Infamous Everest Serac is Gone

Everest
The serac formerly hanging from the West Shoulder has fallen Photo: Andrzej Bargiel

Garrett Madison canceled his Everest expedition in autumn 2019 because a gigantic serac loomed over the Khumbu Icefall, and one of his clients later sued him for not continuing. Andrzej Bargiel, who had skied down K2 the previous year, was also in Base Camp with a plan to ski Everest, but the menacing chunk of ice forced him back as well. The Polish climber shared drone footage of the serac:

Now, Madison confirms that the serac is not there anymore. It’s not really news, since Alex Txikon already reported its absence last winter, some weeks after Madison and Bargiel. In fact, Txikon and the other winter climbers found the icefall in a particularly shattered state, littered with tons of rubble. Ironically, it was the pandemic, not the serac, which prevented climbers from attempting Everest last spring.

Oscar Cardo and Alex Txikon (right) found most of the route up the Khumbu Icefall littered with ice rubble but saw no threatening serac above them. Photo: Alex Txikon

Nevertheless, when Madison confirmed that the serac is gone, his former Base Camp neighbor, Andrzej [pronounced An jay] Bargiel reshared the video on his social media: “It seems the way is cleared…” he noted optimistically. Bargiel hasn’t yet responded to an ExplorersWeb query about his winter plans, but if he decides to return to winter Everest, he will at least face one obstacle less.

About the Author

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides

Senior journalist, published author and communication consultant. Specialized on high-altitude mountaineering, with an interest for everything around the mountains: from economics to geopolitics. After five years exploring distant professional ranges, I returned to ExWeb BC in 2018. Feeling right at home since then!

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