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.

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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Donal shovlin
Donal shovlin
14 days ago

Well played Pedro 👍 congrats

Jmaf
Jmaf
14 days ago

He followed fixed ropes, on bottled 0’s, and was carried along by his own personal sherpa. Does that really constitute an epic ascent?

Brian Campbell
Brian Campbell
14 days ago
Reply to  Jmaf

The weather and other physical conditions change hour by hour on a big mountain. Every ascent is different. Every individual has their own environmental, physical, mental and emotional barriers, that when they push through thru them, it’s an epic experience.
I think Pedro’s summit was epic!

Tom Hayes
Tom Hayes
14 days ago
Reply to  Brian Campbell

Difficult, flawed, but just an ascent

Robert
Robert
14 days ago
Reply to  Jmaf

Carried? Dragged? Talk about dramatic. Yes many climbers, most actually, wouldn’t reach the top without Sherpa support…but yeah…talk about an arm chair warrior…some commercial clients climb strongly side by side and relatively self-sufficiently alongside sherpa support…some are short roped and have no business being there. How do you know where he stands?

And Epic is all relative. To some people an Iron Man is epic…to some people it’s not much of a challenge…

Jmaf
Jmaf
14 days ago
Reply to  Robert

Tourism vs Alpinism is the point and the question. Messner’s Annapurna was an epic act of alpinism. Being escorted by your own personal sherpa up fixed ropes on bottled O’s is nice to do if you have the disposable income and time but is it epic? Me thinks not.

Alex Pancoe
Alex Pancoe
14 days ago
Reply to  Jmaf

Tourism? Sorry – but just because there is a level of support available, I laugh when people try to describe climbing, even heavily supported, as tourism. I mean take the Marathon De Sables, one of the most difficult endurance runs in the Sahara. Runners are provided water and shelter each night…does that make them tourists just because there are runners out there who could carry their own tent and water if they wanted? Even on oxygen, a climber on an 8000M peak burns 10+ thousand calories on summit day alone. That’s 1.5x-2x an Iron Man. Sorry I don’t consider that… Read more »

Tom Hayes
Tom Hayes
14 days ago
Reply to  Alex Pancoe

Any way you want to put it, in the end, it is really cheating. Why not double triple your 02 flow ? Anything wrong with that?

Alexander Pancoe
Alexander Pancoe
14 days ago
Reply to  Tom Hayes

How is it cheating? I think you need to brush up on your definitions:

.
act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage, especially in a game or examination.

Seeing as how he’s not a part of some “professional league” or competing with other alpinist it’s hard to argue it’s unfair because who is it unfair to?

antonio gomes
antonio gomes
5 days ago
Reply to  Tom Hayes

in 1953 the 2 first climbers to reach the top used o2,are they cheaters?looking to Pedro Queiroz picture at the top looks like he did not use o2.

damiengildea
13 days ago
Reply to  Alex Pancoe

When you make claims that intrinsically involve others – ie. first xyz from abc, fastest etc – then it is NOT just personal, you are yourself making comparisons and inviting judgement – preferably praise. Even your Merriam defintion of ‘alpinism’ there does not encompass bottled O2, extensive fixed ropes and helicopter transfers. The evolution of alpinism has followed a path that is the very antithesis of the retrograde style now used on 8000ers. I’d like to see a verified clinical source for your 10,000 calories at 8000m. Not some climber or company website quoting some anonymous comment, but actual data.… Read more »

Alex
Alex
13 days ago
Reply to  damiengildea

Well Damien if you read what I posted carefully, you’d see I agree with your first point — if you are making claims that involve others. I literally said “seeing as how he’s not competing or comparing himself to other alpinist”. Obviously when competing for records, FKTs, etc, that’s a very different story. Regarding the definition of alpinism – no I literally used the actual definition. I’m not trying to argue that there is a vast discrepancy of talent and capabilities under that definition…hey there are people who are great basketball players in their gym league, and there are Michael… Read more »

Alexander
Alexander
13 days ago
Reply to  Alex

I also will add that upon reflection I guess calories burned on an arctic expedition is really more a matter of individual or team speed / effort so I guess bringing up O’Brady doesn’t make a ton of sense. Obviously a team that does the pole in 50 days will burn far less per day than a team that takes 40. Will have to defer to your expertise there — I will say however that on both our north and South Pole trips the temp was comparable to summit day on Everest (North pole was a bit chillier at -55)… Read more »

damiengildea
12 days ago
Reply to  Alex

But Alex in claiming to be the ‘first foreigner’ he IS making a claim, trying to distinguish himself above all the other clients down below. Thanks for backing up with a link, it’s appreciated. However: It was a sample size of 15 people, some of whom stayed at BC Nothing in there supports any of them burning 10,000 cals 5.4 (+/- 1.6) is not 10. And in fact it DOES say: “…However, it is not known whether a climber can actually consume in excess of 30 MJ (7200 kcal) energy while living and climbing under such extreme altitude circumstances.” I… Read more »

Alex
Alex
12 days ago
Reply to  damiengildea

Thanks for the response. Just to clarify – consume is referring to diet (as in replenish, the study was trying to determine the ideal diet) — nothing to do with how many calories are burned. Yes it is a small sample and there really aren’t a lot of actual studies on the subject. As you know, 8000m peaks are a TON of waiting around…so if a climber was averaging 5.4k calories including all those days, there is zero doubt they would be above 10k on a summit day. Last thing I would point out in that study — just by… Read more »

Jen
Jen
14 days ago
Reply to  Jmaf

Have you climbed Everest with no ropes, no 0s, and no Sherpas

Alex
Alex
14 days ago
Reply to  Jmaf

Carried? The guy looks like he just chugged about 5 red bulls on the summit. I don’t think so.

Tom Hayes
Tom Hayes
14 days ago
Reply to  Jmaf

Not even close

Elmo Francis
14 days ago
Reply to  Jmaf

Have you been in on the mountain? Summited? Never heard of you. You can’t fly to the mountain, now can you? Or did you solo the mountain, 99% of climbers do it with a Sherpa on fixed rope. Learn to appreciate the spirit of climbing, the being K. 🤣🤣🤣

Jeff
Jeff
13 days ago
Reply to  Jmaf

We regarded it epic just to get to Base Camp recently. Epic, for us anyway. I salute anyone that can reach 29k ft. Read the room, not the time for snide comments.

antonio gomes
antonio gomes
5 days ago
Reply to  Jmaf

does he look like someone who’s been carried?the Sherp is mandatory by Nepal Gov,he apears to use not o2.at higher altitudes one can’t sleep properly ,if the wind is so strong it can lift you,then it is Epic.if you were there in the same conditions you cold claim to had achived something Epic

Tredainter
Tredainter
14 days ago

Thank you so much for your reports and updates. I am amazed at how judgmental some are on what words you choose to describe your stories or someone’s personal climb. Thank you for your dedication to help us not on the mountain keep connected!!!

Doug Shelby
Doug Shelby
14 days ago

I agree with the ascent being epic… for HIM. Yeah there’s fixed ropes and yeah he used o2. But it was far far less than ideal conditions. Congratulations.

Claudia Reed
Claudia Reed
14 days ago

Take out the word “epic”, it’s a matter of semantics. It was only epic to him because of all his preparation paid off. It was a completed ascent.

Chris sizemore
Chris sizemore
14 days ago

I mean to say Pedro is not claiming to be messner

Caravaggio
Caravaggio
13 days ago
Reply to  Chris sizemore

I think he was trying to say “This dude is NOT claiming to be messner”

Roger Freeman
Roger Freeman
13 days ago

I watch quite a few videos of Everest climbs…nothing in this World would tempt me to try it…respect to anyone that does.

Swapan
Swapan
12 days ago

Is this epic? Could not understand. However, I congratulate him for the success.

Nigel
Nigel
10 days ago

So awesome. Well done and jealous. 😁👍

antonio gomes
antonio gomes
9 days ago

Parabéns Pedro Quiroz.ainda hà uns dias respondia a um titulo do JN ou talvez Sapo relativo ao Everest e escrevi Respeito aos alpinistas talvez estaja por là um dos nossos.daqui a 2 anos se Deus quiser tentarei mas terei entao 70 anos.as armas e os Baroes assinalados que da ocidental praia Lusitana,,,,,,

Fred
Fred
8 days ago

Patience really payed off here!

I would also call it epic if I ended up beeing alone on the mountain.
That is so rare these days, but when it happens it really is magical, even though it is more work with breaking trails etc.

It is nice to see smaller outfitters also have success,
considering the reputation many have gotten lately.

It will also be interesting to see if this will catch on.
(Spending a lot of time above BC, to get ‘first tracks’ after the ropes have been fixed, to avoid the crowds.)

David Houe
David Houe
4 days ago

Fantastic achievement. Congratulations.