Everest: Rising Winds Hamper Climbers’ Descent

Monday saw fewer summits than expected, about 25. Increasing winds forced some teams to stay put. The wind is also making the descent difficult.

Dan Mazur of Summit Climb, whose team summited yesterday, reports that the wind is so fierce that they were having problems walking down. It quickly became apparent that they wouldn’t make it down to Camp 2. As the light faded, they stopped at Camp 3, sipping O2 through the night.

Today, the team has painted a worrying picture. “The winds are ferocious here in Camp 3: Tents shaking, spindrift snow blasting into the tents through tiny zipper openings…Part of our team is now in Camp 2, and they reported that the kitchen/dining tent almost blew away in the high winds.”

Mazur is hoping that the wind will let up so they can descend the Lhotse Face to Camp 2 safely. “Right now, that is not something we can do voluntarily!” he said.

Garrett Madison spoke to ExplorersWeb after returning to Base Camp. His team summited in good weather on May 23. “It’s very windy today in Camp 2 and Camp 3. Some teams are going for the summit tonight and also on the 29. But the cyclone is supposed to arrive any day now,” he said.

After climbing from Camp 3 “with only three or four other people climbing up,” the Alpine Ascents team checked in from Camp 4 yesterday. They described conditions as “a little windy”.

“We will rest tomorrow and let the winds die down…and plan to summit on the morning of May 26,” they said.

Emergency warning issued

However, the wind is not expected to recede. Cyclone Yaas touched down on the Indian coast today. With wind speeds of 155-165kph, Nepal’s Meteo Forecasting Service has issued an emergency warning. Blizzards are expected at altitude.

Cyclone Yaas has already hit India’s West coast and is affecting the Himalaya. Photo: https://www.mfd.gov.np/


Meanwhile, a large number of climbers pushed up to Camp 2 yesterday, ready to wait out the cyclone and then launch a summit push.

Meanwhile, COVID whispers continue. Yesterday, Russian Dmitry Livanov was airlifted from Camp 2, complaining of “chest pain”. And it seems that at least one Everest summiter tested positive after he returned to Kathmandu.

“Amin Dehghan summited Everest on May 12 [with SST], then back in Kathmandu, he tested COVID positive on May 18,” commenter Pawel posted on one of ExWeb’s stories yesterday.