Newsletter #1823 May 2013
Summit Success on Everest
On 23rd May 2013, 22 Himalayan Experience members, guides and Sherpas reached the top of Mount Everest between 4.40am and 5.40am. “It was actually a pretty uneventful day. My team left Camp IV, climbed the mountain and came back down again. The only thing I would say is: It was a long way,” Russell said tongue in cheek when everyone was on their way back down to Camp II.
The Himalayan Experience crew left Camp IV at the South Col at 11pm the previous night. As Meteotest had rightly predicted, there was very little wind and the skies were clear. Everyone leaving the camp was carrying two oxygen bottles while their Sherpas were carrying three. “As usual we are using a flow-rate of four litres per minute and with the new Summit oxygen mask and regulator, we had a very quick turnaround time,” said Russell emphasising that most people took about nine hours round-trip.
While the climbers were edging their way towards the balcony at 8,400m, Russell was lying in his sleeping bag armed with radio, pen and his pre-written time list. “During summit night I don’t sleep a wink. Everyone has to check in with me at key points and I note down the arrival times of everyone on the mountain,” he explained.
The first key point is the balcony, then the South Summit at 8,750m, the Hillary Step at 8,800m and last but not least, the summit at 8,848m. The first call from the top of the world came from Jing Wang and her Sherpa Tashi Tshering, who she had already climbed Nuptse with. “From then on the radio did not really stop for about one hour as everyone more or less arrived at the same time,” said Russell.
Thursday was not only a gorgeous day for hanging out on the top of Everest, it was also stunning down at base camp. Our trekking group took advantage of the good weather and went for a walk up ‘Himex Kala Patar’, which is just outside base camp and offers great views of Lhotse, Everest and Nuptse.
On Thursday afternoon the trekking team will be resting while the kitchen staff will be busy preparing the camp for the return of our Everest climbers, who will sure be hungry and in great need of a shower.
The famous firsts
On Himalayan Experience’s 18th Everest expedition, there are also a few ‘firsts’ to celebrate:
• Phurba Tashi has now summited for the 21st time, which puts him on the same pedestal as the current world record holder Apa Sherpa.
• Mark Woodward, known as Woody, has reached the top of Everest for the ninth time, which makes him, together with Dean Staples, the New Zealander with the most summits.
• Jing Wang from China together with Tashi Tshering managed to first summit Nuptse on 16th May and reached the top of Everest a few days later.
• With Thursday’s ascents, Himex can now record 386 ascents since 1994.
EVEREST SUMMIT LIST
Jing Wang and Tashi Tshering at 4.38am
Bruce Hasler and Pasang Nima at 4.38am
Mark Woodward and Sonam Tashi at 4.43am
Rochelle Rafferty and Sonam Dorjee at 4.43am
Voldemars Spruzs and Nima Sona at 4.43am
Jiangang Wu and Rita Dorjee at 5.10am
Phurba Tashi at 5.25am
Herbert Hellmuth and Urken Lundap at 5.27am
Javier Perez and Fura Chhoten at 5.27am
Shinji Tamura at 5.32am
Quan Fang and Nima Tenjing at 5.32am
Wei Wang and Nawang Tenjing at 5.40am