Spring 2015 | Interesting Expeditions on Everest

Despite the brawl at C2 in 2013, a fatal ice avalanche near C1 in 2014 and the politics afterwards that adjourned last year’s climbing season from South side, Everest will again be the busiest mountain this Spring. Climbing teams have started reaching Kathmandu, while some early teams are already in Khumbu valley.

Amidst dozens of expeditions on each side of the mountain, here are few climbs that are "different":-

1. Preparing for Speed on Everest
Ski mountaineer and trail runner Kilian Jornet will be on Everest to attempt an “unusual route” on North side of the mountain. “Depending on weather conditions, the team will attempt the ascent either via Norton pass or Hornbein.” He will be joined by fellow climbers Sébastien Montaz, Vivian Bruchez, Jordi Corominas and Jordi Tosas.

Under “Summits of my Life” project, Kilian Jornet has already made speed ascent of some significant mountains around the globe. He was on Mont Blanc in 2013, Denali in June 2014 and Aconcagua in December 2014. Everest will be his first expedition to an eight-thousander peak, though.

I conceive this trip to Everest as a trip to learn. To really get to know the mountain and its surroundings and to learn from everything my colleagues can teach me. I don’t know when we will be able to attempt the challenge, and that will depend very much on the weather, acclimatization and conditions which we find there. I know that being prepared will be the key for future ascents, so I’m taking this first time as an opportunity to learn.

Everest ABC (Northside); Photo: Ralf Dujmovits

2. Slawinski, Goettler & Bartsch New Route/Variant
Raphael Slawinski, David Goettler and Daniel Bartsch will be attempting a new route/variant on Everest this season. This project was first drawn up by late Gerfried Goeschl. Gerfried's friend and climbing partner Louis Rousseau, was expected to be part of current expedition but he had to withdraw at last moment. However, he encouraged the trio to proceed with the climb.

The planned ascent route runs near the normal route, first on the left, later crossing it between Camp 2 (7500 meters) and 3 (8300 meters), leading to the “Great Couloir” (also called Norton Couloir).Wrote Stefan Nestler after discussing the project with David.

David Goettler and Daniel Bartsch summited Makalu together via normal route in 2013 (along with Hans Mitterer and Samuli Mansikka, when majority of other climbers turned back on summit push), after unforeseen problems thwarted their Makalu West Pillar expedition.

Raphael Slawinski won Piolets d'Or for first ascent of K6 West. “He’s our secret weapon for difficult mixed terrain. There he seems to be unbeatable”, David Goettler commented about the Canadian climber.

Routes on Everest; Source

3. Ralf Dujmovits with Germans and a Canadian
Ralf Dujmovits has a dream of climbing Everest without oxygen, and despite years of failures and promises of never returning to the mountain, the German climber will be on North side, again. “I want to make it for myself,” is his motivation for seventh attempt. Last year a bad night in C3 thwarted his summit push at 8300m. Dujmovits will assess conditions on the mountain and may go for a new route variation.

Ralf Dujmovits will be part of Amical alpin team. Expedition leader Dominik Mueller, Canadian Nancy Hansen and German couple Alix von Melle and Luis Stitzinger - all will be climbing without oxygen.

4. Climbing without Supplemental Oxygen
There are only few attempts and even fewer ascents without using bottled oxygen on Everest each year. Apparently, none of the climbers made it to summit without supplemental oxygen in 2014. Apart from aforementioned teams, some other climbers want to climb the mountain without bottled O2 in Spring 2015.

Danish Climber Bo Belvedere Christensen will be attempting Everest without supplemental oxygen. Last autumn, he climbed Cho Oyu without bottled oxygen and ahead of rope fixing team.

On Everest, there will be another Danish no O2 climber (and Cho Oyu summiteer) Ivan Braun. He will be accompanied by Everest old-timer Mingma Tsiri Sherpa

Polish Mariusz Malkowski (climbed Cho Oyu in 2013) will be attempting no O2 ascent from South side of the mountain.

Mariusz Malkowski; Source
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