Everest Summit Push: Camp 4

Barring the unexpected, there won’t be any Everest summits today.

The front-running Madison Mountaineering team had a tough day reaching Camp 4 in fresh snow and high winds. They are now resting and preparing to set off tonight. The South Col remained windy yesterday, but conditions may shortly improve enough to allow a summit attempt.

Other teams currently on their way from Camp 3 to the Col will soon join the Madison party. While overall numbers are not as high as in 2019, the slow pace through deep snow could result in crowding.

Many have been at altitude for a long time. It will be interesting to know how much oxygen they have already consumed and how they’ll distribute this precious resource on such a long push. Despite the O2, the physical and mental strain is remarkable. No one has broken trail after the recent snowfall.

And COVID still threatens everyone in the mountain. Some might first show symptoms at these higher altitudes, triggering a situation that no one has dealt with before.