Most climbers will begin using supplemental oxygen here and have a maximum of only two or three days for making summit bids. Climbers struggle with their 20lb load and Sherpas scoot by them with their 60 to 100 pound loads. If the weather is good, there will be no wind and the temps around zero, very comfortable in down suits. The summit bid starts before midnight with a steep climb up the South side of Everest. The activity was fast paced. Climbers still cannot actually see Everest until they go another quarter mile up the Western Cwm, they do have a spectacular view of Pumori and other 7000m hills behind them. Everest was first summited by Sherpa Tenzing Norgay and New Zealander Edmund Hillary with a British expedition in 1953. click to enlarge map I arm wrapped this section but here was when the winds picked up to over 30 mph coming due west. There are a few sections of 20' to 30' high "cliff like" features of 60 degrees, very steep, where climbers are placing their crampon front points on jutting rock and pulling yourself up with their jumar. Narrative It is also difficult to sleep, and most climbers' digestive systems have significantly slowed or completely stopped. If weather does not cooperate within these short few days, climbers are forced to descend, many all the way back down to Base Camp. Base camp (Campamento Base) is located at 17,500 feet. The audio at 56 seconds in the video is my dispatch from the summit to this website dedicating the summit to all mom's with Alzheimer's. Remember that I am an individual, not a company or a guide and provide my website based on my own experiences to promote outdoor adventure and Alzheimer's causes. The first section is pretty much a continuous climb that undulates wildly. Information on each route is shown below the map. The last half hour is the most mentally challenging. Route from Camp 2 (lower left triangle) to Camp 3 (upper triangle) up the Lhotse Face, across the yellow band and up the Geneva Spur to the South Col. Climbers must be clipped into the fixed line at all times to avoid falling resulting in injury or death. The climb from the South Col is some of the steepest, sustained climbing on a South Col route climb until you reach the slabs discussed next. But most climber notice the tents second - after they see the actual summit pyramid of Mount Everest for the first time. The summit is the highest point in this picture. There have been several other famous routes on Everest South Col, including the Bonington Route which was first climbed by Chris Bonington in 1975. Climbers continue gaining altitude over some rolling bumps and soon see the Hillary Step. We started up the Triangular Face towards the Balcony. The true summit is not visible from this angle. On the other side was the route from the north side, Tibet. IMG had a large cooking tent where we all gathered and Sherpas boiled water for us. Summit route as seen from Camp 4, the South Col. The Khumbu Icefall is located at the head of the Khumbu Glacier and the foot of the Western Cwm, which lies at an altitude of 5,486 metres (17,999 ft) on the Nepali slopes of Mount Everest, not far above Base Camp and southwest of the summit. The last section to the South Summit was quite steep. 216 climbers summited without supplemental oxygen, about 2.1%. The route goes up in angle and once in Camp 2 proper, it can be the steepest walk because the tents are set up along a rising rock gully. A jam usually occurs in this area if several teams are going for the summit on the same day. This is because it is more efficient at this altitude for the body to use stored energy sources than to digest new food. By steep, I mean 40 to 50 degrees. More people have died in the Icefall than anywhere else on Everest's south side in recent years. The steep angle and hard ice make it difficult to get a grip with their crampons. Western Cwm route from Camp 1 (top triangle) to Camp 2 (bottom triangle) as seen from Camp 3 on the Lhotse Face. ... of the usual South East Ridge route from the South Col. The South Col Route was taken by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay and is still the route used most frequently. They leave snow and climb on smooth rocks at a 20 to 30 degree angle. Deserving of every harsh word ever written or said. The South Col is a sharp-edged col between Mount Everest and Lhotse, the highest and fourth-highest mountains in the world, respectively. Once on top of the South Summit, climbers must down climb about 50'. The lines took some time to spread out. [4], In May 2019, the highest weather station in the world was installed at Everest, with one location at the South Col, and another on a place higher up on the peak known as "The Balcony" as well as some other stations and locations. Everest Base Camp is on the lower left with the initial route up the ice fall as seen from Kala Patar. Next is the climb to C2 in the Western Cwm. At 6:30 a.m. on May 28, 1953, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay set out from a camp high above the South Col on the Southwest Face of Mount Everest and began the ascent for which both would become famous. 3-6 hours, 1.64 miles one way. If your the camp is at the top of the gully, it can be a very long final half hour. Camp 1 is not visible from the top of the Icefall. This is about halfway up and it has taken at least two hours, probably three the first time up. Climbers worry that their oxygen may run out as climbers get stuck in a line or are going slowly. Summit Ridge. I did not find it difficult or frightening since I crossed it in the dark and didn't remember it on the descent. It is not uncommon for someone to die on the Face. It is about 1.74 miles from Camp 1 to Camp 2 with an altitude gain of 1,500'. This is only for about 100 - 300 feet depending on the route that year but it takes concentration. But the deaths drastically declined from 2000 to 2019 with 8,988 summits and 134 deaths or 1.5%. Layers are important for this section. Everest is the highest peak in back, the one in front is Everest's West Shoulder. Please note that all content on this site is a result of significant time and money and as such all images, videos, dispatches, essays and stories are original work and property of Alan Arnette unless otherwise noted. . The final section was another surprise for me. By now you know two routes dominate Everest. Everest at 5380 meters. In low snow years, smooth rock slabs just below the South Summit can be challenging with crampons and in high snow years, deep snow drifts create issues. This is a two step process so that the climber is always attached to the fixed line by at least one device. All the pictures are from my Everest climbs. It was a great moment for them both, and it was shared by all of us who watched it. The first time crossing a long ladder can be interesting but it gets simple as time goes on. Basically climbers climb the crack. There is still twice as much to climb at the top of this photo. They eat as much as they can at the early breakfast, top off water bottles (not hydration packs since they freeze) and put harness on then start heading towards the icefall. Climbers rarely get a second chance to return to the South Col in a specific expedition. Climbers must be clipped into the fixed line at all times - even while at Camp 3. Reaching the Balcony at 27,500 feet, climbers turn West up the ridge to the South Summit, over the Hillary Step onto the Summit Ridge and then ... the summit. The route seems to go up forever and climbers think climbers are never going to get to the Balcony. The slabs vary in difficulty from annoying to very steep and hard. Normally it is 8 to 12 hours depending how long the climb from Camp 3 took. But this section is short, maybe 100' and on a wide snow slope. Western Cwm route from Camp 1 (top triangle) to Camp 2 (bottom triangle) as seen from Camp 3 on the Lhotse Face. Each climber was with their Personal Sherpa. Mt. While not all of it is visible, climbers can see Nuptse on their right, Lhotse ahead and Everest on their left. According to John Hunt, the expedition leader: It was 2.40 p.m. Wilfrid Noyce and his companion Annullu stood at that moment above the South Col of Everest, at about 26,000 feet [7,900 m].

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