Everest Summits Begin With Guides, Clients, and a Sheikh

The first two groups have already reached the top of Everest. More should succeed today.

Early today, between 5:30 and 6:45 am Nepal time, Bahrain’s prince, Sheikh Mohammed Hamad Mohammed Al Khalifa, his team of Royal Guards, and their Sherpa guides summited Everest. Seven Summit Treks’ CEO, Tashi Lakpa Sherpa, led the group.

Even for an Everest push, the team set off from Camp 4 rather early. They started before 9 pm and climbed through the night. This meant progressing in very low temperatures but granted a summit at sunrise, without crowds.

Young Shehroze Kashif accompanied the Bahraini team. At 19, he becomes the youngest Pakistani to reach the summit of Everest. He may not be the last this week. Sirbaz Khan, aiming for the 14×8,000’ers and who recently summited Annapurna without O2, is currently on his way to Camp 4. He makes his summit bid tomorrow.

According to Madison Mountaineering, Kenton Cool, Jon Gupta, and Rebecca Ferry also summited today, together with Dorjee Gelgen Sherpa, Chetan Dorjee Sherpa, and Lakpa Wongchu Sherpa. This is Cool’s 15th Everest summit.

Ascent Himalayas’ team, which includes Elia Saikaly, also expect to reach the top today. News should arrive soon: Like the Bahrainis, they too set off early from Camp 4.

Summits by permit number?

It is unclear whether all the teams have stuck to Nepal’s new rules that summit shifts depended on climbing permit numbers. COVID has already forced many among the 408 climbers to go home, and the remainder (around 300, according to Alan Arnette) may have been able to coordinate among themselves to avoid excessive crowding. The Bahraini team certainly stuck to schedule. They received the first permit and they have been the first to summit.

There is some curiosity about the “line of separation” apparently set up by the Chinese climbing from the Tibetan side. This is supposedly designed to prevent Chinese teams from mingling with climbers ascending from Nepal, where a COVID outbreak has ravaged Base Camp.

More teams are on their way to Camp 4, aiming to reach the summit tomorrow. Forecasts show good weather for at least two more days, which could prompt more teams to try this week.

Pumori Summits

Meanwhile, a Peak Promotion team has announced success on neighboring Pumori. Climbers include Indians Hem Raj and Stanzin Norboo, plus Mingma Thindu Sherpa, Phuri Sherpa, Kami Sherpa, and Mingmar Tendi Sherpa. According to Peak Promotion, they are the first Indian climbers to reach this summit.

Pumori, rising opposite the Everest-Lhotse-Nuptse group, is an aesthetic peak that is rarely climbed because of avalanche-prone upper slopes. Its lower shoulder, known as Kala Pattar, is a popular spot for trekkers and climbers on rest days. It gives excellent views of the Khumbu Glacier and the summit of Everest.