Summit Day on Everest, Makalu, and Kangchenjunga

Summit news started very early today, with news of successes on Everest, Makalu, and Kangchenjunga. For now, it’s quantitative information: lists of names and numbers. Hopefully, we will hear some details once the summiters are safely down.

Everest

On Everest, big teams outfitted by Climbing the Seven Summits, Seven Summit Treks, and Adventure Peak have reached the top of the world. They report excellent weather.

Eight members in the all-Black U.S. team Full Circle Everest also summited this morning, together with eight Sherpas. Eighteen-year-old American Lucy Westlake also summited. It is still too soon to confirm, but today’s Everest summits should be somewhere between 60 and 100. The Seven Summit Treks team alone lists 16 clients and 23 Sherpas on top today.

Most of today’s summiters are back to at least Camp 4 at the South Col, where a new wave of climbers are preparing to go up. Photo: Climbing the Seven Summits

 

Some teams at Camp 4 who had planned a rest day, such as Furtenbach Adventures, have decided to set off toward the top tonight, to take advantage of the “perfect conditions”. Other teams, such as Lakpa Sherpa’s 8K Expeditions and Nirmal Purja’s Elite Exped have started their summit pushes today.

There is also belated news from the Return to Everest team. This group, supported by National Geographic, guided by Pete Athans and Dawa Yangzum, and featuring expert meteorologists from the U.S. and Nepal, is in charge of repairing the meteorological station located at the Balcony (8,400m). The Alpimon blog reports that besides fixing the station, they also summited two days ago.

David Goettler was also on Everest today, avoiding the ropes and using no O2. Today, he touched the top of the Geneva Spur at 7,900m, then returned to Base Camp. That was his final acclimatization round before going all the way to the summit.

Makalu: summits, crowds, and a brave attempt

On the usually windswept Makalu, conditions were not ideal. Despite the very cold wind, outfitters are reporting summits.

Alpenglow guides Topo Mena, Ngima Sherpa, and Nawang Sherpa, along with the team’s client, reached the top at 5:30 am. A large Seven Summit Treks group, including Uta Ibrahini of Kosovo, Reza Shahlaee of Iran, and Viridiana Alvarez of Mexico also summited.

Also successful were Grace Tseng of Taiwan and Dolma Outdoor’s Nyma Gyalzen.

But not everybody reached their goal. While the big teams on O2 managed to deal with the cold, the low temperatures were too much for Carla Perez, climbing without O2. Still recovering from a relentless cough, the Ecuadorian turned back at the French Couloir.

While bad news for her project of summiting the five highest mountains on Earth without O2, at least she avoided crowds on the summit ridge. Asked about how crowded it was, Adrian Ballinger (coordinating the Alpenglow team from Base Camp) said, “It was challenging, but it worked out.” No injuries or problems have been reported.

Alpenglow team members are now below Camp 3 on their way back to Base Camp. They are not planning to spend the night at any of the higher camps.

Kangchenjunga

Adriana Brownlee and Gelje Sherpa summited Kangchenjunga, two weeks after ticking off Annapurna. They were together with Josette Valloton of Switzerland, Dorota Lidia Samocko of Poland, Chhangba Sherpa, and Dawa Sherpa.

Adriana Brownlee on Kangchenjunga. Photo: Seven Summit Treks

 

Wilco van Rooijen, climbing without O2, and Cas van de Gevel, had to turn around. Van Rooijen is safe in Base Camp but says that he will share details after some rest.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides is a college-graduated journalist specialised on 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 corporates, press manager and communication executive,and a published author.