Summit Night in Nepal: Makalu, Kangchenjunga, Everest

On Makalu and Kangchenjunga, many are now climbing in the darkness, on their way to the summit. This is their last chance on those peaks. There is no time for further attempts this season. On Everest, the first summit wave has begun.

Finally, a Sherpa team has finished fixing the route on Lhotse. The mountain is now open, either as the main goal or as a second 8,000’er after Everest. Some climbers may even attempt the two back to back, with just a short rest in Camp 4.

Makalu

Carla Perez of Ecuador, with the Alpenglow team, is now heading toward the summit at night, without supplementary O2. Also on the way up, her partner Topo Mena and a client. Both are using oxygen.

Most of the Seven Summit Treks team spent an extra day in Camp 3, waiting for high winds to abate. Today, some moved to Camp 4. Uta Ibraini reports that they are now preparing to leave for the summit from C3.

Diagram of the locations of Camps 3 and 4 on Makalu

Camp 3 and Camp 4 on Makalu. Photo: Philippe Gatta

 

On Makalu’s normal route, there’s little altitude difference between Camp 3, near the Makalu La, and Camp 4, at the base of the so-called French Couloir leading to the summit ridge, some 200m higher. Both camps are on a huge, flattish, windswept glacier area.

Tracker showing Yuri Contreras of Mexico at 7,500m today, slightly above the Makalu La, the col between Makalu’s main summit and Kangchungtse.

 

Some climbers skip C4 altogether on their summit push. This might be the case with Grace Tseng, who was at Camp 3 yesterday. She was going to start her final push yesterday evening at 9:00 pm. We have not heard any news since then.

Selfie of Taiwanese climber Grace Tseng

Grace Tseng on Makalu. Photo: Grace Tseng

 

Dhaulagiri

Another Taiwanese climber has also delayed reporting about a summit that reportedly took place on Monday. Trifish (real name: Chan Chiao-Yu) had to turn around on Annapurna but she succeeded on Dhaulagiri without supplementary O2.

Kari Kobler’s team also summited Dhaulagiri on May 9 at 12:00 pm. The successful climbers were Tashi Sherpa, Lale Bahadur Tamang, Karma Sherpa, Mingmar Sherpa, Jonas Salzmann (Switzerland), J├╝rgen Diez (Germany), Stefan Sieveking (Germany), and the team’s guide, Andreas Neuschmid (Austria).

Kangchenjunga

A number of climbers are on their final summit pushes as this story posts. Adriana Brownlee planned to leave at 6 pm Nepal time. Wilco van Rooijen, who regularly reports on his progress through short texts on his InReach, is also on the move. His latest message, from Camp 4, said that he was leaving for the summit tonight at 8 pm Nepal time. He warned that very strong winds blew all last night. Jon Gupta, his five clients, and his Sherpa team are also on the go.

Csaba Varga of Hungary is also trying again after an earlier failure. Climbing without O2 or a personal Sherpa, he moved from BC to Camp 2 today.

Climbers going up a mountain of snow and rock, on ropes

Csaba Varga on Kangchenjunga. Photo: Hazajaro

 

In her race to climb all 14 8,000’ers in six months, Kristin Harila couldn’t afford a single day of rest after Dhaulagiri. She is already at Camp 3 on Kangchenjunga. Lolo Gonzalez of Spain planned to reach C3 as well, on a last-chance summit push.

Everest

Finally, Everest fans could get some good news in the next hours. While teams are rather secretive about their detailed plans, many are already on their way to the summit. Many more are expected to follow tomorrow.

Lhotse:

With almost no rest, seven Sherpas from the team of 12 led by Seven Summit Treks, who fixed Everest two days ago, have now repeated the work on Lhotse. Their leader was another Sherpa celebrity: Winter K2 summiter Sona Sherpa. Sona was also deputy leader on Kami Rita’s Everest rope-fixing team.

Group of Sherpas under prayer flags

The Everest and Lhotse rope-fixing team some days ago in Base Camp. In the middle (no ball cap) stands Tashi Lakpa Sherpa, founder of SST and team leader at STT’s sister company, 14 Peaks Expeditions. To his left, Kami Rita Sherpa. To his right, Sona Sherpa.

 

The group also included Ngima Tashi Sherpa, Phurba Tsering Sherpa, Tenjing Gyaljen Sherpa, Lakpa Tenji Sherpa, Phurba Kusang Sherpa, and Phurba Chhota. As on Everest, they reached the top of Lhotse in the dark, at 8:00 pm Nepal time.

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.