Inaki Ochoa in Annapurna BC a few weeks back.
A large number of climbers is getting ready to set off from C4 towards the summit tonight. Live image over Contact 4.0 of Everest climbers (in BC) getting ready to go, courtesy of Mountain Trip (click to enlarge).
Image of Jamie McGuinness sending a dispatch from Everest's C2 some days ago, courtesy of Project-Himalaya's website (click to enlarge).
Andrew Brash mentioned a considerable line of climbers moving today from C3 to the South Col, while traffic to C3 was notably lighter. Live image over contact 4.0 courtesy of Andrew Brash (click to enlarge).
Soeren making himself confortable in a very warm Everest C2. Live image over Contact 4.0 courtesy of the Danish Everest expedition.
Everest and Himalaya wrap-up: Sherpas summit Everest; several climbers to follow tonight; concerns for Inaki on Annapurna

Posted: May 20, 2008 03:44 pm EDT
(MountEverest.net) An Everest north side team and a local trekking agency opened the south side this year; at least two Sherpas summited Everest today, breaking trail to the top after fixing ropes up to the South Summit.

Currently, a large number of teams are getting ready to set off from C4 towards the top. Summit pushes are scheduled to start from 9:00pm (local) tonight.

Yet right now the biggest attention is focused on Annapurna where Iñaki Ochoa reportedly is not feeling well at 7400m.

Sherpa summits

Currently preparing to leave from C4, Project-Himalayas leader Jamie McGuinness broke the first Everest summit news to ExplorersWeb over sat-phone today: Namgyal Sherpa, with Jamie's Project-Himalaya team, and Pemgya (?) Sherpa, with Arun Treks, topped out at 3:25 pm, local time.

The men had fixed ropes up to the South Summit and then broke trail up to the true summit. Theirs are the first Everest summits attained this season from the south side.

Jamie McGuinness normally operates the north side of Everest, but his team rerouted south following the Chinese ban. Project-Himalaya climbers are currently in C4 with their leader, getting ready to summit tomorrow (local). Another eight or ten groups share the same plan, Jamie estimated.

Teams in pole position

Peak Freaks are in position as well, after climbing from C3 to C4 through the day. Once there, they will rest on O2 till 9:00pm and begin the push to the summit, reported leader Tim Rippel.

Catalan climbers Xavi Aimar and And Xavi Arias have dropped their original plans to attempt Everest without bottled oxygen. Restrictions on the mountain havent alllowed us acclimatize enough to consider a summit push without O2, Arias said. On the other hand, it would be silly to waste all the work weve done without trying, so we will launch a summit push on May 21, hopping to top out even if we have to get there sipping gas.

Cordoba Everest team members departed C3 earlier today. Everything turning out according to plans, they too will set off for the summit tonight around 9:00 pm.

Korean helped down

Three of our Sherpa are now in the lower icefall helping get some Korean down with some sort of sickness, reported IMG leader Mark Tucker yesterday. Team Sherpas Dawa and Danuru are working hard to fix ropes above the Col. IMG team members are scattered along different camps, with the front team (Casey, Bob and Ari) having spent Mondays night in C3.

Mountain Madness team also planned to reach C4 today afternoon they stated sipping supplementary O2 yesterday for the night in C3, and will continue using it until they return to that camp after the summit.

Teams in C2 and C3 today

Had a mediocre sleep last night [in C2], which I have to consider to be quite good at this altitude, wrote Andrew Brash earlier today. From all of the 'information gathering' I've been able to do, the 23rd seems likely to be the busiest day of the season (and naturally our proposed summit date...what to do...). It does sound like a good weather day though...so, I am planning to head up to C3 on the 21st with Phurba Sherpa, the Otto brothers, Lhakpa Sherpa, and the Poles and their Sherpa. We're hoping to summit Friday morning.

Meanwhile, our team mates Ken, the 2 Johns, Matt and Barry will be starting their summit night from the South Col in a few hours time, Andrew added. Brash mentioned a considerable line of climbers moving today from C3 to the South Col, while traffic to C3 was notably lighter.

Mountain Trip reached C2 yesterday, and were due to spend tonight there as well, after a day trip up and down the Lhotse face. The summit fixing team is in place and ready to go, so the lines should be in place in a few days; just in time for our summit push, they reported.

After having adrenaline pumping through us for the last few days, it appears we are going nowhere, vented Cheryl and Nikki Bart today. The weather has closed in and if we venture higher the risk of frostbite or worse is significant. So we are stuck at camp 2 for at least two or three days.

Aiming for a Friday summit

Jagged Globe departed BC yesterday for a two-nights stay in C2. According to plans, they will move up to C3 tomorrow, C4 on Thursday and, weather permitting, the summit on Friday.

We are still in C2, but summit it's getting closer, reported Henrik, member in the Danish Everest team today. It's very warm here - today Soeren was sitting outside in underpants with an umbrella."

Weather forecasts make things a bit frustrating, Henrik added. I think we have heard from 5 sources, all with different forecast. Many groups are going for the summit on the 21st and the 22nd. Our plan is still to wait for a more precisely weather forecast, and let the big teams go first. As for today, the team considers May 24 as their best shot to give the summit a try.

Alpine Ascents climbers also entered C2 yesterday. We're getting in position and waiting for the weather, and when all things are good we're going to give it a shot to the top of this big mountain, the crew in BC noted.

Makalu: Climbers on descent - and ascent

Joao Garcia reports that he, French Francois and his Sherpa summited together but when the wind picked up at 10-11 am about 20 people were turned down. (Check more details on Joao's Contact blog (www.sic.pt/makalu) below.

News is expected soon from other climbers, such as the Brits, Australian Andrew Lock (who hoped to top out today), and Lolo Gonzales team who planned a second push yesterday.

French Ludo and Christian reached the base yesterday, while Jef, Olivier and Ben were expected today, after spending a night in C3.

Annapurna: Waiting for updates from Iñaki

Iñaki Ochoa was last reported holding in camp at 7400meters, where he had returned due to frostbite from a summit push. The Spanish climbers state suddenly worsened with signs of either stroke or AMS.

Iñaki had turned around 100m shy from the summit together with Horia Colibasanu, due to severe cold and lack of ropes to fix some difficult sections ahead. The two mates climbed back to 7400m, where they stopped for the night. Shortly afterwards, Iñaki suffered a stroke of sorts which left him almost unconscious, according to reports published in Spanish papers.

Horia reported yesterday he would try to help Iñaki down today. There is however a communication blackout, since the batteries of both climbers sat-phones have gone flat. (Check a separate story published earlier today).

News is also expected from Alexey Bolotov, who had joined Horia and Iñaki on the summit push, and continued up after the other two retreated. According to RussianClimbs Elena Laletina, Alexey had no sat-phone with him. As for other climbers on Annapurna 1, only Swiss Ueli Steck and his partner Simon remain in the area.

Lhotse: Summit news to come?

Carlos Pauner just checked in from C4. The climb up in scorching heat has left him exhausted, but he still hopes to set off towards the summit tonight.

DCXP reached C2 yesterday, while the teams Sherpas carried tents, supplies and O2 to C4. The weather can put everything on hold and right now things are a little uncertain in regards to a definite summit attempt, team member Mal reported.

Mario Merelli also logged on yesterday, from C3. Together with climbing partner Marco, he hoped to just leave a cache and return to C2, but increasing wind made them instead pitch a tent to spend the night.

SummitClimb team members hoped to attempt the summit yesterday - further updates are expected on their progress.

Links to teams on Everest and Himalaya:

Everest

Canadian Mallory
Irish Everest/Graham and Ian
Klimb for kids/Tim Warren
James Balfour
No guts know glory/Rob Hill
Lee Farmer
Adventure Peaks
Peak Freaks
IMG
Alpine Ascents
Adventure Consultants
Summit Climb
Alaskan Granite
Danish Everest
Cordoba Everest
Nepalese 77 year old
Eco Everest/Dawa Sherpa
Coldfeat Fiennes/Cool
Mountain Madness
Jagged Globe
Lincoln Hall rescuers Andrew Brash, Myles Osborne and Dan Mazur
MountainTrip dispatches
Project-Himalaya Everest dispatches
Cheryl and Nikki Bart
Miura senior (Japanese)
Alan Arnette
David Tait
Rodrigo Raineri (Vitor Negrete's mate) and Eduardo Keppke (no 02)
Gnaro's Share Everest
www.marcoconfortola.it
Andalusian Lina
www.stephan-keck.at
Keck at www.alpinist.at
Francois Guy Thivierge
SpaceRef.com carrying news of Scott Parazynski
Scott Parazynski blog
Martin McGarvey's blog
Vietnam Everest

OTHER HIMALYA

Makalu

UK Royal Navy
Waldemar Niclevicz and Irivan Gustavo Burda
Andrew Lock
French Makalu
Santiago Quintero
Blair Falahey
Joao Garcia
Ralf Dujmovits' updates
Spanish paper covering Lolo Gonzales
Andalusia/Basques and Lolo Gonzales dispatches
Latvia:Atis Plakans (leader), Liga Plakane, and Kaspars Klapkalns
News on Juanito on Marca.com

Manaslu

Dutch team expedition website
Katja Staartjes
Menno Boermans
Amical
Maxut's updates on Mount.kz (Russian)

Dhaulagiri

Dhaulagiri west face Babanov/Nick Totmjanin
news on the Argentinean team
Martin Minarik
Radek Jaros and Zdenek Hruby
Kinga and Kasia
Gerlinde
Carlos Pauner, Javier Perez and Marta Alexandre
Ivan Vallejo
Polish Dhaula with Artur Hajzer and Ryszard Pawlowski
Himalaya Maestrat
Lithuanian expedition
News on Al filo team on S.Alvaro's blog

Annapurna

Inaki Ochoa
Horia Colibasanu
Don Bowie
Piotr Pustelnik's dispatches
Peter Hamor's website
Piotr Morawski's website
Bogomolov updates on RussianClimb
Ueli Steck
Annapurna 4 ski expedition
Radek Jaros and Zdenek Hruby

Lhotse

DCXP
Rosa's updates on LNE
Mario Merelli's website

#Mountaineering