Season’s First Foreigner Summits Everest in Rare Solitude

Portuguese climber Pedro Queiros patiently waited 12 days between Camp 2 and Camp 3. Queiros hoped to summit Everest after the Sherpa team led by Kami Rita but before the waves of foreign climbers started to jam the upper passages.

“I gathered information from the Sherpas, other teams, and friends at home, to set off right as the weather window opened. In the end, I managed to become the first foreigner [this season] to reach the summit,” Queiros said.

Walking among corpses

“I was awake for 86 hours non-stop. I was hungry and thirsty. I walked among corpses and eventually stopped feeling my fingers and toes. I was hit by some wind gusts of up to 100kph and endured temperatures that dropped to around -40ºC.” It is no wonder Queiros describes his ascent as “epic.”

During a chat with Alan Arnette, Queiros confirmed that he and Mingma Sherpa faced some scary gusts that nearly swept them off the ground. It took them five hours to break trail to the Balcony. As they went up, they crossed paths with Kami Rita’s rope-fixing team who were descending, the ropes freshly fixed.

Pedro Queiros on a lonely Lhotse face. Photo: Subin Thakuri/14 Summits

Alone on top of the world

Queiros and Mingma Sherpa reached the summit early in the morning of May 9, completely alone. This is a rare privilege these days and an impressive effort on such a high mountain. Queiros spent years preparing and training for this climb and enlisted a smaller outfitter, Fourteen Summits. His plans have paid off.

Most other teams had started their pushes from the base of the mountain once the Sherpas had fixed the ropes. Liaison officer Khimlal Gautam told the Everest Chronicle that most summits should come over the next eight days.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides is a college-graduated journalist specializing in high-altitude mountaineer 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.