First summits of the year on Everest

The first summits of the spring season on Everest took place two days ago when a group of Sherpas completed fixing ropes to the summit of the world’s tallest mountain. In all, nine Sherpas, from three different commercial climbing teams, stood on the peak at an altitude of 29,029 feet. With their work complete, the door is now open for other climbers to soon follow.

The nine Sherpas were working cooperatively on the South Side of Everest to place the all important ropes for their paying clients, who will begin making their way up the mountain sometime next week. The team consisted of three Sherpas from each of the three largest mountain guide companies operating on Everest, Himalayan Experience, Alpine Ascents, and International Mountain Guides, who joined forces to ensure a safe climbing environment for all the teams.

For their part, the climbers on the Nepali side of the mountain are finishing up their acclimatization process and are preparing to make their summit bids. Early indications are that those bids will begin next Thursday, on May 13th, weather permitting. After years of planning and weeks of preparation, the finish line is in sight, for these mountaineers, many of whom have payed upwards of $50,000 for the chance to stand at the top of the world.

The story is a bit different on the North Side of the mountain, which falls in Tibet. Bad weather on that side of the mountain has prevented the Sherpas from fixing the ropes, so for now, there is no access to the summit. The climbers approaching the summit from the north, including 13-year old Jordan Romero, must be patient and wait for now. Once the weather clears however, there is sure to be a rush to the summit on that side of the mountain as well.