Everest 2021 Update – Camp 2 And Other News

April 28th Update from Scott Woolums at Everest Base Camp
We had lots of action this morning. Jacob Schmitz and the team members who moved up to Camp 1 are moving up the Wester CWM to Camp 2, as our Sherpa team along with guide Fischer Hazen move from Base Camp up to Camp 1 today. It is a really beautiful morning at Everest Base Camp!
Fischer and Sonam came back down to basecamp with Ema on the 26th, and last night moved back up through the icefall to Camp 1 to begin to catch up to the team on their first acclimatization rotation.  Fortunately, there was not a lot of large activity in the Khumbu Icefall last night, but there was a reported local ice collapse fairly close to Fischer and one of our Sherpa guides Sonam this morning. That’s two local collapses in a row for those guys, as two days ago there also was a close call near the route and within 100 meters of the trail. The Icefall is scary and very real.
We are sad to report that Ema, one of our climbers, had to leave the expedition today.  She has been fighting some stomach issues and associated fatigue almost from the start in Kathmandu. She decided she was just not up to the 100% energy level she felt she needed to continue. It’s remarkable how thin the line is with health when you are at altitude and how easy it can be to cross the line to a place not appropriate for continuing up Everest. Everest Base Camp is not a fun place to be when you are feeling at all off, and the upper camps are no place to be unless you are healthy and strong.  We’re wishing Ema the best and for her safe travels home to Canada.
For those reading who are less familiar with glaciers – a glacier is often described as a river of ice. As with a river, some sections are calm, which translates to a relatively smooth surface on a glacier. Where a river might have a surging rapid, a glacier has an icefall. When a glacier drops a little elevation over a gradient, the outside circumference of the bend of river of ice gets stretched to the point of cracking, making crevasses. When the gradient is extremely steep and the glacier loses a lot of elevation, the ensuing  “rapid” morphs into a jumble of huge crevasses, riddled with towers and often huge blocks of ice. The Khumbu Icefall is a Class V rapid that is constantly shifting as the ice works its way downhill.
Looking forward, the Mountain Trip 2021 Everest Expedition is planning to spend three more nights at Camp 2 before descending back to EBC for a break. So far the weather this season has been exceptional, with only a short period of snow and wind. Starting April 29-30th, there looks to be some precipitation heading towards Everest. We are watching that closely.
I’m guessing inquiring minds want to know, but I won’t even touch all the COVID rumors… We haven’t had any issues within our team and don’t know of any confirmed cases in teams around us, so most of the rumors and concerns are coming from the internet. We are being exceptionally careful within our bubble here in Base Camp and that leaves me really not certain if other teams are actually having cases pop up or not.
Here’s a photo from the Khumbu Icefall taken by Sonam:
Everest Khumbu Icefall
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