Kangchenjunga Summits!

After 16 nerve-wracking hours without news, we now know that at least some of the climbers who left Camp 4 yesterday at midnight have summited Kangchenjunga.

However, the mountain is not making things easy. The summiters reached the top very late in the day, at around 5 pm Nepal time. Currently, as the sun sets, the climbers are inching their way back to Camp 4.

Pioneer Adventure’s Sanu Sherpa and Mingma Dorchi led the summit push. Climbers from both Pioneer and Seven Summit Treks followed. Mingma Dorchi texted the summit news at 4:52 pm local time.

Pioneer Adventure’s Kangchenjunga team before leaving Base Camp. Photo: Pioneer Adventures

 

Pioneer Adventure has just provided a list of summiters from their group. Note that this is a preliminary list, and needs confirmation:

Taiwan’s Chung-Han Lu; India’s Bhagwan Bhikoba Chawale, Pankaj Kumar, Manisha Rishi Gaind, and Priyanka Mangesh Mohite; and Cira Idella Crowell from the U.S.

The Sherpa guides: leaders Mingma Dorchi and Sanu Sherpa, Wong Dorchi Sherpa, Pemchiri Sherpa, Tashi Sherpa, Angdawa Sherpa, Lakpa Dorchi Sherpa, Chhangwa Sherpa, Nga Tashi Sherpa, Dandu Sherpa, Phurtenze Sherpa, and Pasang Lhamu Akita.

“Broad Boy” on top

Shehroze Kashif’s tracker located him very close to the summit at 3:40 pm Nepal time. (The tracker shows Central European Time.)

 

Summiters from SST include: Namja Bhote, Shehroze Kashif, Rudi Bollaert, Purnima Shrestha, Ariunzul Chuluunbaatar, and Ming Temba Sherpa.

We were able to follow Shehroze Kashif’s progress through his tracker. Despite very few waypoints and some apparent glitches, it suggested that he was moving up very slowly throughout the morning and afternoon. Between 10 am and noon, Kashif was around 8,450m. He approached the summit area at around 4 pm Nepal time.

His home team reports that he reached the top at around 3:30 pm. This time may change, as it is about 90 minutes earlier than the rest of the group.

Kashif is one of the several climbers aiming to complete the 14×8000’ers in some sort of record time. With four of the highest peaks under his belt, he intends to climb Kangchenjunga, Lhotse, and Makalu this spring. One down, two to go.

Not all topped out

Some climbers in the group failed to summit. At around 10 am Nepal time, Wilco van Rooijen’s tracker displayed a text message indicating that he had turned back.

“We tried, with what we had,” it read. “Maybe too [soon to have] summited this giant without O2 after 1 month of acclimatization. Now safely back C3.”

Lolo Gonzalez of Spain, also with 7ST, said yesterday that he was going up with the rest but that he did not intend to reach the summit today. He considered it too early. Instead, Gonzalez hoped to complete a third acclimatization round. Marco Confortola was in Camp 4 yesterday but decided not to go for the summit.

Mingma G’s team in Camp 3

As for Mingma G, who led the first summit push last week, and his Imagine Nepal team: The clients returned to Base Camp on May 3 after some rest in Kathmandu. On May 4, they went up to Camp 2. They intended to reach Camp 3 today.

Horia Colibasanu, Peter Hamor, and Marius Gane are in Camp 3. They reported very hot weather during their trek up today. Contrary to reports from the outfitter, Csaba Varga of Hungary is also in C3; he did not summit today.

Mingma and Sirbaz Khan flew into Base Camp yesterday and planned to make a big push and join the rest at Camp 3 today. Last week, Mingma G aborted the summit push he was leading because of the late hour. After losing time because of a route mistake, Mingma G reached over 8,400m and actually saw the summit. However, it was around 3 pm by then and he decided not to risk his group by continuing.

Senior journalist, published author and communication consultant. Specialized on high-altitude mountaineering, with an interest for everything around the mountains: from economics to geopolitics. After five years exploring distant professional ranges, I returned to ExWeb BC in 2018. Feeling right at home since then!


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