Everest Summits Begin With Guides, Clients, and a Sheikh

8000ers Everest
The summit ridge on Everest, meters shy of the top. Photo: Ascents Himalayas

The first two groups have already reached the top of Everest. More should succeed today.

Early today, between 5:30 and 6:45 am Nepal time, Bahrain’s prince, Sheikh Mohammed Hamad Mohammed Al Khalifa, his team of Royal Guards, and their Sherpa guides summited Everest. Seven Summit Treks’ CEO, Tashi Lakpa Sherpa, led the group.

Even for an Everest push, the team set off from Camp 4 rather early. They started before 9 pm and climbed through the night. This meant progressing in very low temperatures but granted a summit at sunrise, without crowds.

Young Shehroze Kashif accompanied the Bahraini team. At 19, he becomes the youngest Pakistani to reach the summit of Everest. He may not be the last this week. Sirbaz Khan, aiming for the 14×8,000’ers and who recently summited Annapurna without O2, is currently on his way to Camp 4. He makes his summit bid tomorrow.

According to Madison Mountaineering, Kenton Cool, Jon Gupta, and Rebecca Ferry also summited today, together with Dorjee Gelgen Sherpa, Chetan Dorjee Sherpa, and Lakpa Wongchu Sherpa. This is Cool’s 15th Everest summit.

Ascent Himalayas’ team, which includes Elia Saikaly, also expect to reach the top today. News should arrive soon: Like the Bahrainis, they too set off early from Camp 4.

Summits by permit number?

It is unclear whether all the teams have stuck to Nepal’s new rules that summit shifts depended on climbing permit numbers. COVID has already forced many among the 408 climbers to go home, and the remainder (around 300, according to Alan Arnette) may have been able to coordinate among themselves to avoid excessive crowding. The Bahraini team certainly stuck to schedule. They received the first permit and they have been the first to summit.

There is some curiosity about the “line of separation” apparently set up by the Chinese climbing from the Tibetan side. This is supposedly designed to prevent Chinese teams from mingling with climbers ascending from Nepal, where a COVID outbreak has ravaged Base Camp.

More teams are on their way to Camp 4, aiming to reach the summit tomorrow. Forecasts show good weather for at least two more days, which could prompt more teams to try this week.

Pumori Summits

Meanwhile, a Peak Promotion team has announced success on neighboring Pumori. Climbers include Indians Hem Raj and Stanzin Norboo, plus Mingma Thindu Sherpa, Phuri Sherpa, Kami Sherpa, and Mingmar Tendi Sherpa. According to Peak Promotion, they are the first Indian climbers to reach this summit.

Pumori, rising opposite the Everest-Lhotse-Nuptse group, is an aesthetic peak that is rarely climbed because of avalanche-prone upper slopes. Its lower shoulder, known as Kala Pattar, is a popular spot for trekkers and climbers on rest days. It gives excellent views of the Khumbu Glacier and the summit of Everest.

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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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PolarQuest
1 month ago

Disgusting to witness this when a whole nation is in a desperate state at their feet.

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jmaf
jmaf
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave

I don’t follow the logic or connection. Covid is there whether or not people climb mountains. If the few hundred people on the mountain were all unicorns with magic pixie dust that they could otherwise be spreading around Nepal to save all the sick people (BTW, covid isn’t anywhere near the leading cause of death in Nepal) your indignation would make sense. In the real world sans unicorns and pixie dust I don’t see a correlation between the 2 issues.

+1
S P R LOWE
S P R LOWE
1 month ago
Reply to  jmaf

they have pixie dust: at least 2500 bottles of oxygen that could save many lives in Kathnandu right now.

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A Bideshi
A Bideshi
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave

Nepalis are dying from covid due to lack of bottled oxygen. 1 bottle of oxygen equals 1 life. 4 bottles of oxygen used by each tourist on summit night……..

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Tara
Tara
1 month ago
Reply to  A Bideshi

The whole medical care of a covid patient, not just oxygen, costs money. No foreign climbers means no money and no money means no medical care. Foreign climbers are very important source of income for Nepal. Should they just pay for the permit and expedition and stay at home?

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Crq4
Crq4
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave

Off your high horse boy- lodges, sherpas and their families, shop keepers, hotel and cafe personnel … you name it-all happy to see foreigners ready to spend their $. Nepal is desperate for income and it is not coming from preppy hipsters over comments, $ comes from people that travel and spend them there-climbers, trekkers and support staff.

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A Bideshi
A Bideshi
1 month ago
Reply to  Crq4

Would they rather have oxygen or $$. Ask anyone here in Kathmandu who is dying outside of hospitals [some of them with lots of $$$] due to lack of oxygen. You cant breathe $$ and most of the poor in Kathmandu do not see any benefit from the huge amount of money that is spent by tourists. It does not filter down from the rich few and it is certainly not spent on the health care system

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Tara
Tara
1 month ago
Reply to  A Bideshi

I partly agree, but if money from taxes (I suppose agencies, outfitters, tour operators…pay taxes) and permits are not spent on health care system even in epidemic crisis, the Nepali government is to be blamed not the climbers.

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Adrian
Adrian
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave

Disgusting to see the Bahranians summit

+1
Victor van der Meulen
Victor van der Meulen
1 month ago
Ian
Ian
1 month ago

A Shiekh is a client. Why does he get a special mention?

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Don Paul
Don Paul
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian

The man had a mountain named after him as well. These are the kinds of things that just happen to you when you are a prince or a sheikh. He brought about 2000 coronavirus vaccine doses with him and vaccinated a whole town. His group appears to be coronavirus free. Unlike Dhaulagiri where everyone is getting coronavirus and bailing.

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Jason Lockett
Jason Lockett
1 month ago

What a stunning photo.
Glad to see progress on the mountain and money moving into the economy.

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