Himalayan Hat Trick: One Mountaineer's Incredible Feat
Just as the Everest climbers continue to move up and down the mountain, other teams across the Himalaya are doing the same on various other mountains. Most are looking to top out in the next few days, but there are still some stories to tell today, starting with the epic effort that British climber Kenton Cool just wrapped up.
As I reported yesterday, Kenton was in the middle of an absolutely massive challenge in the Himalaya. At that time he had already successfully summited both Nuptse (7861 m/25,791 feet) and Everest (8848 m/29,029 feet), claiming his 11th career summit of the world's highest mountain. He was also in the middle of a summit push to the top of Lhotse, the 8516-meter (27,940 foot) sister of Everest. No one had ever completed a back-to-back-to-back climb of all three peaks before, but I'm happy to report that Kenton has indeed done just that. His home team announced his successful Lhotse summit overnight and he has since returned to Base Camp where he is reportedly "totally shattered." The Brit is getting some much deserved rest now, but his team promises to share more information and photos on his Facebook page soon.
I want to extend a hearty congratulations to Kenton for one of the boldest expeditions in the Himalaya in quite some time. It is difficult to overstate just what kind of an effort it took to pull this off.
Sadly, the news from Lhotse isn't all good today. Yesterday I also indicated that there was a climber that was struggling at altitude and that a rescue attempt was underway. That climber was Lee Hsiao-shih from Taiwan. Details remain a bit thin, but it seems he took ill on the mountain and perished in Camp 4.
Finally, ExWeb is reporting that Cho Oyu was successfully summited on May 13, despite previously posting that no one had been able to climb above C3 yet. It appears that husband and wife climbing team Uko and Anu Noulik of Estonia quietly completed their climb last week, topping out at 9:30 a.m. local time. Bad weather had made it impossible for them to acclimatize above Camp 3 prior to their summit push, but they were able to wait out the high winds and summit last Monday.
More news from the Himalaya in the next few days as summits are expected across the region.