Generally this year was bad on the south side of Everest. Abnormally high temperatures in badging sunlight, radiated the Khumbu icefall and the Lhotse wall, increasing the risk of avalanches. The icefall, was and is unstable and with a very high risk as it was moving from day to day.
Russel Brice (Himalayanexperience.com) decided to “pull the plug” and dismantled his BC, which once again triggered off a new controversy in the community. Russ has already tasted the sweet taste of “fatal controversy”, when David Sharp died on the Tibet side of Everest May 27th 2006. Read more about the reasons to pull the plug.
Russel is an experienced old timer now, and his judgment stands clear. If there are a major collaps in the Kumbu icefall, not only can this have fatal consequences in the BC, but it can also block the “bottled climbers”, descending from a summit attempt.
As of yesterday May 21, 3 climbers were reported dead on Everest, and two other were reported missing (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-18142900). But the season is not over yet!
Ralf Dujmovits did try his “topless” Everest attempt. Climbing without oxygen, solo from CIII, and carrying all his personal gear up to the South Col just the way it should be done. Suisse speed climber Uli Steck, was in Ralf’s tracks and arrived later at the South Col. Together they would go for the summit next day (May 18th).
During the night, Ralf realized that he had burned out, and with his experience of 27 8000, he knew his new heading: Down. It’s obvious that Ralf had not completely recovered from the sickness of sinusitis during the climb…..so a burn out at the South Col is not surprising. Uli Steck however, summited topless the 18th.
During the decent, Ralf crossed the organized expeditions heading for the summit. “Climbers” bottled up in CII, heading to become the first boy on the block, to climb Everest.
Summit window is reported open from the 24 to 27 May. And the Khumbu Icefall is roasting in the sun…