Monday, May 7, 2012

Climbers rest on drop back, team prepares to fix summit routes

The Alpine Ascents Everest & Lhotse climbing team is resting in Debuche (12,000'), for the next few days then will make their way back up the valley to base camp.  During this time the route fixing team will attempt to fix the lines to the summits of Everest & Lhotse.  All team members are resting on the drop back except sherpas and guides Lakpa Rita, Garrett Madison, & Ben Jones who are staying on the mountain to supervise the route fixing plans.  At least one large team has decided to leave the mountain, deeming it unsafe to climb, but we have decided to stay and continue climbing for the time being, applying our usual safety standards to the route.  When the team returns from the drop back in about a week, we will evaluate the weather forecast and make a decision regarding our summit bid(s).  Photos: Jim Matter climbing the "new route" up the Lhotse Face, Leanna Shuttleworth and Ueli Steck pause while climbing the Lhotse Face a few days ago on our last rotation.