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I guess when things hit the absolute bottom, there is only one way to go. Lincoln Hall is now at the North Col after being rescued by a combined efforts of the remaining expeditions on the north side. Mounteverest.net has a full detailed report.
It appears that Hall, similar to 1996 survivor Beck Weathers, was given up for dead but survived the night against all odds. More on this later today but thankfully this climber has a chance of surviving.
What a season. Yes, there were over 200 summits on both sides but 12 people are dead - 9 on the north - not a successful season in my mind. As the details are revealed Everest was an embarrassment this year to mountaineering and reduced the expeditions on the north to selfish amateurs. Harsh? Unfair? Judgmental? You be the judge.
I know from my emails, polls and surveys that you love mountaineering so please let me share with you my next adventure that starts next week: a climb of Broad Peak and K2 in Pakistan. You might have read on this site about this climb. I have spent the past year working with Dave Hancock of Field Touring to pull together an international team. We meet in Islamabad in early June and after 14 days of flying, driving and walking our team of 28, including 6 trekkers, will arrive at our basecamp for Broad Peak.
Some of the final teams on the south side successfully summitted last night including the second part of the huge Adventure Consultants expedition - the Canadian team. Also the South African team, Turkish and remaining IMG climbers made the summit. Basecamp MD reports that basecamp is looking like a ghost town with the vast majority of teams now headed home. A few teams remain on the north so keep watching! Also, I will be sharing some details about my upcoming climb to Broad Peak and K2 starting next week plus a summary of this year's Everest Spring season.
According to their website, the Army has stopped all attempts to the summit from the West ridge due to dangerous snow conditions "... I have taken the difficult decision not to go for a second attempt. Knowing what I know, I am not prepared to risk any of the lives in my team. As climbers, we accept that there is always an element of risk but our Army training, judgment and decision making mitigate that risk."
Both Sight on Everest, Harrry Kikstra/Thomas Weber and team plus Project Himalaya/DCXP are at C2 on the North. They are looking at a bid in a couple of days.
IMG reports that 3 climbers and 3 Sherpas are on their way on the south right now. This includes Paul Adler.
May 23, 2006 - Paul to try again!
In the "never give up department", Paul Adler is going back up for another try at the summit. He has oxygen problems last night as he and Fi made their bid - Fi made it. She has written an excellent summit night report on their site - well worth a read. This is the advantage of going with a large expedition such as IMG. They have the spare resources (oxygen, sherpas, food, etc) to support a second attempt. If Paul and Fi had gone wit a local ground agent only, another attempt, while not impossible, would have been unlikely. So another long night for those us following him! Climb safe!
Fi summitted around 7:55AM May 23rd. Paul turned back, wisely due to oxygen problems. Fantastic job! well Done. Now they need to get down. Conditions were ideal and they made excellent time. I am so happy for both of them. they worked for the past year for this chance and they did it. I don't give a damn about the summit (but I am thrilled for Fi), I am just so happy that they both put themselves out there, did their best and will get down safely. Well done, well done!!
They followed Will Cross, who on his 3rd attempt proved diabetes is not the debilitating disease it once was - with proper care. Also Dave Hahn's team made the summit at 4:20AM according to Paula Stout, former Evereest BC Manager.
Mary has reported that both Paul and Fi have made the Balcony. They left the South Col around 9:00PM and she reported them at the Balcony around3:00Am (all local times). They are doing well and the weather is good according to another report from Eric Simonson at IMG. There are several climbers going up so the trail should be well established. If all the climbers continue on the current schedule look for summits starting around 8:00AM Everest time on Tuesday, May 23rd. The return trip typically takes about 6 hours so they should be back in at the South Col in mid afternoon, maybe 3:00PM.
We reached the summit of Everest at 1100.hrs on 19 May 2006. Seven members and seven Sherpas of the AC team all stood on the summit.
I hope you have been following the Australian married couple Paul and Fi Adler. Well as I write this they are making their summit bid. They arrived at the South Col in good condition Monday afternoon (local time). I am sending them positive energy, please pitch in - for all the climbers can use some! I am glad to see that there are other climbers who will be also on their bid including some of the other members of IMG. Also there is Will Cross and the Dave Hahn led team still on the south side who will go in a day or so perhaps.
I am very sad to report that Tomas Olsson has been found dead. His father reported the news. The world has lost a fantastic person and one of the greatest ski mountaineers. My thoughts are with all the ones close to him.
Tomas’ body has been flown to Kathmandu by a helicopter from Nepal. The fact that he was found (at 6700 m right below the Great Couloir where he fell) and that his body is on the way home is a positive thing among all the sadness about his loss. A helicopter evacuation from the North side of Everest has never been accomplished before. His family, close friends, teammates, Nepalese trekking agency and the Swedish embassy have all played an incredible positive role in making this happen, giving Tomas the honor he deserves.
Today a search for Tomas has started. Fredrik Schenholm, Olof Sundström and Martin Letzer are heading towards the Central Rongbuk Glacier. They will use the British Army camp as their base. Tormod Granheim is waiting in Everest basecamp for a helicopter, that will probably arrive tomorrow (Sunday). He will join the helicopter crew to help them navigate to the location where Tomas' fall may have stopped.
Fredrik, Tormod, Martin and OIof
Mountain LInk is reporting a summit bid right now, Saturday night Everest time. Jeff Justman, JJ, reports that ".. Tap just called from Camp 4. He along with Heidi, Mike, Garrett and our five Superstar Sherpas have just left the south col for the summit of Mount Everest! " It is interesting that some teams have continued to climb and others have returned to lower camps.
Last night saw more south summits with AAI (13) on top and IMG putting more of their team on the summit (13 thus far) with more to come from them. Brenda Walsh and Danuru Sherpa on the IMG team made the round trip from South Col to Summit and back in 8 hours- an amazing time for a westerner!
Fredrik Schenholm, the team's photographer, reports from Everest. He was at the North Col when Tomas and Tormod were on the mountain:
After a spurt of summits this week, high winds have hammered teams on both sides. Adventure Consultants reports one of their best summit performances in years with 12 climbers on the summit. It appears that having "The Guy" there made a huge positive difference! Cotter summited as well -a rarity these days for one of the major's owners to climb. Congratulations Guy. Everest Peace Project culminated a 4 year effort to get multiple nationalities on the summit at the same time - 10 made it!. Congratulations Lance and team - well done!
There are efforts being done to get a helicopter flight to the North Face area either from China or Kathmandu. This is the most effective way to quickly search the area and should ideally be supported by a ground party of climbers and Sherpas. I have been in touch with Swedish authorities in Stockholm and China and they are trying to do what they can.
Here follows a message by Viviane Seigneur, Tomas' girlfriend:
I am asking to people on the North side of Everest to consider helping to find Tomas. I'm an alpinist and I know the attraction of the summit, but isn't trying to save someone more noble that to reach the summit? For the moment, I know that a lot of people are high on the mountain, but even just a few people helping would be very valuable. From the North col, people can help by following the "Messner road" and search the area with binoculars, because there is a chance that Tomas' fall was stopped there. If you need more information, or have more information, please contact me via the messages on this blog, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you, Viviane Seigneur
A big night last night with the Nepal MOT reporting 42 total summits from the south side. IMG reported 11 climbers (including 6 Sherpas) made the summit from the south side last night. Adventure Consultants and AAI are moving to the South Col today and will most likely do their bid tonight. AAI comments on how "hot" it is up there! Mountain Link is also on the Col and notes "...There are over 100 climbers anticipating a summit attempt during the next 4 days, so we should have a well established route by the time we go for the top!" Once again in spite of planning to not have crowds, there are crowds!!
Tomas Olsson is missing on the North Face of Everest. Hel fell at approximately 8500 meter when a rope that they used for a rappel broke loose. Tormod Granheim was with him and climbed after him, but was not able to find him.
Tormod and Fredrik Schenholm are now heading towards the foot of the North Face to look for Tomas.
I am very sorry to have to report this sad news, and I am extremely sad that the information I received yesterday turned out to be incorrect. Let's hope for the best. I am now going to make phone calls to Everest Army basecamp, that is located near the foot of the North Face, to see if they can be of any help.