Mount Everest: Now already about 400 summit success on the south side

Sunrise on Mount Everest
Sunrise on Mount Everest (in fall 2019)

It almost seems as if someone has put a wedge in the fair weather window so that it cannot close. For more than a week, there has been little or no wind blowing in the summit region of Mount Everest, and little or no snow falling. As a result, most of the 319 foreign climbers to whom Nepal’s Ministry of Tourism issued Everest permits this spring have already completed their summit attempts.

U.S. blogger Alan Arnette, who keeps track of the numerous commercial teams on the world’s highest mountain like no other, has meanwhile noted some 400 summit successes (as usual, except for a few, with bottled oxygen) on the Nepalese side of Everest. In addition, there have been dozens of ascents of neighboring Lhotse.

Hardly verifiable

Of course, there were again plenty of “firsts”: the first team made up entirely of black climbers reached the summit, the first female climber from El Salvador, the first male climber from Honduras, the first Indian doctor couple …

New records from old record holders were also reported: the most successful man, Kami Rita Sherpa, was up for the 26th time; the most successful woman, Lhakpa Sherpa, for the tenth time; the most successful non-Sherpa, Briton Kenton Cool, for the 16th time

Some (from teams using breathing masks) claimed to have ascended without bottled oxygen: Nirmal Purja (by his own account on Everest and Lhotse), who enjoys folk hero status in Nepal; Mingma Gyalje Sherpa (according to him, Everest was his 13th eight-thousander without breathing mask) …

I have given up trying to track or verify anything claimed on Everest. With several hundred summit successes, this is simply impossible – for me, anyway.

2 Replies to “Mount Everest: Now already about 400 summit success on the south side”

  1. I wonder is it going to become nearly impossible to verify ascents without bottled oxygen, especially with increasing use of breathing masks throughout (harder for the average climber to encounter and make a mental note of those with no mask)? In the past this was safeguarded to some degree by a code of honesty in the mountains, but I get the sense that this era is over with people building careers or selling product or books from or otherwise monetising unique achievements and claims. I wonder whether we will see the burden of proof for verifiying summits without bottled oxygen starting to increase to a point where it is almost impractical to establish fully, and left to the public to decide whether they believe the claim or not?

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