian NRK news, the team is negotiating with Chinese authorities to allow an emergency airlift of the climber.

Manuel Pizzarro’s summit

Manuel Pizarro summited Everest from its North side on May 20/21st (time unclear). Team mate Andre had previously called the expedition off due to pulmonary problems.

Lhotse-Everest traverse: Kazakhs pushing again

“The Hard-core Kazakh trio: Max, Vaso and Sergei left BC on May 23rd and now they are in Lhotse’s C4,” Andrey Verkhovod reported earlier today.

Max logged in over sat-phone at arrival in C4 today at 5:00pm. “The weather is windless but cloudy and warm,” he said. “[We] feel good, with only some altitude cough. Now we are resting and drying our clothes, since it’s been snowing lightly all day long.”

South side: Weekend summits – and rescues

Walter Laserer and Bernice Notenboom topped-out Everest on Saturday at 7:30am. So did Bill Bourke, reportedly in rough conditions.

“When we left Camp 4 there were periods of 40 knot winds blowing,” Bill reported. “For a while it wasn´t so bad. But then the winds picked up and we ran into a unbelievable storm all the way up and all the way back. The sun was out for only about 40 minutes and then a storm blew in. I’ve never been in a storm like that in the mountains. Snow, freezing, freezing cold, high winds, it was quite a wild ride. It was really difficult, a very hard mountain. There is nothing about it that is easy.”

On the way down in a storm, they met a sick climber. “Mingma and I were pretty much the last group coming down,” Bill recalled. “There was a Sherpa in trouble, he was stumbling and falling, so Mingma and I just followed him down from the Balcony to Camp 4 and made sure he was okay. It turns out we were the last two to come down from the summit to Camp 4.”

Alpine Ascents International team put two large groups on Everest summit on May 23rd. “Kay with Chewang Nima, Stephen with Mingma, Frank Slachman with Dawa Nuru, Lori with Tsering Dorjee, and of course Lakpa topped-out at 8:30 am,” AAI reported. “Since then the following members and guides reached the top: Garrett, Michael Horst, Adam, Tom, Phil, Matt, and Michael Morales. Sherpas accompanying them were Thapkee (his second summit this season), Fura Kancha, Pa-Rita, Ang Sona, and Dawa Tsheri. This makes a total of 11 westerners and 10 sherpas.”

Lance Fox reached the top shortly after 9:00 am on the 21st of May, along with HiMex’s first summit team. “As I type this dispatch the afternoon of May 23 here in Nepal, we have learned that all of Summit Team 2 have successfully summited today and are now back at Camp 4 resting.”

Mike Farris helped down

One of HiMex summiteers on May 23rd was Alec Turner. “I summited at 7.30, Nepal time,” he confirmed over Contact 4.0. On the way up, the group reportedly got involved in a rescue at the balcony. The 2008 K2 American/International expedition leader Mike Farris was reportedly climbing without oxygen as an independent climber without support.

“He was asking for help to get back down to C4,” Alec reported. Several large commercial teams including HiMex reportedly assisted the climber down to C4.

First Ascent: Dave Hans’ summit and Ed’s comments on the use of O2

“It was my goal and my desire to attempt my 7th Everest summit without supplementary O2,” Ed Viesturs reported in a video posted on First Ascent’s webcite. “To climb without O2 though, conditions have to be perfect. However, we had to spend an extra day at the South Col. At leaving for the summit on the following night it was very cold, windy and crowds were expected on the route. That’s why, for the sake of safety and group dynamics, that after long deliveries I opted to use O2 on my ascent.”

At 6:00 am Nepal time on May 22nd, RMI’s second team of climbers reached the summit despite deteriorating weather,” the team also reported. “Summiteers were Dave Hahn, Melissa Arnot, Seth Waterfall, Kent Harvey and five Sherpas.”

“As daylight came on, I knew it was one of the prettiest mornings I’d seen from up high,” Dave himself reported once back in ABC. “But I didn’t reach for my camera. The morning was pretty because there were clouds at many levels and in many directions. I didn’t take pictures for the same reason I wouldn’t if I saw a large tiger coming my way with fangs barred. It was clear that our good weather window was closing.”

“Visibility was poor at 6:45 AM when we stepped up to the summit,” Hahn added. “Most of us kept our packs on, knowing our stay would be short. It was not a day for photos and flags… just a few handshakes and hugs and we were out of there. We made quick time back down through the storm to high camp.”

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