Everest Team Leaving For Summit Bid!

Kurt Wedberg, Fred Simmons, and Kancha Nuru Sherpa at the base of the Lhotse Face at approximately 22,000'+ during an acclimatization climb earlier in the expedition.

After all the planning, preparation, acclimatization climbs, and getting rested and strong at Base Camp we are leaving for our summit attempt!  We spent the last couple days doing our final preparations as we have watched the weather show signs of improvement.

This season on Mt Everest has been characterized by higher and more consistent winds than normal.  We have watched the upper reaches of Mt Everest get blasted by 120+mph winds for most of this spring.  The summit of Mt Everest is high enough to be in jet stream force winds (it’s at an altitude where commercial airliners normally fly!), but to see the winds consistently blast the summit week after week with no abatement is unusual.  Each season in May the jet stream moves north of the Himalayas and raises in altitude as the weather pattern changes when the summer monsoon season begins to build to the south over India.  Sometimes the jet stream lifts off of the summit for as short as a couple days and other times it stops tickling the top of Everest for as long as a week or more.  Currently the weather is showing signs of this activity starting to occur.  We are receiving forecasts of a “medium” confidence level that are confirming what we’re seeing.

Our high camps are now in place and an advance team is heading up to the South Col where our highest camp is located at 7955m/26,100′.  This team’s job will be to carry up and anchor fixed rope into the steeper parts of the route to offer us protection while we climb.  With all our logistics in place and seeing what we want in the weather pattern the time is right for our summit attempt.  Here is our projected schedule:

May 15:  Climb from Base Camp to Camp 2 (6495m/21,309′)
May 16:  Rest at C2
May 17:  Climb from C2 to C3 (7406m/24,300′)
May 18:  Climb from C3 to C4 (7955m/26,100′)
May 19:  Summit Day, return to C4
May 20:  Descend from C4 to C2
May 21:  Descend from C2 to Base Camp

Climbing with us will be our faithful companion Kancha Nuru Sherpa.  Kancha is from the town of Phortse in the Solo Khumbu region of Nepal.  Many strong Sherpa’s have hailed from Phortse and they are fiercely proud of their reputation.  Kancha speaks good English having grown up walking to the neighboring village of Khumjung where Sir Edmund Hillary helped establish a school for the Sherpa community in 1961.  Following in the footsteps of the legendary Tigers Of The Snow including Tenzing Norgay who climbed with Hillary on the first ascent in 1953, Nawang Gombu who climbed with the first American Jim Whittaker in 1963 and became the first person to summit Everest twice, and many others Kancha first reached the summit of Mt Everest with Kurt Wedberg on May 21, 2008.  He has gone on to reach the summit each year since then.  It will be a pleasure to climb with Kancha once again on this summit attempt.

Our first goal on this climb is safety.  We plan to climb as safely as possible and return from this trip healthy.  Assuming we can stay within an acceptable margin of safety our second goal is to reach the summit of Mt Everest.  While we can’t eliminate danger we plan to do everything we can to minimize the risk.

Thank you to everybody for your continued prayers and support for our climb.  We have appreciated all the comments and well wishes thus far and we can definitely feel your support from half way around the world.  We will do our best to keep you updated on our progress along our journey and look forward to connecting with you all upon our return!

May 13, 8pm: The moon has been waning lately revealing a stunning blanket of stars overhead. Our dining tent at Base Camp is lit beautifully in the foreground. The West Shoulder of Everest is seen reaching into the night sky. Seeing views such as this is a real blessing and makes us realize how fortunate we are to be where we are.

19 comments on “Everest Team Leaving For Summit Bid!

  1. kkz-53 on

    Fred , Kurt and Kancha! Looking strong guys! 🙂 May those winds be gentle and your legs strong. SO glad you can feel the prayers and support going your way as it will be until we hear from you soon! Kay

  2. the jenkins on

    We are so proud of you Freddy! Your team is the best. Stay safe! Love following your climb! You are in our prayers! Love Maynard and Audrey

  3. lynnaroo on


    I was so surprised to see your latest post when I got home from work tonight. I had just sent you all a message from my office just a few hours earlier. I must say you three are living your lives to the fullest while we all lie in our beds or sit on our sofas reading your adventures and dream about what it must be like where you are whiie staring at your photos. Your daily acclimatisation over several weeks has been such a wonderful experience for me…..I almost hate to see it end….I wish for you all an exciting summit….I can’t wait to see all your smiling faces on the summit of MT. EVEREST!

    May God Bless You All and Keep You Safe

    Your Sincere Supporter


  4. WESjr on

    We all wish you the very best of luck!!!
    You are in our thoughts and prayers!
    Go Go Go!!
    Bill, Cindy and everyone here at the office

  5. Denni on

    Dear Kurt and Fred,

    I am so excited and nervous! What a tremendous accomplishment already!! I will be praying for you’re safe AND successful summit!

    With much awe and admiration,


  6. lynnaroo on

    Taters thank you so much for letting us know Kurt and Fred summited and are descending now with IMG. I saw your post on Alan Arnettes website. YAHOO!!! THEY MADE IT TO THE TOP OF THE WORLD!!! KANCHA NURU SHERPA MADE IT AGAIN WITH KURT!!!

  7. tater on

    IMG reports all safe and in their bags at the Col sleeping. Winds are picking up. Theywill descend in morning.

  8. lynnaroo on

    Congratulations Kurt Fred And Kancha Nuru Sherpa.

    Tater thank you for your most wanted and timely updates…you helped me get some sleep last night so I didn’t have to sit up waiting for someone to post their whereabouts and condition…good job tater!!!


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