Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Himalaya 2011: Another Notable Summit, Another Climber Passes Away On Everest
Yesterday brought both more good and bad news from Everest, where teams on both sides of the mountain are still working their way to the summit ahead of the arrival of the monsoon, which is likely just a few weeks away at this point.
First, we have a summit of note, as climbers Richard Parks and Steve Williams reached the top of the mountain while climbing with the Jagged Globe squad. For Parks, this marks a major milestone in his "737 Expedition" during which he is attempting to reach the "three poles" and complete the Seven Summits in just seven months. Everest has often been called the "third pole" and by topping out on the mountain, Parks has now visited the three poles, having gone last degree to the North and South, and has finished off five of the seven summits as well. He now has just Denali and Elbrus standing in his way of becoming the first person to visit the three poles and seven summits in a single calendar year. (Thanks to Alan Curr for sending this my way!)
While some climbers continue to pursue their dreams of standing on the summit of Everest, others have decided to call it a season and head home. Amongst them are Edurne Pasaban, who hoping to summit without supplemental oxygen, but turned back at Camp 4 over the past weekend due to high winds and the poor health of two of the team's Sherpas. On the descent, Edurne and her team provided aid to the Spanish climbers who were in trouble on Lhotse, and the efforts to climb and assist in the rescue, have left them exhausted and unable to continue. Pasaban provides details on what turned out to be a very long two days on the mountain in a blog post you can read here.
Alan Arnette has arrived back in Lukla, and is preparing to head out to Kathmandu tomorrow and catch a flight home on Friday. He posted a great blog entry today in which he answers a number of questions about climbing Everest. It is an excellent read for those looking for more information about what goes into such a climb.
Finally, sad news from Everest, as we have received word that Irish climber John Delaney passed away on the mountain while climbing with the 7 Summits Club last weekend. He apparently ran into trouble at about 8800 meters and fell behind the summit team, passing away shortly there after. Condolences to his friends and family.