Everest: Rope Fixers Reach Camp 4 — with Aerial Support

On Everest, the rope-fixing team reached Camp 4 at the South Col yesterday. Seven Summit Treks says they could reach the summit on May 10, which is earlier than usual but not as early as the company had previously estimated. In recent years, the first Everest summits came in mid-May, though last year, the first Sherpas had already summited on May 7.

It is unclear whether last year’s rope fixers received any aerial support. This season, no one has been shy about admitting the use of helicopters. In fact, well-known climber and pilot, Simone Moro, is doing the flying.

“Today, 11 rotations carrying heavy material and taking away garbage from Everest Camp 2 (6,450m),” Moro noted earlier this week. “In this way, crossing the Icefall, very dangerous for the Sherpas, was avoided.”

Everest’s Valley of Silence, opposite the Lhotse Face: the site of Camp 2. Photo: Suhajda Szilard


Moro has shared a video with some impressive footage of the helicopter maneuvering at Everest’s Valley of Silence. Watch it here:

Only for ropes and rescues

The sight of a helicopter soaring up above the Khumbu Icefall is becoming more frequent. However, these flights are — at least theoretically — restricted.

Rope-fixing team leader Kami Rita Sherpa in a heavily loaded helicopter at Everest Base Camp. Photo: Kami Rita Sherpa


“Helicopters are allowed in Camp 2 only under two circumstances,” Nivesh Karki, executive director at Pioneer Adventure, told ExplorersWeb. “First, to carry ropes and anchors for the rope fixers, so they can avoid several trips up and down the Icefall; and, second, to perform a rescue.

He explained that airlifting clients not willing to risk the journey up or down the Icefall is illegal.