Today we have made the tough decision to not continue upwards, for a variety of reasons.
Our primary reason, and what many people are not even considering, is how late in the season everything is getting pushed back and the risk to the Sherpa teams that are supporting very late season attempts. The Khumbu Icefall is warm and getting more active by the day. To hold and wait for a post typhoon window seems reckless to us as well as being unlikely with the potential for heavy snowfall on the upper mountain.
We have been analyzing several forecasts and see no opportunity to summit within our safety margin. We have been focused on the 26-27 but that has clearly shut down with the approaching Typhoon Yaas.
What else has effected our decision? Our sherpa team has been hit hard with COVID; six Sherpa have gone out, evacuated on helicopters which we have discussed in previous posts so we are now down to a number that really does not give us the safety margin we require for our guests up high. Right now four of our sherpa are quarantining in a Kathmandu Hotel. They are okay and doing well, but not here to help.
Will be posting updates as we transition back to Kathmandu. At this time, we are planning to fly out from EBC on the 24th. We had all wanted to trek out, but with the COVID situation, we are choosing not to take the additional risk. We have gotten word of many issues in the lower villages of the Khumbu, with Namche, Kunde and Khumjung all virtually locked down to attempt to quell to spread of the virus.
Thank you to our team for placing their trust in us on this challenging year.
–Scott Woolums, Mountain Trip Everest Base Camp Manager