Ueli Steck and his climbing partner, Tenzing Sherpa, notched some of the first Everest summits of the season. The speed climber topped out on May 18 without supplemental oxygen. Last year, Steck turned around a few hundred feet from the summit rather than risk frostbite on his toes. Last year, a member of the Peak Freaks team made also the decision to turn around 280 feet from the summit, recording the moment in the helmet cam footage seen above. This year, all members of the Peak Freaks team made it safely back to Base Camp after several of them notched successful summits. Others did not fare so well.
Reports have said that between 100 to 200 climbers approached the summit on both Friday and Saturday. On Saturday, The Guardian reported traffic jams that led people to attempt summit attempts as late as 2:30 in the afternoon. Often, climbers are advised not to attempt the summit after 11 a.m. Three people were reported dead, and two missing during the attempts this weekend. Both The Guardian and Alan Arnette posted that 61-year-old German doctor Eberhard Schaaf, Nepal-born Canadian Shriya Shah, and South Korean mountaineer Song Won-bin died on their descents. The Guardian reported that a Chinese national and his Sherpa guide went missing.
Eight people so far this year have been reported dead. A full listing of those deaths can be found on AlanArnette.com.
An update on those teams attempting to summit this week can be found on The Adventure Blog.
For profiles of the climbers and continued coverage, check out the Outside Everest page.