Tim Howell Delays Lhotse Wingsuit Jump, Nuptse Push Ahead

Plans exist to be changed last minute, especially on Everest and Lhotse this season.

“Tim Howell has had a cough for a while, but it’s suddenly gotten really bad in the last 24 hours,” Jon Gupta told ExplorersWeb from Base Camp. “We’ve sent him to Kathmandu for a quick hospital visit and a few days rest. We’ll aim for the next weather window around May 18 or 19.”

Howell intends to perform the highest-ever wingsuit jump from roughly 8,400m on the ridge of Lhotse. Reaching the exit point will involve climbing across the upper flank of the mountain over unknown terrain. British guide Jon Gupta and Nepali Siddhi Tamang will support Howell.

Meanwhile, Gupta will use the delay to climb Nuptse, possibly as soon as Monday. Gupta will climb solo but won’t be alone on the difficult 7,961m peak. A small group from Madison Mountaineering led by Argentinian climber Cacho Beiza will set off from Nuptse’s high camp toward the summit tomorrow.

Interest for Nuptse

Nuptse, whose name means “West Peak” after its location in relation to Everest, has been getting more attention over the last few years. This renewed interest is mainly from climbers (like Gupta) who have already climbed Everest and Lhotse and want to complete the Triple Crown.

Lhotse teams on the go

Garrett Madison told ExplorersWeb that some teams are attempting Lhotse this weekend. However, Madison’s group says they will wait for the best possible weather.

“Our Lhotse climbers are in Camp 2 now and will begin their summit push in a few days when the weather looks really nice,” he explained.

As we reported yesterday, weather models differ regarding wind speeds this weekend.

Camp 4 and the mighty Lhotse Face.

Camp 4, tucked under the mighty Lhotse Face. Photo: Furtenbach Adventures


Late Everest

Everest may need to wait a little longer before seeing its first South Side summits this season. While a Tibetan team fixed the ropes to the summit on the North Side last week, problems in the icefall have prevented the Seven Summit Treks rope-fixing team from completing the route above Camp 4.

The Nepali Supreme Court’s decision to prohibit helicopters from ferrying gear above Base Camp has also delayed the setup and supply of Camp 4 at the South Col.

Madison estimates the sherpa rope fixers may finally summit on May 12 or 13.

“The route will be ready by mid-May, but we are waiting until the ‘second window’ like we normally do, around May 24, when it’s much warmer, and the mountain is much less crowded,” Madison explained.

Close shot of Madison in Everest Base Camp

Everest guide Garrett Madison in Base Camp today. Photo: Garrett Madison

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides graduated university in journalism and specializes in high-altitude mountaineering 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.