“Unfortunately, the weather conditions didn’t let them go for another attempt of a summit attack today,” reads Polish ski mountaineer Andrzej Bargiel’s Instagram account. “The team stays overnight in Camp 2, and tomorrow will decide whether to continue the summit push. If the weather forecast is confirmed, it will be possible on Sunday/Monday.”
Then the wind on Mount Everest is expected to calm down significantly. From Tuesday, however, new snowfall must be expected. And from Thursday at the latest, the wind could freshen up again. So – if at all – only a small weather window will open up for Bargiel and Co.
First attempt at the South Col aborted
Yesterday, Thursday, Andrzej and his companion Janusz Golab had climbed up to the South Col at just below 8,000 meters. There, according to their own words, the two Poles were greeted by gusts of wind with speeds of up to 70 kilometers per hour – impossible to pitch a tent in this situation and certainly impossible to continue climbing. Bargiel and Golab turned around and descended to Camp 2 at around 6,400 meters.
Bargiel has set himself the goal of reaching the highest point on earth at 8,849 meters without bottled oxygen and then skiing all the way from the summit to base camp. So far, only Davo Karnicar had succeeded in doing this in fall 2000. At that time, however, the Slovenian had used a breathing mask on the ascent from the South Col.
Higher risk of frostbite
The wind is not one of the friends of mountaineers who want to climb eight-thousanders without bottled oxygen. The lack of oxygen leads to increased breathing. This causes dehydration, the metabolism hardly works, the extremities are supplied only insufficiently. This increases the risk of frostbite on fingers and toes. If in addition strong wind cools your body, it can be quickly over with your extremities.