(Newsdesk) Adrian Ballinger says he found inaccuracies in our May 5report and wrote, "I was lucky enough to join this summit fixing effort for the second year in the row, and [...] here are the details from a first-person perspective."
Everest 2011 south side spring rope fixing
By Adrian Ballinger
"As you know, many teams and sherpa came together to carry rope, hardware, and oxygen to put us in a position for summit fixing. This group effort has been chronicled in previous blog posts.
For the summit push, we made an initial plan to fix to the Balcony on May 5th, and then the summit on the 6th. Late evening on the 4th we received a weather report suggesting higher winds on the 6th than we would like for fixing, and therefore the 8 sherpa, led by Phurba Tashi (HimEx), decided on an ambitious plan to leave Camp 2 and make a single day attempt to fix the entire route from South Col to Summit, from Camp 2, a 2,450 meter climb!
The 8 sherpa left at 12:20 am on May 5, from Camp 2. I joined them at 3:00 am as they passed Camp 3. We arrived in Camp 4 (South Col) at 5:20 am, and were met by a bitter wind. We spent about an hour setting up tents and organizing fixing gear before leaving the South Col at 6:40 am. From there, the 9 of us worked continuously until reaching the summit at 4:00 pm. We found excellent climbing conditions with lots more snow than the past two seasons and few rock steps. The wind decreased by 8 am or so, the day was warm and easy for fixing, and the sherpa were clearly enjoying the work as well as the big climbing challenge of pushing from C2.
After a half hour or so on top, we descended quickly, arriving into South Col at 6:10 pm, and all the way back to Camp 2 by 9:00 pm, a 21 hour round-trip day.
The summit fixing team was made up of the following 9 people from the following teams:
Phurba Tashi, leader of summit rope fixing team (and leader of 90% of the pitches during our summit rope fixing effort) - 18th Everest Summit
Dorji Sonam Gyelzen - 14th Everest Summit
Rita Dorji - 9th Everest Summit
Tashi Tsering - 3rd Everest Summit
Tsering Tashi - 4th Everest Summit
Adrian Ballinger - 4th Everest Summit
International Mountain Guides:
Phu Tsering - 2nd Everest Summit
Karma Gelgen - 2nd Everest Summit
Kami Rita - 10th Everest Summit."
Adrian Ballinger is Himex lead guide,
AMGA/IFMGA guide, and owner of Alpenglow Expeditions.
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