Everest: Final Summit Week of the Season

With the monsoon looming, the last summit pushes on Everest are coming this week. They should peak on Wednesday when winds will drop to around 20kph. They will then increase again for quite a while.

This would be the final act in a season with a record number of climbers on the mountain, and likely, also an unequaled number of rescues.

Kristin Harila: fast double-header?

Harila went from Camp 2 (6,400m) to Camp 4 (7,900m) today. This suggests that she’ll try for the summit tonight. She could then descend to Camp 4 and climb Lhotse immediately afterward, thus neatly grabbing the end of the summit window.

Kristin Harila's tracker today

Kristin Harila reached Camp 4 on Everest today.


The question is whether Harila of Norway, who is seeking to summit all 14×8,000’ers in six months, will have time to tick off yet another peak before the monsoon closes down the season.

No-O2 attempts

The current location of Grace Tseng of Taiwan, also planning a no-O2 attempt, is not clear. Her tracker was off today, and yesterday’s latest waypoint placed her in Camp 4. On Sunday, she had moved up toward the summit but eventually turned around.

Suhajda Szilard reached Camp 3 today. Tomorrow he will move to Camp 4. Then, after a short rest, he will launch his summit push. Szilard uses no supplementary O2 or personal Sherpa support.

The Lhtse face in a sunny day, seen from an orange tent

The Lhotse Face from Everest’s Camp 3. Photo: Suhajda Szilard


We are waiting to learn whether Asmita Dorjee moved up to Camp 4 today, as planned. Likewise, we are yet to hear from Russians Anton Pugovkin and Vitaly Lazo, who summited no-O2 yesterday and intended to ski down. Kilian Jornet, also on the mountain, has not updated for a week.

Names in the crowd

The young Chinese girl poses in front of a white wall.

Sui Cho Yuan. Photo: 14 Peaks Expedition


A number of climbers have made headlines because of some record, firsts, or unusual aspects. Among them: double over-the-knee amputee Hari Budha Magar, a Nepali ex-Gurka, and Sui Cho Yuan of China, who summited at 16 years old. Also from China, Li Shengtao (a.k.a. Muzi) paraglided from the South Col and landed safely at Base Camp. Watch his flight here:

Deaf climbers Scott Lehmann and Shayna Unger of the U.S. summited today with Seven Summit Treks. According to their website, they say they picked up skills “mostly by YouTube videos and asking others through paper and pen because of the lack of accessibility in outdoor education.”

Sherpa guide Pasang Dawa Sherpa, aka Pa Dawa, has summited Everest for the second time this season, guiding a group of Chinese clients. With this, he again equals Kami Rita Sherpa’s record of 27 Everest summits, his outfitter Imagine Nepal reported.

PA Dawa poses in a Base Camp under a light snowfall, with blue feather jacket and the hood on.

Pa Dawa Sherpa has summited Everest twice this season, making a grand total of 27 Everest summits in his career. Photo: Imagine Nepal


Confusion about rescues and casualties

Right now, it is nearly impossible to tote up the number of rescues this season, since no liaison officer is in Base Camp to register details, and outfitters are not keen to share bad news. Information comes from local media and the climbers themselves. Sometimes, the more open climbers will comment on social media.

Allie Pepper of Australia, currently in Camp 3 and on full summit push with Lakpa Sherpa, wrote today that the situation is far from quiet. “People are getting heli rescues here left, right, and center,” she wrote. “I just have to force myself to focus on the moment.”

Gelje Sherpa and Gesman Tamang saved a climber who fell into a crevasse. They rappelled down, shoveled away the snow around him, then managed to extract him.

It’s also unclear how many casualties have occurred on Everest so far since references to deceased climbers are multiplying. However, we often can’t tell which climber they are referring to.

The EliteExped team shared a video last week of how they helped Capt Dipendra Singh Khatri (a client with a different company) at the South Summit. They guided him down until two Sherpas from the company that Khatri was with took over his care. Leader Nirmal Purja noted some clients were kind enough to give up the support of their Sherpas so that they could help in the rescue. Captain Khatri was a member of a Nepal Army team that was among the first expeditions this season to summit. He survived a night in the open near the South Summit.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides graduated university in journalism and specializes in high-altitude mountaineering and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.