Summit Push Updates: Dhaulagiri, Kangchenjunga, Everest!

Good weather has led to big summit pushes on Dhaulagiri, Kangchenjunga, Nuptse, and yes, Everest.

Everest

Kami Rita Sherpa’s rope fixers are about summit Everest from the south side for the first time this season. On their last trip up the mountain, they reached Camp 4. They then returned to Base Camp to ride out some days of gloomy, foggy weather.

Conditions have now improved, and the Sherpa team has moved up Everest again. Sources in Base Camp suggest that they could summit tomorrow morning. This would be Kami Rita’s 26th Everest summit. Next, they will fix Lhotse. 

Kami Rita Sherpa strums on a local instrument.

Kami Rita Sherpa sings local songs at Everest Base Camp. Photo: Kami Rita Sherpa

 

Meanwhile, climbers in Base Camp are tapping their toes with anticipation. The rope fixing has proceeded more slowly than expected, and many teams have had time to rotate up to Camp 3. They are now ready to go for the summit.

However, if wave after wave of climbers all hurries up during this one weather window, crowding on Everest’s final pitches is likely. This is especially dangerous for those without supplementary O2, such as David Goettler. Goettler is making his third attempt on Everest without bottled oxygen.

On May 4, Nepal’s Ministry of Tourism listed 316 Everest permits so far. While far from last year’s record number (408), the figures are higher than originally expected. Many cancellations occurred after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Sherpas have completely fixed the route on Nuptse. Tim Mosedale and Garrett Madison, both with two clients each, are heading for the summit tonight.

Everest North

Summits happened early and unexpectedly on the Tibetan side of Everest. Chinese teams topped out for the first time last week. An unknown number of climbers has followed, including a large scientific group that set up the highest meteorological station on Earth, at 8,800m.

The South China Morning Post proudly noted that the new station is higher than the Balcony station, set up at 8,430m by American and British scientists in 2019. Although 13 Chinese climbers reached the summit, set up the weather station, and returned to Base Camp yesterday, the whole project includes 270 researchers.

Dhaulagiri

The 8K Expeditions team, including record-chasers Kristin Harila of Norway and Trifish of Taiwan, is going for the summit tonight, director Pemba Sherpa told ExplorersWeb.

Dhaulagiri snow scene with two climbers

Carlos Soria and Sito Carcavilla on their way to Dhaulagiri’s Camp 1. Photo: Carlos Soria

 

Carlos Soria and Sito Carcavilla reached Camp 1 today in good conditions, despite the 15cm of fresh snow that fell last night. Soria hopes that the new snow will settle by the time they reach the avalanche-prone upper slopes.

Advancing one camp per day, the two Spaniards hope to summit on Monday. Swiss outfitter Kari Kobler and the two Israeli climbers have yet to announce their plans, but it is likely that they have joined the summit push as well.

Kangchenjunga

As yesterday’s summiters return to Base Camp, a new group of climbers has reached Camp 4 and are preparing to go for the summit. Several are not using supplementary O2. These include Peter Hamor of Slovakia, Horia Colibasanu and Marius Gane of Romania, Csaba Varga of Hungary, and in Mingma G’s team, Sirbaz Khan of Pakistan.

A dozen orange tents on bare ground at Kangchenjunga Base Camp.

Kangchenjunga Base Camp. Photo: Mingma G

 

Adriana Brownlee is also at Kangchenjunga, the next stage on her 14×8,000’ers quest. Already acclimatized by summiting Annapurna last week, she could start for the top at any moment.

The weather is currently so good on Kangchenjunga that Horia Colibasanu complained about suffering from the warmth and brightness of the sun reflecting off the snow since they left Camp 2 two days ago. They may welcome these blue skies tomorrow as they go for the summit.

Helmeted climber moving up mixed snow and rock

File image of Marco Confortola, a new addition to the list of those who summited Kangchenjunga without O2. Photo: Marco Confortola

 

At the same time, yesterday’s summiters are returning to Base Camp and reporting on their ascents. Marco Confortola couldn’t previously confirm his summit because his satphone ran out of power. The Italian has almost completed his no-O2, 14×8,000er quest.

Two days ago, he said he wanted to check conditions before risking a summit bid because he had previously lost all his toes to frostbite.

In 2008, Confortola narrowly escaped death after summiting K2, when the Great Serac collapsed. It killed some climbers, buried the ropes, and stranded those on the upper slopes. Eight people lost their lives in one of the worst-ever events on K2. Confortola survived but was seriously frostbitten. Despite the loss of his toes, he has continued to climb and guide in the Alps.

Makalu

Tough conditions forced all seven members of the rope-fixing team to turn around shortly before the summit. They still need to fix some 150m to the top, which they will do soon. Meanwhile, Karl Egloff and Nico Miranda are doing some serious acclimatizing. Yesterday, they touched 8,000m, then returned to ABC in an impressive no-O2, 18-hour, 2,300 vertical metre day trip.

Deep snow high on Makalu

Loads of snow on Makalu’s upper slopes. Photo: Karl Egloff

 

“Up to Camp 3 (7,450m) was good,” Karl Egloff wrote on Instagram. “Above that point, we needed all of our energy to break trail through fresh snow until 8,020. Here, we made the best decision of our lives. Although the summit was close, we knew we were very tired, and clouds were approaching, so we went down to ABC.”

Two Ecuadorian climbers in red parkas

Ecuadorian climbers and runners Nico Miranda (left) and Karl Egloff. Photo: Karl Egloff

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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