Theft on Mount Everest, rope-fixing team at the summit, success on Makalu

South side of Mount Everest, Khumbu Icefall on the lower left
South side of Mount Everest (in 2002)

Unbelievable what kind of idiots there are – also on Mount Everest. New Zealander Guy Cotter, head of the commercial expedition operator Adventure Consultants, sounds the alarm. At the last high camp, on the South Col at an altitude of just under 8,000 meters, he says, one of his team’s material stores has been looted.

“We just discovered we’ve had a cache of gear stolen from South Col. Tents, stoves, pots and gas all gone,” Guy wrote on Facebook. “The thieves do not consider the impacts this might have on the safety of our people when they arrive to find this vital equipment gone.”

Cotter blames cheap operators

Cotter also thinks he knows the culprits for the theft: “This is the work of cheap operators who do not have enough of their own equipment and have to steal to cover the shortfall. I think this may only be the start, we already hear of some of the large cheap operators not having enough oxygen to supply this teams. Anyone joining a cheap operator is as much to blame as the thieves themselves.”

In early May, Dutchman Roeland van Oss had already complained that his gas stove and cooking set had been stolen during his first acclimatization stay at the end of April in Camp 2 at 6,400 meters. He reported that he woke up to a noise and saw a Nepalese man pack the items into his backpack and disappear. When there are hundreds of people on the mountain, the likelihood increases that there will be some who don’t give a damn about the safety of others. A dangerous and inexcusable bad habit.

Rope-fixing team at the summit

This weekend, some 400 climbers reportedly ascended to take advantage of the first good weather window to attempt the summit.

The nine-member team of the operator Imagine Nepal, which fixed the ropes up to the summit this season, reached the highest point at 8,849 meters today: Dawa Gyalje Sherpa as the leader of the team as well as Nima Nuru Sherpa, Lakpa Sona Sherpa, Dipen Gurung, Pasang Ngima Sherpa, Lhakpa Tenjing Sherpa, Phur Galjen Sherpa, Dawa Jangbu Sherpa and Suman Gurung. This clears the way for the first summit rush of the season.

Trio on Makalu

Makalu (seen from Gokyo Ri)

Meanwhile, the first summit success of the spring also on Makalu is reported. According to Kristin Harila’s home team, the Nepalese Tenjen Lama Sherpa and Lakpa Sherpa as well as their client Harila reached the summit of the fifth highest mountain on earth at 8,485 meters early this morning local time – probably with bottled oxygen, as nothing to the contrary was reported. Norwegian Harila had already scaled the eight-thousanders Cho Oyu and Shishapangma in Tibet in recent weeks – also with breathing mask and Sherpa support – thus completing her collection of the 14 eight-thousanders.

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