Everest Summit Wave: Day 2

Over a hundred climbers are topping-out on Everest today, and around a hundred more summited yesterday, according to Alan Arnette. Yet no one has publicly shared a single picture of the summit or the climb on the upper slopes.

At the beginning of the season, Nepal’s government issued an unusual rule: teams were prohibited from sharing pictures that featured other climbing teams. This odd rule seems to have been cooked up to avoid the bad press generated by crowds and queues near the summit. Apparently, teams are complying. Most are keeping quiet about the COVID outbreak at Base Camp too. But silence will not make these problems disappear. Summit numbers speak for themselves and reports from insurance companies evacuating climbers will eventually shed more light on the severity of the COVID outbreak.

The Sherpa Sisters from Rolwaling summited Everest today (photo taken on Lobuche earlier in the season). Photo: Mingma G


The lack of information makes it difficult to keep track of all the summits, but some data is available:

Kenton Cool, who summited yesterday, has also made it to the summit of Lhotse, completing the double-header in 29 hours. (Update: later reports detailed that the team who summited Lhotse comprised Kenton Cool, Dorjee Gelgen Sherpa, Jon Gupta, Rebecca Ferry, Chhetan Dojree Sherpa, and Lakpa Wongchu Sherpa – and the time invested from summit to summmit was 29 hours. The team then made it back to Camp 2 for the night).

Mingma G has confirmed successful summits for the “three Sherpa sisters” (they are his actual sisters, increasing the number of 8,000’ers bagged by the family) as well as: Nima Jangmu Sherpa, Tshering Namgya Sherpa, Dawa Futi Sherpa. Also on the summit with his team were Pakistani Sirbaz Kahn (who recently climbed Annapurna with Mingma G), five Chinese clients and Sherpas Dawa Tenjin Sherpa, Kili (Kilu) Pemba Sherpa, Phur Galjen Sherpa, Nima Dorjee Sherpa, Furtemba Sherpa and Dawa Gyalje. Dawa Tenjin and Kilu were also part of the summit team for winter K2 in February. However, Mingma G has not reported on the result of his own no-O2 summit attempt.

Also fresh from Annapurna, Indian climber Jitendra Gaware and Pasang Sherpa summited together with Jigmat Tharchin and Phurba Sherpa.

The Himalayan Times reports that Pemba Dorjee Sherpa has summited Everest for the 21st time, accompanying Tseng Ko-Erh of Taiwan.

At least one more of Seven Summit Treks’ many teams reached the summit early today. The group included Noel Hanna, Amin Dehghan, Abdul W. Waraich, and Martha Aletta Jager. A Sherpa team supported them. The leader, Chhang Dawa, has not named them all.

Interestingly, for the majority of teams, the Sherpa-to-client ratio has dramatically increased compared to previous years. Arnette reports that the Bahraini team had 12 clients and 26 Sherpa guides.

Top-end operator Climbing The Seven Summits (whose pictures of a luxurious Base Camp complete with proper beds and rugs went viral some weeks ago) has also put all its clients on top, together with their Sherpa guides. The summit team: Michael Neal, Pem Chiri Sherpa, Steve Stevens, Lhakpa Rongdu Sherpa, Pemba Tashi Sherpa, Ang Tsering, David Morgan, Lhakpa Tsering Sherpa, Rob Su, Ashish Gurung, April Leonardo, Ryan Argenta, Tenji Sherpa, Rinji Sherpa, Nima Rita, Michael Patterson, and Pemba Gyelje Sherpa.

The weather remains excellent, and the summit teams started very early in the morning. Some may have climbed through the night. More summit news will be announced throughout the day. However, with a virtual media blackout, the most interesting stories of the season may take some time to emerge.