The fall season on Mount Everest has come to an end without a climber being able to reach the summit at 8,850 meters. “All the other teams have gone home, climbers are off the mountain and I’m the last one here,” the American expedition leader Garrett Madison wrote on Sunday from the base camp on the Nepalese south side of the mountain. Until the end he and his team had hoped that the giant Serac, which – as reported – hangs about 800 meters above the Khumbu Icefall and threatens to fall at any moment, would break off. “Even if the Serac came down, our climbers were able to return to base camp in a few days, and we had perfect weather and route conditions to climb, it would take us over two weeks beyond our orginial end date to climb the mountain.” The only summit attempt of the season on Everest was made by the Spanish speed specialist Kilian Jornet – solo.
“Last days I could do a light attempt up to around 8300m in a variant of the polish 80’s route on Everest (the Poles Jerzy Kukuczka and Andrzej Czok had climbed via the South Pillar and reached the summit on 19 May 1980) before turning back due to avalanche conditions,” the 31-year-old wrote on Instagram on Sunday. “Even if it hasn’t been any summit, the experience of a very light expedition, being alone in the mountain and able to check some cool possibilities has been a very interesting and a powerful experience.” In spring 2017, Jornet scaled Everest twice via the Tibetan north side, both times without bottled oxygen, within seven days. The first time it took him only 26 hours from the Chinese Base Camp to the summit, the second time 17 hours.
Soria to set off for Dhaulagiri summit attempt
Following the first summit successes of the fall season on Dhaulagiri last Thursday, Spaniard Carlos Soria has announced that tomorrow, Tuesday, he will leave with his compatriots Sito Carcavilla and Luis Miguel Soriano for another summit attempt. “We will try to reach the summit of Dhaulagiri on 11 October,” Carlos let us know via Twitter. On the first attempt last week, Soria turned around at Camp 2 due to the snow conditions on the route. The 80-year-old is already on his tenth trip to the seventh highest mountain in the world. Apart from Dhaulagiri, Soria is only missing Shishapangma in his eight-thousander collection.
Purja needs patience
Apropos Shishapangma: There is still no official confirmation that the Nepalese mountaineer Nirmal “Nims” Purja will be allowed to climb the eight-thousander in Tibet this fall with a special permit and thus will get the chance to successfully complete his “Project Possible” – all 14 eight-thousanders in seven months. However, the Chinese embassy in Kathmandu, which is to hand over the climbing permit to Purja, was closed for a week due to the Chinese national holiday on 1 October. Since the end of April, Nims has scaled 13 eight-thousanders in an unprecedented tour de force. Only the 8,027-meter-high Shishapangma, the lowest eight-thousander, is still missing. The Chinese-Tibetan authorities had actually closed the mountain for this fall season for safety reasons. Allegedly, however, they want to make an exception for Purja.