Hurricane-force winds hitting Everest are flattening tents even in BC. Climbers returning from high camps carry epic tales while those hoping to go up this week are seriously reconsidering their options.
A Fishtail rescue heli failed to airlift remains of the Russian Lhotse climber today, due to high winds pushing it around at 21,000 feet Peak Freaks reported.
Everest South side: chance of frostbite
"Base camp really got kicked by wind today around 14:00hrs Nepal Time," Tim Rippel told his home team. "It has quit now but it created a stir with everyone running around securing camp."
"At Camp 2 the winds ramped right up causing our toilet tent to be destroyed and blown away," Adventure Consultants wrote. "Our three Sherpa staff at Camp 2 struggled to hold down, secure and repair our various camp 2 tents as they swayed and moved at an alarming rate with the high gusts. By afternoon it was not only C2 that was windy as our BC tents were also rocking. Right now I dread to think what state of repair our Camp 3 tents are in."
"If weather forecasts had stayed true, May 17th may have been the magical day," No Guts Know Glory reported yesterday. "But the forecast changed, along with our summit plans. For whatever reason, the jet stream has decided to stay parked over our area for the rest of the week."
"Several teams moved up the mountain today hoping to take advantage of a potential window from May 15th to the 17th, but accounts from camp two suggest that some camps have been decimated and attempts to move up to camp three have been thwarted by high winds," NGKG crew added.
"We expect the wind to diminish somewhat over the next few days summit winds have been 100 kilometres an hour plus for the past four or five days but not enough to offer a good window. Any teams who decide to push up the mountain are taking considerable risks, including the chance of severe frostbite," NGKG wrote.
Everest north side: "The wind is cooking"
As we are camped under Everest, we can see what the weather is doing up there every second of every day. And; please let me inform you, it is not a pretty sight, Dan mazur reported yesterday from Chinese BC. There is a two kilometre wind plume blowing from the top the wind is cooking along up there at 138 kilometres/ hour. Much all teams have left ABC. Quite a few tents in ABC have fallen down and/or blown away.
Forecasts agree that around the 15th of May the wind is going to drop for a few hours, hopefully allowing the Tibetans to move up and work above 8300 metres and fix the rope, Dan added. However, the seven websites say that on the 22nd of may the wind is going to drop for a few days, perhaps for, as long as, up to the 25th of May. So, one can imagine that on the 21st of May a "conga-line" will form of all people who can still walk and aspire to climb Everest.
Alfredo Garcia reports on at least three of their ABC tent blown away, their contents spread 50 meters around. "Even the 50kg-heavy charger had been thrown away and lied against a rock quite far away, as well as the dining-room tent where it had been."
At the North Col when the gale got serious, Duncan Chessel's experience was even worse: "Sudden thumps of 40 knot/75km/h gusts hit the tents every so often," he reported. "The camp is protected from direct winds but the wind rotors over the protective wall of ice, bringing whirls of spindrift too. Pleasant!"
ExplorersWeb heads-up: how much wind can you take?
Veteran high altitude climbers can possibly make a climb in 30 knots or 15m/s winds, provided they are strong and fast. The average climber will however need max 20 knots or 10 m/s.
Most experienced and also usually very accurate Himalaya weather forecasters are Austrian Meteo Exploration and Swiss Meteo Test.
Their latest forecasts meteoexploration.com and
expeditionweather (navigate to Everest) show a small drop in wind from May 16 to May 17. The drop is so brief though that it could quickly change. Interestingly, except for the temporary drop to 13 m/s on Sunday, no days show a drop below 15 m/s or 30 knots until the usual Everest Window scheduled to arrive between May 23 and 25.
Find weather service links and more info about the seasonal Everest weather window in the top banner (click weather) or here.
Everest south side
No Guts Know Glory
Anne-Mari Hyryläinen (AJ) - SkyClimbers
Chad Kellogg speed attempt
Paul & Denise Fejtek (MT)
Elia Sailaky - finding life
Adrian Ballinger - Alpenglow
Everest north side
Alfredo Garcia - La Rioja expedition
Hungarians - Dreher 24
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