Jet Stream Delays Summit Pushes

The jet stream is currently hitting the Himalayan summits. This means high winds and no climbing above roughly 7,500m.

Forecasts suggest that the jet stream will linger until April 25, preventing progress at higher altitudes. Climbers are now either hurrying down from the higher camps or limiting their acclimatization trips to the lower half of the mountains.

Thus, expect some slow news days, followed by massive climbing action. The routes are ready (or nearly so) on Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, and Kangchenjunga for summit pushes as soon as the winds calm down next week.

Kangchenjunga almost ready

The Sherpas have almost finished their rope fixing on Kangchenjunga. Pakistan’s Sirbaz Khan, who is helping them, reached 7,000m yesterday before heading back down to Base Camp at a very good pace. “This mountain has tested our limits and we have given our best,” said Khan.

Sirbaz Khan helps mark the route on Kangchenjunga some days ago. Photo: Sirbaz Khan

 

Currently in Base Camp, Khan has completed all his rotations and is ready for the final effort. If he succeeds, Kangchenjunga will become his 10th 8,000’er.

The first summit pushes on the world’s third tallest mountain could happen as early as next week. The rope fixers must still pitch Camp 4, but they could do that on their way to the summit.

Marco Confortola set off from BC toward Camp 2 today. He goes for C3 tomorrow, then returns for a second night at C2 before heading down. Romanians Horia Colibasanu and Marius Gane are also at Camp 2, bound for Camp 3 tomorrow.

Makalu progress

After our interview, Adrian Ballinger and his Alpenglow team made the best of their remaining few hours of good weather, scooting up to Camp 1. Ballinger then skied down to Crampon Point in “atrocious” conditions.

A heavily loaded Karl Egloff and Nicolas Miranda climb up to Camp 1 on Makalu today. Photo: Adrian Ballinger

 

“The rope-fixing Sherpas [four from Seven Summit Treks, two from Alpenglow, one from Pioneer Expeditions) fixed to 7,200m in challenging conditions,” Ballinger reported. “Karl [Egloff] and Nico [Miranda] also reached this high point today. And Carla [Perez] made it to C2 at 6,640m.”

Adrian Ballinger rappels down a heinous section of Makalu on skis.

 

“I climbed to C1 yesterday at 6,300m and skied from C1 to Crampon Point in dangerous, icy conditions,” Ballinger added. “I did use a rope in sections…but kept skis on for the entire descent.”

The American guide was happy to have completed his first ski rotation but wants conditions to improve before his next foray.

Dhaulagiri and Annapurna

Back at Base Camp on Dhaulagiri, Carlos Soria and his team are recovering from their climb to Camp 3. An unexpected snowfall buried the ropes to Camps 2 and 3 and covered the route in deep, sometimes crusty snow. The Kobler & Partner’s team did their first rotation to Camp 1. After a short rest in Base Camp, they planned to head up again today, guide Andreas Neuschmid told ExplorersWeb.

Climbers on Dhaulagiri. Photo: Carlos Soria

 

On Annapurna, all climbers have returned to Base Camp after a snowstorm aborted their summit push earlier this week.

“No summit depends solely on the climber. It’s always in part up to the mountain,” Moeses Fiamoncini of Brazil noted. The question is, how long are those climbers who plan to climb several peaks this season ready to wait?

Moeses Fiamoncini of Brazil on a steep section before Camp 2 on Annapurna. Photo: Moeses Fiamoncini

Everest new variation route

Marc Batard and his group have set up their Base Camp at the foot of Sundare peak. “Tomorrow we will start fixing the route, in order to reach Everest’s Camp 1 as soon as possible,” he wrote today on social media.

Marc Batard (third from left) and his team below Nuptse. Here, he plans to fix an alternative route to Everest’s Camp 1. Photo: Marc Batard

Kangchung Nup

Toshiyuki Yamada and Takeshi Tani are also ready to start their attempt up the North Face of 6,090m Kangchung Nup in the Gokyo area.

“Pretty dry conditions on the North Face this spring,” wrote Tani. “We expect challenging dry tooling, which is good [he jokes] because it means not much avalanche hazard.”

The pair rounded the mountain in order to scout the South Face, where they may descend. They also spent a night at 5,600m for acclimatization.

A climber looks onto Kangchung Nup. Photo: Takeshi Tani

Angela Benavides is a journalist specialised on high-altitude mountaineer and expedition news working with ExplorersWeb.com.

Angela Benavides 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 national and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporates, press manager and communication executive, radio reporter and anchorwoman, etc. Experience in Education: Researcher at Spain’s National University for Distance Learning on the European Commission-funded ECO Learning Project; experience in teaching ELE (Spanish as a Second Language) and transcultural training for expats living in Spain.

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chris
chris
2 months ago

If I abseil with a scuba tank on have I scuba dived a mountain?
Are you really skiing if you are abseling with a pair of ski’s on?

Last edited 2 months ago by chris
Saxon Switzerland Climber
Saxon Switzerland Climber
2 months ago
Reply to  chris

If you have taken the glacier stream – yes!

Jo Schmo
Jo Schmo
2 months ago
Reply to  chris

I dont know but it sounds like your trying to discredit the Nepalese duo who skied down/kayaked to the ocean. The video I saw of them they were not abseiling, but maybe they did.

chris
chris
2 months ago
Reply to  Jo Schmo

Its just sarcasm.. Throwing a little shade on the pompadour or Mr. Ballinger. Cant say I have seen a GQ model climbing mountains…