The fog is clearing. The climbers mentioned in my last blog post have spoken. For days, the false report had been tenacious that Tenjing (mostly called “Tenji”) Sherpa and Lakpa Dendi Sherpa were the only mountaineers this season to climb Everest without bottled oxygen. “I think the confusion arose because Sherpa Dendi radio ahead of us on the summit to say we had all made it,” Jon Griffith, Tenjing’s British rope partner, wrote in a comment to my article on Facebook. “Given that Tenji was attempting a no O2 climb and given that radio comms is pretty poor from the summit I suspect that Base Camp assumed that he had climbed without O2 and hence the rumour spread.”
Date5. June 2018 | 14:05
TagsJon Griffith, Lakpa Dendi Sherpa, Lech Flaczynski, Makalu, Mount Everest, Tenjing Sherpa, Wojziech Flaczynski
Actually, it’s quite simple. An Everest summit success without bottled oxygen means that the climber did not use a breathing mask. And that’s exactly why the only two alleged climbs without bottled oxygen reported this spring season from the highest mountain on earth were indeed only summit successes, but nothing more! The German mountaineer and journalist Billi Bierling, head of the chronicle “Himalayan Database”, informed me today that on 24 May Tenjing Sherpa (often also called “Tenji”) had used bottled oxygen from the South Summit at 8,750 meters, 100 meters below the main summit. It had been windy, the 26-year-old had not wanted to risk frostbite, Billi said after the debriefing with Tenji and his British climbing partner Jon Griffith. The chronicler informed me that Lakpa Dendi Sherpa had used a breathing mask even above the South Col, at nearly 8,000 meters.
Date1. June 2018 | 14:24
TagsBilli Bierling, Himalayan Database, Lakpa Dendi Sherpa, Lech Flaczynski, Makalu, Mount Everest, Without bottled oxygen, Wojciech Flaczynski
I vow to stop writing about the Hillary Step after this blog post. Because where nothing is, nothing has to be reported. “It is 100 percent that Hillary step is gone,” Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, expedition leader of the Nepalese operator “Imagine”, writes to me. On 14 May, the 32-year-old had climbed to a point between the South Summit (at 8,750 meters) and the former Hillary Step (8,790 meters), where he had waited for hours for the return of his summit team and thus had plenty of time, to take a close look at the spot. On the Hillary Step, says Mingma, “no more debate is required further in future”. No matter what the Nepalese Ministry of Tourism is saying. Before this spring’s season, the authority had actually subpoenally obligated all climbers not to make any statement about the Hillary Step to the media.
Date29. May 2018 | 15:14
TagsHillary Step, Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, Mount Everest, Nepalese Tourism Ministry, Sir Edmund Hillary, Tim Mosedale
The good weather window in the Himalayas is impressively long. Since this spring’s first ascent of Mount Everest on 13 May by the Sherpa team that had fixed the ropes up to the summit on the south side of the mountain, climbers have reached the highest point at 8,850 meters day after day. Several hundred summit successes have since been counted. Today, Tenjing Sherpa also succeeded, without bottled oxygen. The 26-year-old wants to climb directly afterwards the neighboring eight-thousander Lhotse, if conditions allow it. According to Iswari Poudel, managing director of the expedition organizer “Himalayan Guides”, Lakpa Dendi Sherpa, just like Tenjing, reached the summit without breathing mask today. It was already Lakpa’s third (!) Everest ascent this season, Poudel said.
Date24. May 2018 | 14:02
TagsHoria Colibasanu, Jon Griffith, Kangchendzönga, Lhotse, Mount Everest, Nima Jangmu Sherpa, Peter Hamor, Tenjing Sherpa, Thomas Lämmle, Ueli Steck, Without bottled oxygen
The fast double pack connecting the highest and the fourth highest mountain on earth becomes more and more popular. This spring season, several climbers scaled the 8,516-meter high Lhotse, after they had been on the 8,850-meter-high summit of Mount Everest a day earlier. The new “Seven Summits” record holder Steve Plain from Australia and Brit Jon Gupta started the line on 14/15 May (see the video below). The Nepalese expedition leader Tendi Sherpa and US climber Mat Wood managed the feat on 18/19 May. Finally, on Sunday/Monday, the American Matt Moniz and his Argentinian mentor Willie Benegas followed.
Date22. May 2018 | 14:50
TagsDeath, Jon Gupta, Lhotse, Martin Szwed, Mat Wood, Matt Moniz, Mount Everest, Steve Plain, Tendi Sherpa, Willie Benegas
The Japanese climber Nobukazu Kuriki has been found dead today on Mount Everest. The 35-year-old had reported yesterday from Camp 3 at 7,400 meters via Facebook. It was hard, said Kuriki, assuring he would be careful. This morning, his team informed that Nobukazu was in bad shape and that he was descending. Later, he did not respond to radio calls. His camera crew climbed up and found Kuriki lifeless near Camp 2.
Date21. May 2018 | 18:14
All’s well that ends well. Today, 20-year-old American Matt Moniz and his mentor, 49-year-old Argentine Willie Benegas, reached the 8,850-meter summit of Mount Everest. “0459 Summit! We’re on top of the world,” Matt tweeted. On Wednesday, the two climbers also want to scale neighboring Lhotse (8,516 m) , the fourth highest mountain on earth. As reported, the Nepalese Ministry of Tourism had considered revoking Moniz’ and Benegas’ climbing permits. The reason: They had skied down the Lhotse flank during an acclimatization climb – without having a so-called “ski permit”. However, only a few knew about the existence of such a special permit. After about 150 Climbing Sherpas had campaigned for Matt and Willie in an open letter to the Ministry of Tourism for Matt and Willie, the people in charge gave in talking about a “very innocent mistake”. The way for today’s Everest summit attempt was free.
Date20. May 2018 | 17:51
TagsCarlos Soria, Dawa Steven Sherpa, Death, Dhaulagiri, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, Matt Moniz, Maya Sherpa, Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, Mount Everest, Nima Jangmu Sherpa, Willie Benegas
The authors of the Guinness Book of Records must put pen to paper. The information about the climbers with the highest number of Everest ascents has to be updated – both for women and for men. According to her brother Mingma Gelu Sherpa, Lhakpa Sherpa today reached the summit at 8,850 meters from the Tibetan north side. For the 44-year-old it was the ninth ascent of the highest of all mountains. Lhakpa, who lives in the USA with her two daughters at the age of eleven and 16, has already held this record. By the way, on her first ascent in 2000, Lhakpa Sherpa was the first Nepalese female climber who did not only summit Everest but also returned safe and sound to base camp. Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, the first woman from Nepal on top of Everest, had died in 1993 on the descent.
Date16. May 2018 | 19:15
TagsAdrian Ballinger, Alpenglow Expeditions, Apa Sherpa, Kami Rita Sherpa, Lhakpa Sherpa, Phurba Tashi, Records, Women Everest Expedition 2018
Now, also from the Tibetan north side, the first climbers out of commercial teams have scaled Mount Everest. Swiss expedition leader Kari Kobler reported that three of his clients reached the highest point at 8,850 meters today. On Monday, the team responsible for fixing the ropes via the Northeast Ridge to the summit, had finished their work. This had already happened a day earlier on the Nepalese south side. On Monday about 50 mountaineers had climbed to the highest point on the southern route. Among them was the Australian Steve Plain. The 36-year-old set a new time record for climbing the Seven Summits, the highest mountains of all continents.
Date15. May 2018 | 15:52
In the fifth attempt, Xia Boyu made it. As Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, expedition leader and head of the Nepalese operator “Imagine Trek and Expedition”, wrote on Facebook, the 69-year-old Chinese was among 14 members of his team, who today reached the summit of Mount Everest at 8,850 meters. Among the summiteers was also Nima Jangmu Sherpa, the first Nepali woman to scale Everest and neighboring Lhotse in one season. She had also been part of the Mingma-led team that had succeeded the first eight-thousander summit success of the spring season on 29 April on Lhotse.
Date14. May 2018 | 13:14
TagsAnish Luidel, Cho Oyu, Climbalaya, Felix Berg, Imagine, Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, Mount Everest, Nima Jangmu Sherpa, Summit Climb, Xia Boyu
Mount Everest was scaled for the first time in this spring season. Today, eight climbers from Nepal reached the highest point at 8,850 meters after climbing up on the south side of the mountain. Pasang Tenjing Sherpa, Pasdawa Sherpa, Lakpa Dendi Sherpa, Jen Jen Lama, Siddi Bahadur Tamang, Pemba Chhiri Sherpa, Tenzing Gyaljen Sherpa and Datuk Bhote fixed ropes up to the summit, paving the way for the clients of the commercial expedition teams.
Date13. May 2018 | 17:11
TagsAnnapurna, Boyan Petrov, Kim Hong Bin, Mount Everest, rescue operation, Shishapangma, Summit success
This coming weekend, the first summit successes of the spring season on Mount Everest are expected. So Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, expedition leader and head of the operator “Imagine”, who is known as an early starter, is aiming for Sunday as summit day with his five Chinese clients. The group wanted to climb to Camp 3 at 7,200 meters today. Exactly 40 years ago, the first German climber stood on the 8,850 meter-high summit of Mount Everest. “Oswald and I overcome the last steps arm in arm. We are on the top. We fling our arms around our necks. It’s twelve noon. Our wishes have come true, just below the sky,” Reinhard Karl later wrote about the moment on 11 May 1978, when he reached the highest point together with the Austrian Oswald Oelz. The two belonged to an Austrian expedition led by Wolfgang Nairz. Three days earlier Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler had succeeded their historic first ascent without bottled oxygen. Karl and Oelz used breathing masks.
Date11. May 2018 | 11:01
You would normally not come up with this. If you climb Mount Everest and at some point want to put on your skis, you need a special permit. The 20-year-old American Matt Moniz and his mentor, the 49-year-old Argentine Willie Benegas, had to experience this. Citing sources at the Nepalese Ministry of Tourism, the newspaper “Himalayan Times” reports that the two climbers are now threatened with being deprived of their permission to climb Everest and Lhotse this spring. However, everything had started so well. “After ten years dreaming about it, it happened! Managed to ski from Camp 3 (on) Everest (at) 7,200 meters to Camp 2 (at) 6.400m,” said Benegas. “Not much difficulty but definitely good eyes needed to read the terrain, catching an ice patch would be a bad thing to happen!” Matt and Willie did not suspect that they had scated on their descent on thin bureaucratic ice.
Date9. May 2018 | 10:23
TagsEdmond Joyeusaz, Federico Colli, Julius Seidenader, Luis Stitzinger, Matt Moniz, Mount Everest, Nepalese Tourism Ministry, Ski descent, Ski-Permit, Willie Benegas
It was a real pioneering act – greater than its effect. Next Tuesday, 40 years ago, the South Tyrolean Reinhold Messner and the North Tyrolean Peter Habeler were the first people to reach the 8,850-meter-high summit of Mount Everest without bottled oxygen. They proved that it was possible. However, it did not become usual thereby. According to the climbing chronicle Himalayan Database, the highest mountain in the world has been scaled 8,219 times so far, but only 202 times without breathing mask. This corresponds to a share of 2.5 percent. Also this year it will hardly be higher.
Date5. May 2018 | 22:03
The preliminary work on Mount Everest and Lhotse is entering the final phase. According to Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, expedition leader and head of the Nepalese operator “Imagine”, today ten Sherpas were to climb up to Everest South Col at about 8,000 meters to pitch up Camp 4 . “Kilu Pemba and myself will fix Lhotse Camp 4,” Mingma wrote on Facebook yesterday. He wants to lead two Chinese clients to the 8516-meter-high summit of Lhotse. Five more Chinese from his team will tackle Mount Everest, including – as reported – the double amputee Xia Boyu, aged 69. Mingma is known as an early starter at the eight-thousanders. “I am quite sure that we will be the first team on the summit of Lhotse,” he told me in March when we met in Kathmandu. “We are planning to reach it at the end of April or in the first week of May.”
Date27. April 2018 | 16:50
TagsCamp 4, Everest-Lhotse traverse, Horia Colibasanu, Imagine, Lhotse, Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, Mount Everest, Peter Hamor, South Col