The Everest season is drawing to a close. Most of the teams on the Nepalese south and Tibetan north side have already broken off their tents and started their journey home. On Monday, a 14-member team of the US operator “Climbing the Seven Summits” reached the highest point at 8,850 meters, with “no crowds” and good climbing conditions, as the operator announced on their homepage. The waiting was worth it. But then also this company had to pass on a sad news. A 62-year-old American died after descending from the summit in his tent at the South Col. It was already this spring season’s eleventh death on Everest, the 21st on all eight-thousanders. The number of Everest summit successes this year should again be well over 700. In 2018, 802 ascents had been registered.
Richards and Mena want to come back
No new routes were opened this year on the eight-thousanders. The American Cory Richards and the Ecuadorian Esteban Mena turned back during their attempt in the demanding Everest Northeast Face at 7,600 meters. They want to return for a new attempt in 2020.
The Slovakian Peter Hamor and the Romanians Horia Colibasanu and Marius Gane also return empty-handed. The trio had tried to climb without bottled oxygen via the still unmastered Northwest Ridge of the 8,167-meter-high Dhaulagiri. Due to bad weather they did not reach higher than 5,600 meters.
Surrendered to the weather
The Pole Adam Bielecki and the German Felix Berg did not even reach the mountain that they had planned to climb. In the middle of May, when the weather was bad, they worked themselves into the ground on the 7,227-meter-high Langtang Lirung. With strong wind, snowfall and zero visibility they finally turned back at 6,100 meters. Since they did not feel sufficiently acclimatized and no weather improvement was in sight, Adam and Felix decided not to travel to the 8,091-meter-high Annapurna. There they had actually wanted to open a new route through the rarely attempted Northwest Face.
Another summit attempt on Lhotse South Face?
The end of the South Korean expedition in the Lhotse South Face has not yet been officially announced. According to expedition member Uta Ibrahimi, the team of the Korean Sung Taek Hong climbed to an altitude of 7,700 meters on a first summit attempt, but then turned back because of too much wind and fresh snow in the wall. The Sherpas fixed the ropes to just below 8,000 meters. Sung Taek Hong wanted to start another attempt with five Sherpas, wrote Uta six days ago. Since then there has been no news from the expedition.