It was a busy season in the Himalayas with all of Nepal’s six 8,000-metre peaks getting a lot of traffic this year. Everest had hundreds of summits, but far less drama and tragedy than when compared to other years.
At least 240 clients reached the top of Everest from Nepal thanks to the 400 Sherpas who fixed ropes and guided them. At least 50 climbers summited from Tibet, which was closed to foreigners for the third year due to Covid. At least 17 Canadians summited. This year’s rope-fixing team included: Kami Rita Sherpa as leader, Sona Sherpa as co-leader, Ngima Tashi Sherpa, Phurba Tsering Sherpa, Tenjing Gyaljen Sherpa, Lakpa Tenji Sherpa, Phurba Kusang Sherpa, Mingma Dandhu Sherpa, Pastenji Sherpa, Tareman Tamang and Phurba Chhotar.
There were several notable summits, including one by the Full Circle Everest expedition, a team of Black American climbers, which was supported by 10 Sherpas. Seven Full Circle Everest team members summited, including Manoah Ainuu, Eddie Taylor, Rosemary Saal, Demond Mullins, Thomas Moore, James “KG” Kagami, and Evan Green. Other team members include Phil Henderson, Frederick Campbell and Abby Dione. In 2006, Sophia Danenberg became the first Black woman and first African American of any gender to summit Mount Everest.
Kami Rita Sherpa set an Everest summit record at 26 when he led the rope team to the top on May 7. Lhakpa Sherpa, 48, set a female record with her tenth summit on May 12. Gabby Kanizay became the youngest Australian to summit on May 14 next to her mom. At 68 years old, grandfather Graham Keene became the oldest British climber. And Lucy Westlake, 18, set an American youngest female record after reaching the top on May 12.
German David Göttler summited without supplemental oxygen while carrying all of his own gear, food and fuel. He did used the ladders and fixed ropes installed by the Icefall Doctors. Beyond the several dedicated Sherpas and Icefall Doctors, it takes a big team to get anyone to the summit of Everest, including cooks, porters, guides, yak herders and teahouse owners.
Of the six climbers who died in the Himalayas this spring, three were on Everest, including Dipak Mahat who died in Kathmandu after being rescued from camp two; Pavel Kostrikin who died at camp one after getting sick at camp two; and Nima Tenji Sherpa who died in the Khumbu Icefall from unknown reasons.