Weather permitting, Alberto Zerain and Carlos Arrieta “Txingu” might push for Everest summit within the next two days, taking advantage of the full moon and good snow conditions in the Hornbein Couloir.
On Cho Oyu, the team of rope-fixers launched by the Tibet (China) Mountaineering Association have fled the place after some members were injured in an avalanche, leaving the climbers to fix the route’s upper sections. The Tibetans have previously demanded a $100 fee from each single climber for the fixing work, in an unilateral decision with no prior warning or real need, according to statements by IMG’s Eric Simonson.
Everest’s north side
“We’ve checked the route and it definitely looks better than expected,” Alberto Zerain stated. “If the next full moon brings clear skies, we may go up in a summit push, setting a bivouac at 7,900 metes at the bottom of the couloir. Then, we’ll see how it goes.”
The Italian team is not yet planning a summit push. They first need to reach 7,000 meters in an acclimatization trip. However, team leader Edmond noted that they would lend Alberto and Txingu a 2-pax tent.
Everest’s south side and Lhotse
“There were two other groups at Camp 1 (the only other groups on the mountain),” Eric recalled. “The Japanese team simply packed up and headed down. They were supposed to be at Camp 2 the previous day. A Czech team climbing Lhotse was also planning to reach Camp 2. They had left two days prior, but lost the trail through the icefall due to whiteout and ended up camping in an upper section that Sherpas call ‘dumb’.”
“I have never heard of anyone camping in the ice fall before,” commented Tshering the next day. “They were very lucky nothing happened.”
Adventure Consultants team spent Sunday night in C2 and returned to BC yesterday for some R&R before the definitive summit push. “The mountain is starting to get busier,” they reported. “Our team had to wait for other climbers at some bottlenecks at crux points on the fixed lines. The teams that have arrived before us are now preparing to make their push for the summit.” FTA climbers were also ont heir way to C2 for a final acclimatization round before the summit push.
“The weather has improved and the IMG team is still resting at ABC. Our plan is to summit on the 25th, so another rest day tomorrow and then we’ll head up,” IMG leader Mike Hamill stated.
“We had a rope fixing meeting with all the other teams at the TMA [Tibet Mountaineering Association] camp yesterday,” Mike reported. “The TMA fixing team is in shambles. A few of their seven rope fixers were injured in the avalanche. The rest are OK but traumatized, including the four that weren’t even up there, and they have all left the mountain and refuse to help anymore with the fixing. We have now been able to secure enough fixed rope, gear, and Sherpa power at the meeting amongst the other groups to finish the fixing and Ang Pasang [IMG sirdar] and Pema [Jagged Globe sirdar] are going to be organizing that.
Eric Simonson: TMA mandatory fixing
“From the IMG standpoint, we are glad to see the various expedition teams again working together to get the fixing done — this is how it has been accomplished for many seasons on both Cho Oyu and Everest, and we feel strongly that it is in the best interest for the teams to work together,” IMG owner Eric Simonson wrote from home.
“Fixing the route on Cho Oyu is straightforward and requires maybe 3,000 meters total rope. IMG brought 1,300 meters of rope and many anchors and since we were the first team we fixed most of the way to C2 and were prepared with Jagged Globe and Adventure Consultants (who both also brought plenty of rope), along with other teams, to finish the job.”
“Without any advance notice this season the TMA tried to take over the rope fixing for profit, charging an exorbitant amount of money ($100 per climber, so over $30,000 if everyone had paid!). Teams that were reluctant to pay were subjected to harassment, verbal abuse, and physical threats by the Tibetans. The snow and weather conditions were terrible when the TMA climbers went up to try to fix the Yellow Band and it was obvious to everyone on the mountain that the avalanche conditions were very high up there with all the recent snowfall.”
“This whole episode has been poorly handled by the TMA and they are very fortunate not to have lost several of their climbers, who owe their lives to the good efforts of other teams that worked hard to rescue them.”
“No one said that climbing 8,000 meters peaks was ever easy and Manaslu is proving to be rather tricky,” Kenton Cool reported. “Since our little trip to Camp 1 last week, there has been no sign of any blue sky, more than that it’s been rain, sleet and snow everyday.”
“Is like being in the trenches during WWI, despairing in a soaked, muddy hole while waiting for an attack signal in order to jump up and face the enemy, ” Carlos Pauner described.
The Himex team has leveled a cricket field on the moraine and spent time playing under the rain.
On a later update today, Xavi Arias has announced that the sun is finally shinning. He reported: “We plan to head up for C1 and then C2 tomorrow.”
Spring 2011 preview: Pakistani climbers for Everest
“Hassan Sadpara, a renowned mountaineer from Baltistan, is going to scale Everest, after his request was attended to by Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari.” Pakistan correspondent Karrar Haidri reported. “Hassan asked the President for support to climb the peak, and to build a climbing school in Baltistan — which will soon be turned into the “Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Mountaineering School” in Skardu.”
Now the Ministry of Finance is footing the bill for the Everest expedition, which will be supervised by the Alpine Club of Pakistan.
“Hassan will climb together with his brother Sadiq Sadpara,” Karrar wrote.
Hassan was the first Pakistani to climb all five-8000ers in his country.
In the news: Healthy Yak Project
Everest summiteer Lance Fox is involved in a veterinarian project launched by friends of Humanity called “Healthy Yak,” which improved health of some 2,500 EBC yaks in 2009. Next year Lance will return to the Khumbu valley to conduct seven to eight yak clinics, accompanied by other veterinarians of whom one is Nepalese and two Americans. Check for further information on Lance’s website in the links section below.
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Filed under: Climbers, Expedition, Himalayas, Travel | Tagged: Alberto Zerain, Cho Oyu, Climbers, Everest, Everest South side, Expedition, Himalaya, Himalaya 2010 Season’s, Lhotse, Manaslu, mountaineering, Nepal, Travel |