Agna Bielecka at camp 4 with Everest in background. The team has had a hard climb to C4 and will attempt summit tonight. There's no bottled oxygen and the team fixed most of their own logistics. Image by Andrzej Bargiel courtesy Artur Hajzer, SOURCE
This is Kuriki's fourth attempt in four years on the difficult challenge. 8000 meters is his top altitude so far. Image by Kuriki Nobukazu courtesy Kuriki Nobukazu, SOURCE
Kuriki's line. Image by Kuriki Nobukazu courtesy Kuriki Nobukazu, SOURCE
Everest and Lhotse: summit pushes tonight on top of the world (UPDATE)
Posted: Oct 15, 2012 11:39 pm EDT (Newsdesk/update Oct 17 8:00 am) The push on Lhotse has been aborted. One of the two expedition Sherpas contracted frostbite and was guided down by expedition leader Artur Hajzer. The second Sherpa seems to be evacuated by the Korean team in camp 2, shared by Everest (Ed note: translation from Polish dispatch). The remaining expedition members have descended.
The Japanese push on Everest seems to be ongoing, check comments section below.
Previous Posted Oct 15, 2012 07:39 pm EDT
What a weekend! Space jump record and wing suit worlds now over, a big event remains: the summit push on Lhotse and Everest.
Eric has been giving updates in the comments section, latest is that Kuriki plans to set up camp 4 on 8000 meters tomorrow,Tuesday. Check below for the Japanese climber's video and website. Eric reports the mountaineer is on Everest in his fourth attempt in as many years and 8000 meters is his top altitude so far.
Over on Lhotse, Hajzer's camp reports a difficult climb in hurricane winds sweeping the wall clean of track. The climbers reached C3 late in the day, were forced to dig a new platform, and endured lots of hardship through the night.
Nevertheless, five of the climbers are in camp 4 "licking their wounds" and getting ready for summit attack tonight. Alexei Bolotov (latest in the Russian K2 winter team) apparently joined the push after his Romanian partner pulled out 10 days ago.
A bunch of Polish kids led by Artur Hajzer and a two-men international team have been attempting Lhotse this fall, while 10 Koreans and a single Japanese climber have been attempting Mount Everest.
The Korean climbers are the 2012 Everest Peace Expedition from Gang-Won University Alpine Club. Led by Sung-Wook Hong, members are Bong-Ha Park, Young-Hoon Oh, Jin-Seok Kim, Joo-Hwan Ahn, Seok-Joo Woo Young-Rae Kim, Jin-Young Jeong, Keun-Young Choi, and Il-Jin Im.
The Japanese climber is Kuriki Nobukazu climbing Everest via the West Ridge/Hornbein Couloir route, first climbed in 1963 by Tom Hornbein and Willy Unsoeld (USA) via the Western Cwm to the West Shoulder, and then traversed across the North Face to the Hornbein Couloir. With a 180% fatality rate it's the deadliest line on Everest.
The line, click route number 3 has been tried by single climbers before, without success, and latest this summer by a National Geographic team, also unsuccessfully.
Kuriki climbs solo and without bottled oxygen. He posted a video clip at C3 (7200m) on September 27, the highest point he had made until then, showing the mountaineer in a pretty wild climb to the spot which usually marks the last acclimatization round before final summit push.
Summit push encore on Lhotse
The Polish decided for another summit push this weekend, October 12-15. The climbers report -27C on the upper slopes, -42C with windchill, and only 3 ft of snow.
Artur says that by his experience the weather won't settle until late October/November and the change will be set off by deep cold.