Huge Crevasse Blocks Icefall Doctors on Everest

Rope fixing is progressing quickly on all of Nepal’s peaks except Everest. This year, the Khumbu Icefall is challenging the expert sherpa team in charge of opening the route to Camp 1.

“There is a very tricky section just below Camp 1,” Dawa Steven of Asian Trekking told ExplorersWeb. “There is a very big crevasse, and the Ice Doctors have been trying to find a way through for the last four or five days, without success.”

Tsering Sherpa, the Icefall Doctors’ Base Camp Manager, told Dawa Steven that it might take them another week to reach Camp 1.

a line of Sherpas on a snowy patch between crevasses.

Ice Doctors among seracs and crevasses at the Khumbu Icefall in 2021. Photo: David Breashears/SPCC


The team of Ice Doctors, arranged by the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee, trekked to Everest Base Camp at the beginning of March. There, they celebrated their puja and set to work.

Check the reel by Lakpa Dendi about 10 days ago:

Normally, they would have completed the route to Camp 1 by now, and dozens of follow-up staff members would already be setting up and supplying Camps 1 and 2.

The conditions are another reminder of the difficulties these Icefall Doctors endure while trying to find a safe route through the Khumbu icefall. It is also a warning for the hundreds who will venture through that obstacle course in the upcoming weeks: This year, it will be especially difficult.

Rope fixers summit Ama Dablam

Today, the sherpa rope-fixing team working for 8K Expeditions summited Ama Dablam, the most popular peak in Nepal excluding the 8,000’ers. Ashok Lama, Datuk Bhote, Wongda Sherpa, and Pasang Tenji Sherpa reached the top at 1:21pm today.

The upper part of Ama Dablam.

The upper section of Ama Dablam. Photo: 8K Expeditions

On Annapurna, the rope fixers from Summit Treks reached Camp 3, then returned to Base Camp. Meanwhile, on Dhaulagiri, the rope fixers working with Pioneer Expeditions had fixed up to Camp 2 at the beginning of this week. At last word, they planned to continue higher.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides graduated university in journalism and specializes in high-altitude mountaineering and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.