06:58 am CDT Apr 17, 2009 (MountEverest.net) Everest south side teams are checking in from C2 and yesterday a leaders’ meeting was held in BC.
Some north side expeditions are across the border while others have run out of time while waiting for permits. One is Andrew Lock, whose 14x8000ers finals will have to wait until September.
Another snow spell has forced Manaslu teams back to BC, and thwarted a Korean summit bid. On Annapurna, a storm is holding up Minarik, Kopold and Revol at 6,700m.
The Kazakh Lhotse-Everest traverse team set up C1 on Everest south side Wednesday, hoping to establish C2 on the Western Cwm and venture to C3’s location before returning back to BC today.
The Kazakh expedition has split up in two teams: Vaso (leader) Max, Sergei Samoilov, Alex Sofrygin, Evgeniy Shutov and Artem Skopin are attempting the LE traverse, while a second team including Dmitriy Grekov, Nikolay Gudnik, Alex Rudakov, and Sveta will head for Lhotse.
Everest South side – others
“After lunch, I joined Peter Whittaker, Jeff Martin and Linden Mallory for a short walk to Damian Benegas’ camp, where an initial team-leader meeting had been called for,” First Ascent’s Dave Hahn reported.
“There was plenty of handshaking and backslapping among those gathered. All of the usual suspects of South Side Everest climbing, plus the former North Siders who’ve all given up on the Chinese restrictions on entrance to Tibet were there. The big players: IMG and HimEx, Adventure Consultants and Jagged Globe were there, along with Croatians, Russians, Kazakhs, Koreans, Irish, Spanish, Swiss and Canadians.”
“We tried to figure out radio frequency overlaps and attempted to pool resources for rescues and rope fixing,” Dave added. “The gang agreed to meet tomorrow to build a helipad to the west of camp.”
“Since our IMG team is ahead of most of the others, we will start working on the route to C3 and Ang Jangbu will coordinate with other teams on their contributions to the effort,” Eric Simonson stated after the meeting. “Based on preliminary commitments from the leaders meeting, I note that some teams are prepared to step up with significant contributions, while others are rather pathetic.”
Peak Freaks’ Tim Rippel reported about 30 people attending the meeting – including the ever-present Discovery channel filming crew.
“Other topics of importance they discussed were safety issues,” Peak Freaks home team reported. “One in particular was that the team leaders need to stress to their members how important it is “if you are slow” to move over and let faster climbers pass.”
“Peak Freaks and Alpine Ascents have volunteered to jointly make the heli-rescue pad,” Tim added.
Everest south side – climbers
Meanwhile, Abramov’s 7Summit-Club team members are making themselves at home on Everest South Side BC – just as they did in previous years on the Tibetan side. They’ve already had their Puja and a first taste of the Khumbu Icefall.
A number of climbers spent their first night in C1 on Wednesday and Thursday. Some did a day trip to C2, and returned back to BC, such as the Finnish Airborne Rangers, Altitude Junkies, IMG and John Golden.
“Camp II is partly on rocks and partly on ice or snow,” the Finns reported. “At arrival, strong wind prevented us from pitching the tents, so we left them cached in place, the deposit marked by a tiny Finnish flag.”
Everest North side: (some) teams in Tibet
“On Tuesday we had a hard day crossing the border in Zhangmu, but eventually we managed to get into Tibet,” Summit Climb leader Arnold Coster reported from Tingri. “Everybody was a little bit irritated from the long wait for the visa and also the long wait at the border crossing, but everything is good now.”
The team was scheduled to reach BC today.
Japan’s Kanagawa University team was permitted to enter Lhasa last week, after climbing Yara Peak in Langtang.
Andrew Lock’s 14x8000ers finals cancelled – Kuriki switching to Dhaula
While the above two teams finally made it to Tibet, others had to change their plans. Japanese Nobukazu Kuriki had still not received his permit by March 25 and was forced to switch for Dhaulagiri instead, considering to give Everest a try in fall instead.
Australian Andrew Lock hoped to complete his 14x8000ers quest on Shisha followed by Everest north side without supplementary O2. Andrew and Mexican mate Hector spent 2/3 weeks acclimatizing in Khumbu while trying to get a climbing permit in Kathmandu – all in vain though.
“I’m sorry to say that I’ve had to cancel my Shishapangma expedition this season,” Andrew reported. “We’ve been unable to secure a climbing permit, so Hector and I decided that we just didn’t have enough time left to give that mountain a good attempt, let alone go to Everest afterwards. We’re heading home and will try again in the post monsoon. It’s a disappointing end to the season but we wouldn’t call them ‘expeditions’ if they were easy. See you in September.”
The situation is still uncertain for Dragan Jacimovic’s Serbian team. First they were delayed in Kathmandu for over a week until they finally obtained their visa and climbing permits. Then they were stopped near the border two days ago. “Due to current circumstances I reckon that tomorrow morning we will finally enter Tibet,” Dragan reported from Dhulikle village on Wednesday. “We got some information that the road to Kodary (on the Tibetan side of the border) is blocked due to some strike or whatever!”
“We may try during the night,” Dragan added, “when all strikers go to sleep!”
April15, Martin Minarik reported to have reached 6,700m. Today, Elisabeth Revol reported over SMS that the team remains there in wind and snow storm conditions.
After spending some days in BC waiting for the weather to settle and allow Romano to recover from bronchitis, Nives Meroi and Romano Benet hoped to reach a cache at 5600 m yesterday and go a bit further up before returning to BC.
The Korean Dynamic Busan Hope team’s summit bid on Manaslu was thwarted by strong wind on April 14th, Nick Rice reported. The Koreans turned back at the 7,300/7,400 meters plateau, according to RussianClimb.
Most climbers left C2 and C1 for BC when a storm approached Wednesday.
In addition to Edurne Pasaban’s Kangchenjunga expedition, Spanish TV Al Filo de lo Imposible is supporting a team of physically-challenged climbers on Cho Oyu this spring. The team departed for Nepal last week, and has not reported problems with visa or climbing permits.
In spite of being disabled; Ricardo García, Valentín Ruiz, Miguel A. Gavilán and Arturo Rodriguez will climb without O2 support. The team includes David Perez on camera, Nacho Orviz as climbing guide, and two members of the Spanish military mountain group: Alberto Ayora and Pedro Arcederillo.
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Filed under: Climbers, Expedition, Himalayas, Travel Tagged: | 7Summit-Club, Annapurna, Climbers, Dave Hah, Dhaulagiri, Edurne Pasaban, Everest, Everest South side, Everest traverse, Himalayas, Kangchenjunga, Khumbu Icefall, Makalu, Makalu West Pillar, Manaslu, Nepal, Nives Meroi, Sherpa, Tibet, Travel