Mt. Everest: Due to Collapse in the Icefall, Team Delays Camp One Rotation

Posted by: Dave Hahn, Seth Waterfall, Mark Tucker | April 17, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575'

We were all keyed up and ready to climb last night.  Dinner was eaten with a sense of purpose, figuring we’d burn thousands of calories going up the Khumbu Icefall and living at Camp One.  Each climber turned in carefully, arranging every piece of gear just so for a cold pre-dawn start.  And we were up at 4 AM getting boots tied and helmets on when the word came down of a collapse in the middle of the Icefall.  We could then see the parade of Sherpa headlights in the lower half of the Icefall… all going the wrong way.  Down.  Chherring and Gyalgen from our own team had radioed down to say that the route was impassible and that the midsection of the climb would need special attention -new ladders and fixed rope- from the Icefall Doctors.  The coffee was hot and our pre-climb breakfast of boiled eggs and porridge was on, so we sat down together anyway and tried to get used to the idea that we weren’t going up.  No great physical and mental test to pass after all.  Until tomorrow.  It was with an odd mix of emotions that we each then went back to bed for a few hours.  The next time we rose and had breakfast, around 8 AM, a thin blanket of fresh snow had somehow fallen on the tents.  It was calm and sunny and the Icefall was unnaturally free of visible climber traffic.  After this breakfast, we took our smartphones out to the medial moraine to connect with the world and to read the sad news coming from Boston.  We then took a quiet hike down glacier, pioneering our way back across through the gleaming pinnacles of ice until we could reach the well-traveled lateral moraine that is the main foot/hoof path into Basecamp.  We passed teams in mid-Puja and tent after tent after tent and basecamp after basecamp… everybody is here now.  We don’t actually know the number of climbers assembled, but it must be another record season from the looks of things.  Most eyes today were focused upward and hopes were pinned on the Ice Docs finding some new way through the heart of the glacier.

We’ll try again tomorrow.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

The main path back into Everest BC. Photo: Dave Hahn

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Glad all is well.  Thanks for the updates.  Hope you guys are keeping warm, staying healthy and working a good strategy to climb among the masses.  I have no doubt you are the smartest team up there!  Hey, the Ice Doctors seem to be advertising that fact on their helmets, right?

Posted by: Josephine Johnson on 4/17/2013 at 7:44 pm

Wow! wonderful trip, All the best team

Posted by: ELIAZA MMBAGA (ELLY) on 4/17/2013 at 4:45 pm

Wow! wondeful trip, All the best team.

Posted by: ELIAZA MMBAGA (ELLY) on 4/17/2013 at 4:43 pm


Posted by: Cha on 4/17/2013 at 3:45 pm

Glad you all are safe. 

ABQ Uptown #985 NM/AZ/CO

Posted by: Rachael C. Lujan on 4/17/2013 at 2:10 pm

Tough break, but good to know no one was hurt.

Posted by: Madhu on 4/17/2013 at 8:45 am

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