Squaw Valley, CA Based ‘Alpenglow Expeditions’ Forced to Abandon Everest Summit Bid as Oxygen Bottles Fail

CragBrains | ClimbingClimbing
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Climbing season is underway on Mt. Everest.

During an Everest summit bid members of a commercial expedition had to descend rapidly from around 27,887ft when they experienced oxygen bottle regulator failures.

During the summit bid on the Tibetan side of the mountain, the group of mountaineers belonging to the Squaw Valley, CA based Alpenglow Expeditions party, led by America’s Adrian Ballinger, encountered serious issues with their supplementary oxygen regulators.

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Alpenglow Expeditions, Squaw Valley. Credit: Alpenglow Expeditions

According to alpinist and mountain chronicler Alan Arnette, at an altitude of almost 28,000ft, 10 of the 39 regulators used by clients and Sherpa suddenly ceased working. Without the regular flow of oxygen and close to the famous Second Step, the climbers had no other choice but to descend rapidly.

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Alpenglow Expeditions on Everest. Credit: Alpenglow Expeditions

During the descent, another 4 regulators failed but at 9 am all members were safely at or below 25,262ft. This is, as Arnette underlined, an extremely rare occurrence which could have resulted in a far worse outcome, adding that a malfunction between the bottle and mask and ensuing sudden lack of O2 can be extremely dangerous for those who are not acclimatized to those altitudes without supplemental oxygen.

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Nepalese veteran Sherpa guide, Kami Rita, 48. Credit: AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha

Of those who reached the top of the mountain this season, it’s worth mentioning Kami Rita Sherpa who has summited for a record 22nd time. Ani Lhakpa Sherpa summited, for the ninth time, from the North and the 44-year-old has now set a new female record, beating the record she set a year ago.


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