SA climbers' chances to summit Everest wane

2014-04-23 19:44
Nepalese Sherpa guide Appa inspects empty oxygen cylinders brought from the world's highest mountain in Kathmandu. (Binod Joshi, AP)

Nepalese Sherpa guide Appa inspects empty oxygen cylinders brought from the world's highest mountain in Kathmandu. (Binod Joshi, AP)

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Cape Town - International Mountain Guides, the largest team climbing Everest this year, has decided to end their season, after an avalanche on the Icefall killed 16 Sherpa guides.

This resulted in the Sherpa guides packing up their tents and leaving the Everest base camp, putting the rest of the climbing season in doubt.

Alan Arnette, a mountaineer who has scaled Everest four times, has hinted that IMG's decision will most likely result in all other teams climbing on the south side of Everest to abandon their climbs for the season.

This will most likely result in Adventures Global, the company with which the South Africans Saray Khumalo and Sibusiso Vilane are climbing, to quit as well.

Khumalo had hoped to be the first black African woman to summit Everest. She told Sapa that she has accepted that her attempt could be called off.

"If for any reason the expedition is called off, I will be at peace with the decision," said Khumalo.

"IMG fields a very large team of Sherpa who are key in fixing the line to the summit. Without their support, other teams would struggle to find the manpower...," Arnette said on his blog.

He says that teams will struggle to acclimatise because of not climbing this week.

"By this time in April, most climbers would have spent several nights at Camp 2, and be preparing to spend that important night at Camp 3 on the Lhotse Face," he said.

Read more on:    nepal

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