The weekend saw perhaps 300 summits on both sides of Everest. The weather was mixed throughout, with blizzard conditions at times. The climbers had to work hard for their summits. There have been three deaths this season: two on the north side and one on nearby Lhotse.
Taking most of the media's attention were the summits of Apa Sherpa at age 47 making his 20th summit with the Eco Everest team andon the other side of the mountain, 13 year-old Jordan Romero along withhis dad, step-mom and Sherpa team made the top of the world, his 6th of the 7summits.
There were some other "firsts" including the youngest Indian climber ever Arjun Vajpai at age 16 and youngest British woman, Bonita Norris who was injured on her descent. She is age 22.
The Austrian climber Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner summited without supplemental oxygen reaching her 13th 8000m mountain.
The large teams were very successful:
Alpine Ascents (20)
Adventure Consultants (14)
Adventure Peaks (11)
Adventure Dynamics (13)
Australian Everest (10)
Kari Kobler (11)
Patagonian Brothers (13)
Peak Freaks (25)
Mountain Trip (19)
7 Summits Club (16)
Elite climber Simone Moro also summited, his 4th. He used supplemental oxygen due to the difficult conditions. The elite climber explained:
Only 48 hours of climb and the 22nd May I was on thesummit of Everest. I planned a no oxygen climb but it had been notpossible to realize it due the cold. In fact when I arrived at Southcol 8000 m coming from 6300 m of C2, the weather deteriorated andstarted to snow. After 2 hours the sky get clear but the temperaturedrop down. So I started after midnight to climb without oxygen but itstarted also my fight with the cold. At 8500 meters I lost thesensibility of my feet and hands and to avoid dramatic frostbites Idecided to use oxygen for the last 300 meters. At 6:25 I arrived on thesummit and enjoyed for the 4th time that moment. Probably I will goback for the fifth time to attempt a no oxygen climb but I’m happy alsofor this climb. I had a wonderful view from the op and realized howfree and lucky I’m to enjoy this life….
There are still a few teams left to summit including Leif Whittaker, son of the first American to summit Everest, Jim Whittaker in 1963. He is climbing with Dave Hahn Monday night, May 24th.
Arnette is a speaker, mountaineer and Alzheimer's Advocate. You can read more on his site