Two Approaches to Everest: Boldness or Caution

8000ers COVID-19 Everest
Tracks lead up to Camp 3 on Everest. Photo: Madison Mountaineering

Many Everest teams have decided to wait out the current cyclone in Base Camp. Others, bolder or more optimistic, have remained in Camp 2 since last weekend. Soon, they will push on to Camp 3. From here, they’ll launch a quick summit push once the wind drops. Which strategy will work best?

Dan Mazur and his SummitClimb team had planned to leave Camp 2 for Camp 3 yesterday, but constant snowfall forced them to delay until tomorrow. On Friday, May 21, they make for Camp 4 and rest there for one day. Then they summit on the night of May 22/morning of May 23, as will Madison Mountaineering.

“According to the four weather forecasts we checked, that’s when the winds should be the quietest,” said Mazur. “Let’s hope it has stopped snowing by then.”

Caution first

But Alex Abramov does not trust the current weather. He is returning to Base Camp to wait for a better shot.

Abramov will join some of the largest teams, which are either in Base Camp or lower down the valley. They have bet on a summit window beginning mid-next week, just before the monsoon hits Nepal.

However, another depression is now forming in the Bay of Bengal. It may grow into another cyclone and shut down the mountain right when the window was due to open.

Before the Asian Trekking team sets off shortly on their summit push, leader Dawa Steven Sherpa had all expedition members (climbers, guides, and BC staff) tested for COVID. A team from Kathmandu’s HAMS Hospital flew all the way to Base Camp to take the samples.

It was a wise precaution because even the most cautious teams have now recorded COVID cases. Furtenbach Adventures, which just left Everest, revealed that even it had two positive cases, an asymptomatic U.S. client and a Sherpa who was sick.

Two earthquakes

Meanwhile, Kathmandu experienced two modest earthquakes this morning. The epicenter was 113km northwest of the city, near the Lamjung district, where 2015’s devastating quake also originated. Luckily, today’s quake was 5.8 on the Richter scale, a hiccup compared to the 7.8 monster in 2015.

Carlos Soria and his partners arrived in Kathmandu in time to catch the plane home on Friday morning. Horia Colibasanu, Peter Hamor, and Marius Gane have also managed to get tickets. The Spanish Iberian Airlines plane is bringing aid to Kathmandu.

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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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Nitazoxanida
Nitazoxanida
2 months ago

Angela, Did you see the post about western journalists and bloggers covering Everest? It was reposted even by climbers like Mingma G and and Nirmal P…. Looks like the Nepalese do not want western media coverage, what will, in the end make the interest for climbing everest disappear. I never saw such a thing….

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Last edited 2 months ago by Nitazoxanida
Kp kale
Kp kale
2 months ago
Reply to  Nitazoxanida

It was sad to see that post

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Victor
Victor
2 months ago

I think they don’t realize that the media outlets they name are also a big advertisement for their businesses. But journalism reports. The good and the bad.

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Le Ute
Le Ute
2 months ago

Furtenbach had at the end 7 positive causes of covid.

+1
Le Ute
Le Ute
2 months ago

Furtenbach had in the end 7 positive causes of covid he reported inthe interwiew with Alan. He think, it was Khumbu, were the team couldn’t avoid incection because of no distanceing and heavy breathening. There are some news about Covid – nopulmo sickness, sysmtem sickness with microthromoses in small capillars even if the people are symptomless ( asymptomatic) like children. That mechansimn is responsible for danagin organs and fatigue what you cannot distinguish from attitude sickness.

+1
kelly
kelly
2 months ago

Who cares? More people have been up Mt Everest than Mt Snowdon in the last couple months. It’s just boring now. If people want to climb Everest then go for it – But I find it about as interesting as my nan’s holiday photos.

Surely there are explorers/adventurers out there doing something more interesting than this that you can report on?!

+1
Craig Quigley
Craig Quigley
2 months ago
Reply to  kelly

Just dont read the Everest articles then. I agree its not my favourite subject (unless a new route is being climber etc) But why complain? Theres loads of variety in articles on this excellent site.

+1
Don Paul
Don Paul
2 months ago
Reply to  kelly

I care because there is a good chance people will die. It disturbs me a little that I’m attracted by that, like not being able to look away at the scene of an accident. I don’t really want anyone to be hurt, but the more death, frostbitten hands, coronavirus evacuations etc, the more gripping the story. The people doing hard climbs are not as interesting because they know what they’re doing and try to avoid danger. Things could go wrong in a heartbeat, just watch and wait!

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