Everest: Calm Weather Not Assured

Everest summits should begin soon. Several teams are moving up to Camp 2 and waiting for news from the sherpa rope fixers that the whole route to the summit is open. Now, it’s all about the weather.

Getting ready

Valery Babanov tried to overnight in Camp 4 during his third acclimatization trip. However, at 7,400m he had to turn around when his assistant sherpa, Lakpa, showed signs of snow blindness and needed help back to Camp 2.

Babanov also shared a video showing that it is still snowing on the mountain. Piotr Krzyżowski, who reached Camp 4 for acclimatization yesterday, confirmed it was foggy and snowing at that altitude. The Polish climber, aiming for Lhotse without oxygen, is now back in Base Camp, resting before his final push.

The snowfall is welcome, especially by those expecting to climb the Lhotse Face in the next few days. Ice and rock, falling from the bare slopes, have injured some workers lately.

Meanwhile, the route across the Khumbu Icefall had to close last Sunday after some ice collapsed, but the Ice Doctors quickly patched up the route with some new ladders.

cimbers on a ladder, crossing a crevasse at the khumbu icefall on Everest
In the Khumbu Icefall. Photo: Tomi Ceppi/Climbing the 7 Summits

An interesting forecast

Meteorologist Michael Fagin of EverestWeather.com spoke to ExplorersWeb about the weather window currently opening on Nepal’s peaks.

The forecast differs, depending on which chart you look at. While the US GFS model and others show relatively low winds for the next several days, the European ECMWF model expects the wind to increase up to 64kph between May 12-15.

“It will be interesting to see how it unfolds,” said Fagin.

Weather chart showing winds
GFS model showing 200mb Streamlines
and Isotachs for Central Asia on May 12.


Interesting, indeed. Some teams are planning summit attempts for the end of the week, just after the sherpas open the route to the top. Wingsuit pilot Tim Howell also wants to make his first attempt to jump from the Lhotse Ridge on Sunday. At the same time, his guide Jon Gupta hoped to climb Nuptse.

The alternative route project returns

Marc Batard and his team have also arrived at their base camp, a lodge at Gorak Shep. Baatard is back for another year, trying to fix an alternative route to Camp 2 via the flank of Nuptse. They begin their work on Friday.

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