Everest: Rising Winds Hamper Climbers’ Descent

8000ers Everest
Ropes show the way down. Photo: Summit Climb

Monday saw fewer summits than expected, about 25. Increasing winds forced some teams to stay put. The wind is also making the descent difficult.

Dan Mazur of Summit Climb, whose team summited yesterday, reports that the wind is so fierce that they were having problems walking down. It quickly became apparent that they wouldn’t make it down to Camp 2. As the light faded, they stopped at Camp 3, sipping O2 through the night.

Today, the team has painted a worrying picture. “The winds are ferocious here in Camp 3: Tents shaking, spindrift snow blasting into the tents through tiny zipper openings…Part of our team is now in Camp 2, and they reported that the kitchen/dining tent almost blew away in the high winds.”

Mazur is hoping that the wind will let up so they can descend the Lhotse Face to Camp 2 safely. “Right now, that is not something we can do voluntarily!” he said.

Garrett Madison spoke to ExplorersWeb after returning to Base Camp. His team summited in good weather on May 23. “It’s very windy today in Camp 2 and Camp 3. Some teams are going for the summit tonight and also on the 29. But the cyclone is supposed to arrive any day now,” he said.

After climbing from Camp 3 “with only three or four other people climbing up,” the Alpine Ascents team checked in from Camp 4 yesterday. They described conditions as “a little windy”.

“We will rest tomorrow and let the winds die down…and plan to summit on the morning of May 26,” they said.

Emergency warning issued

However, the wind is not expected to recede. Cyclone Yaas touched down on the Indian coast today. With wind speeds of 155-165kph, Nepal’s Meteo Forecasting Service has issued an emergency warning. Blizzards are expected at altitude.

Cyclone Yaas has already hit India’s West coast and is affecting the Himalaya. Photo: http://www.mfd.gov.np/

Meanwhile, a large number of climbers pushed up to Camp 2 yesterday, ready to wait out the cyclone and then launch a summit push.

Meanwhile, COVID whispers continue. Yesterday, Russian Dmitry Livanov was airlifted from Camp 2, complaining of “chest pain”. And it seems that at least one Everest summiter tested positive after he returned to Kathmandu.

“Amin Dehghan summited Everest on May 12 [with SST], then back in Kathmandu, he tested COVID positive on May 18,” commenter Pawel posted on one of ExWeb’s stories yesterday.

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About the Author

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides

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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Adrian
Adrian
4 months ago

They’re willing to slog it up despite COVID to get validation from social media but now they’re sh**ing their down-pants because they can’t descend safely?

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Chaitanya
Chaitanya
4 months ago

Cyclone Yaas is going to hit east coast of India, cyclone Taukte had hit west coast of India few days back.

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Don Paul
Don Paul
4 months ago

I am remembering the K2 Winter expedition. I was following Sergi Mingote and others on social media, who were blogging every day on the website of geo, a phone company. In one of his updates, Sergi Mingote and JP Mohr were in a tent in Camp 2 doing a rotation to acclimatize, but the wind was so strong it collapsed their tent. They stayed that way for two days, in the collapsed tent, and could not even boil water. Then the wind died down and they descended. Both died in separate incidents in the next weeks.

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Last edited 4 months ago by Don Paul
Maysnow
Maysnow
4 months ago

Meghan Buchanan told her expedition was canceled today because the sherpa team refused support for the summit push! Video at FB.

+1
Christopher Markes
Christopher Markes
4 months ago
Reply to  Maysnow

If the Sherpas think it’s not safe that’s it for those except the very best and experienced climbers.
Don’t risk lives just for the glory of summiting

+7
Bored in the UK
Bored in the UK
4 months ago
Reply to  Maysnow

Bollocks! That team faced a massive Covid outbreak from the getgo. Heard the majority of the Sherpas now have it. That team should be ashamed of themselves with how they have handled the entire season. A climber called them out on it early on and they all lied through their teeth. Karma has no menu. You get served what you deserve. It’s just a shame the Sherpa have to suffer.
That company is off of my short list.

+6
Marie
Marie
4 months ago

The Sherpas probably saved her life in light of COVID and the upcoming cyclone, while she was shamelessly willing to risk theirs for nothing but self-promotion.

+7
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