Everest wrap-up: Brits off from the West ridge, teenager Chris Harris evacuated, South side teams on summit push

Posted: May 23, 2006 05:20 pm EDT

(MountEverest.net) People have asked, would you go back and attempt Everest again? No is the answer, reported recent summiteer Neill Elliot, from Northern Ireland.

With Snow Leopard Igor Plyushkin yesterday, there are now 9 confirmed deaths on Everest (plus Czech Pavel on the Lhotse face). This is the second worst Everest season since 1996 when 12 people lost their lives on the mountain.

This year on Everest there's been no sudden storm, no major avalanches. Except for the Sherpas caught under a collapsing serac in the Khumbu icefall, and Tomas Olsson's fall during a ski descent down the Norton Couloir, the circumstances surrounding nearly all the casualties on the mountain this year remain unclear, especially on Everest north side: Washington Times learned yesterday that one of the climbers there was left to die by 40 by-passers.

Read more in stories published today on MountEverest.net.

In other news today: Rescues, frostbitten climbers on yak back, and 15 year old Chris Harris on summit push only hours after fainting enroute to C1. And the British Army has called off their attempt on the West ridge.
On a brigher note, we had a bunch of summits from the south yesterday and on the north side, Nickolay Totmjanin summited w/o O2. "The boy in the bubble" ExWeb's involuntarily and unpaid Everest geek squad AC guide Luis Benitez and some other teams are currently on the way to the summit from C4.

Everest West

British Army West ridge team: Its over

The Expedition has decided not to attempt another summit bid.

"The conditions high up in the Hornbein Couloir are unlikely to change and there is still a very high risk of avalanche, reported team leader Dave Bunting. I have taken the difficult decision not to go for a second attempt. Knowing what I know now, I am not prepared to risk any of the lives in my team.

Everest North

Khorsunovs Russian team: No O2 summit!
Nickolay Totmjanin summited today w/o O2, according to Russian Climb. Nickolay Totmjanin hoped to set an age record without Sherpas on Everest with his team mates Boris Korshunov, Serguey Surmonin and Alexey Bolotov.

7-times Snow Leopard Boris Korshunov, 71, worked in the special research team preparing Gagarin's flight and works in the Space industry to this day, that is, when not out attempting to climb Everest without Sherpas.

Project-Himalaya/DCXP: 2 testimonies

Anne Parmenter: A 36 hour rescue

Our sister expedition 'The Peace Project,' summited on the 18th but have had an almost 36 hour rescue effort for one of the members. With the support of 10 of our Sherpa's and at least 8 Sherpas from the Peace Project, the member was carried in a litter all the way from the North Col. If it hadn't have been for the efforts of Jamie McGuinness and two Sherpas who managed to walk the member all the way from the summit of Mount Everest, this person would not have survived.

It has been a very difficult few days on the Mountain. There are reports of people missing, some feared dead. There has been a number of people going back to BC on yaks because of frost bite, and HAPE.

Kevin: Out of bullets

"The climb for me is over, reported team member Kevin. I was ascending with our remaining team members back up to the North Col and was within 100ft. of that 3,000ft elevation when I realized that I was so exhausted, and my level of stamina and strength was so drained, I knew without any doubt that I lacked the strength to make it to Camp II at 25,000ft. the next day."

"While I was becoming more and more convinced that it would be wiser to turn back now instead of dying up higher, a 7 Summits Team member came down a parallel fixed line and I asked him (by leaning back on my jumar and speaking through very labored breaths) if he had summitted."

"He told me, in perfect Australian accent, that he had summitted- but the victory was marred by the death of a fellow team member. One of his Russian Teammates had summitted, but complained of being extremely exhausted on the descent. He made it all the way down to his tent at Camp II and was sleeping on oxygen whereupon he died during the night.

I'm thinking, 'Yikes!, this guy had it in the bag and he still died from pushing it too hard!' It was at this point that I realized the voice of wisdom telling me that a wise man knows when to back off - especially when I knew my body was completely 'out of bullets'. And so, I made the difficult decision to turn around and head back to Advanced Base Camp. Inigo from Spain had already turned back due to a debilitating cough (the kind that cracks your ribs).

Jamie: Team on summit bid - C2 reached

As for the rest of Project-Himalaya/DCXP team, Scott, Chris, Laurie, Fredrik, and Anne are up at C2, 7650m, with a team of Sherpas, reported Jamie McGuinness from ABC. They took around 6-7 hours from North Col to C2 in light winds. The afternoon was really sunny but now it is gusty up there, perhaps the weather is changing (6-8 hours of change) and so it should be calmer for tomorrow.

7Summits/7Summits-club: Hellish day

Alex Abramov confirmed the death of team member Igor Plyushkin in C2 yesterday. According to his report however, Igor died after a 1,5 hour battle by his guides to save his life.Today, Abramov reports other climbers have turned back due to AMS. One is Chris Harris, 15:

On May 21 the second group planned an exit for the North Col," reported Abramov. "There were 4 Australian climbers, and among them father and son, Richard and Christopher Harris. A few steps from ABC Chris (the 15 year old son) felt bad. His pressure dropped and he collapsed. The entire group returned to camp and the kid was put on O2 for 90 minutes until his pressure levels returned to normal. Later the Australian team, Chris included, made the decision to try again.

"The next morning, after climbing 300 meters, Chris felt bad again. With that we decided to refuse him to ascend further. Chris was treated in ABC again, he feels better now and will go down to BC today."

Also yesterday, while in C2 guides struggled for Igor`s life, Sergey Chistiakov felt ill in ABC. We put him on O2 and he has descended to middle camp.

Now only Harry Kikstra, Thomas Weber and the strongest of the Australians, Lincoln Hall continue their ascent.

Everest South

Singapore-Malaysian Friendship: Back from the summit!

Vincent and Khoo are safely back in C4 after reaching the summit early this morning. "We left at 8.45 pm last night from Camp 4 and reached the summit at 5.40 am, reported Vincent Loo, who has become the oldest Malaysian to summit Everest.

Khoo Swee Chiow summited with oxygen and is the only South East Asian to have summited Everest twice. Khoo had to abandon his attempt to summit without oxygen because the team had to spent a second night at Camp 4 due to bad weather. Accompanying the pair on the summit were three Sherpas: Nga Themba, Pasang Rinji, Danubur, Doma Chirri, and Ang Furi.

Paul and Fiona (IMG): More summits

Fiona is safely back at the South Col (Camp 4) after summiting today Paul was waiting for her there. Read more on Fionas summit in a previous story published today on Mountverest.net.

Unfortunately Paul expended his second oxygen bottle too fast and notized he was running short of gas at the South Summit, so he turned back, reported Eric Simonson.

Simonson also provided the official report of todays successful team members: American David Hahn on his 7th Everest Summit, Australian Fiona Adler, American Dennis R. Kellner, and Sherpas Mingma Ongel Sherpa, Danuru Sherpa (on his 8th Everest summit), Ang Karma Sherpa, Ang Namgya Sherpa, and Phinjo Sherpa.

ACs Team Canada, South Africans: Tonight is the night

AC's Canada team has already departed the south Col on their summit push. Also, two South African climbers and 3 Sherpas planned to set off from C4 at 9:00 pm, local time.

Links to teams on Everest North:
Russian Climb | UK Army 's West ridge expedition | Everestmax | Bill Driggs & Anne Parmenter's Aspen Aerogels team | Everest Peace Project| DCXP | Project Himalaya | S. Woolums' Adventures Intl | Abramovs 7 Summits Club | Harry Kikstras 7 Summits | Thomas Webers SightOnEverest | Noel Hannah | World Wide Vikings | Lorenzo Garianos blog| Turkish Everest expedition | Dr. Ken Stalters Climb for Child Leukemia.

Links to teams on Everest South:
Khoo Swee Chiow | Malaysia/Singapore EverestFriendship | Paul and Fiona Adler | South Africans | John Turner | Will Cross | Adventure Consultants | IMG | Mountain Link| BaseCampMD


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It has been a very difficult few days on the Mountain. There are reports of people missing, some feared dead. There has been a number of people going back to BC on Yaks because of frost bite, and HAPE," reported Anne Parmenter. Image of North side's C2, courtesy of Jamie McGuinness / Project-Himalaya (click ro enlarge).
"If it hadn't have been for the efforts of Jamie McGuinness and two Sherpas who managed to walk a sick member member of the Everest Peace Project team all the way from the summit of Mount Everest, this person would not have survived," said Anne Parmenter. Self portrait of Jamie in a higher camp, courtesy of Project-Himalaya (click to enlarge).
Fiona is safely back at the South Col (Camp 4) after summiting today Paul was there waiting for her after turning back at the South Summit. File image of Fiona dispatching from C3 courtesy of the Adlers (click to enlarge).
Adventure Consultants Canada team and South African climbers are oushing for the summit tonight. Live image over Contact 4.0 courtesy of Adventure Consultants (click to enlarge).
"On May 21 at departure from ABC Chris Harris (15) felt bad," reported Abramov. "His pressure dropped and he collapsed. The entire group returned to camp. The kid was put on O2 for 90 minutes until his pressure levels returned to normal. Hours later the Australian team, Chris included, made the decision to try again." File image of Chris, courtesy of his website (click to enlarge).