Everest 2013 | The Acclimatization Phase

Action at Everest Base Camp is pacing up as mountaineers attempting Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse have started the acclimatization trips to higher camps. While seasonal climbers as part of commercial expeditions are traversing the maze of Icefall and stopping at the bottom of Lhotse face, the hardcore climbers have reached as high as an altitude of 7500m. As per revised figures shared by Alan, there are 29 teams with 315 foreigners on Everest South while North side has 10 teams and about 100 foreigners.

Previous update on Everest and other expeditions can be found here and here, respectively.

First Pakistani Female on Everest
There hasn’t been any update from Pakistani siblings Samina Baig and Mirza Ali since 12th April when they were acclimatizing on Kala Pathar. In previous update, they talked about no internet at their Base Camp and were expecting it to be established in a few days. But from Maria Conceicao’s (one of their team members) updates, it appears that the internet connectivity of Seven Summit Treks camps hasn’t been established yet. From the same source, we can deduce that the team didn’t go up till last Thursday. Mirza and Samina are attempting Everest with the slogan of Gender Equality. Samina Baig is the first Pakistani female to attempt an 8000er peak.
Acclimatization process would continue for at least two or three weeks. During this period, climbers would make trips to C1 above Icefall, C2 at far end of Western Cwm and C3 on Lhotse face (or even C4 on South Col). These trips would help adjusting their bodies in reduced oxygen level at altitude. Summit push can be expected around the second week of May.

Climbers Negotiating Icefall; Photo by Denis Urubko

Simone Moro and Ueli Steck
Last week, Simone and Ueli reached 7500m on West Shoulder. It can be assumed that they might be climbing Everest via West Ridge, this season. Italian/Swiss duo has set up their camp for acclimatization trips near the C2 of traditional South-Col route. They spent a couple of nights in the camp before going up West Ridge on 17th April. They reached a height of 7500m and observed the route, reporting better conditions on West compared to SW face which is quite dry. Simone and Ueli returned to BC on 18th April for rest before another acclimatization trip. They were hoping to go up today (22nd April), but snow and bad weather forced them to stay in BC. Ueli says that they need at least two days of clear weather before heading to West Shoulder.
Exact approach of Simone Moro and Ueli Steck’s expedition “No2Limits” is not known yet. The duo says that they would be climbing Everest via a ‘different’ route and without oxygen. Aiming a summit push around 20th May, they still have four weeks to acclimatize, observe the planned route and devise the strategy for achieving their goals.

Simone Moro and Ueli Steck; Photo; Epic TV

Russians Denis Urubko and Alexey Bolotov
Having already acclimatized above 7000m in Gokio valley, they Russian duo’s first acclimatization trip on Everest included a night stay at C3 on Lhotse Face. They spent a night in Simone & Ueli’s C2 tent before going to 7000m (C3) on 16th April. Since their return to BC on 17th, Denis and Bolotov are resting in BC. They would make another acclimatization trip to South Col (8000m), before summit attempt via new route on SW Face in alpine style.
Chronicle of acclimatization trip can be found in recents blog post by Denis Urubko.

Stars of Everest 2013; Simone Moro, Denis Urubko, Ueli Steck, Alexey Bolotov; Photo: Denis

Updates from Other Climbs
  • Yuichiro Miura, the 80 years old Japanese intending to become the oldest person to climb Everest, reached BC on 16th. After a rest day and Puja ceremony, they planned an acclimatization hike to Pumori BC on 20th but bad weather didn't allow them to go up. You can check Miura's detailed expedition reports here.
  • Carlos Pauner from Spain, who's trying to achieve the last of his 14x8000er this spring, arrived at Everest BC on 17th. He made the acclimatization trip to Pumori BC on 19th.
  • The team from Pune (India) attempting Everest & Lhotse this spring have reached BC and hiked to Pumori BC. "It’s time for some severe action!" - that's right because soon they will be moving up Icefall and it won't be too long when they would find themselves in death-zone.
  • Jagged Globe Team's plan for first rotation (trip to higher camps) was thwarted by snow and bad weather. They are currently in BC.

Everest South C-1; Photo: mountainguides

On North Side of Everest
  • AltitudeJunkies team reached their comfortable and internet-connected BC on 14th. They had around a week of rest before moving to Interim (advanced) BC on 21st. As per original plan they should have moved to ABC today but in a recent post, Edita Nichols hints about snowy weather and probable change in plan.
  • All Ecuadorian team reached Interim (advanced) BC on 20th.
  • 7 Summits Club team has reached BC but are relaxing before moving up the North col.
Everest North; Photo: Edita Nichols

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