By now, most people who have been following the NatGeo Everest team (the one with Conrad Anker and Cory Richards, trying to climb the original first American ascent route in 1963 of the West Ridge) have heard that Cory Richards had to be evacuated because of having serious trouble breathing. He managed to successfully make it off the mountain okay and is now recovering in Kathmandu from what looks like a pulmonary embolism in his lung. He"ll be alright, but his trip is over. Check out this crazy rescue:
Other teams are crowding up Camp 2, trying to get in some acclimatization up to Camp 3. The problem is weather. Winds are still very high and apparently the route up the Lhotse Face is deemed unsafe by many, being too exposed to rockfall. I"ve heard of a broken arm and 10 stitches in someone"s head already from falling rocks. Not good. The word is that things are different this year on Everest, no one is quite sure why. Maybe because of the recent earthquakes? Either way, it"s making people anxious and testy. A lot of complaints of overcrowding have been heard. Overcrowding is bad because it means long lines up fixed ropes (not moving fast in the cold) and being stuck behind inexperienced climbers who clog up the route.
The good news is that Peak Freaks managed to sneak in their climb up to Camp 3 a few days ago with no problems and are now safely back at Base Camp. Well actually, the whole team (except Tim and the other guides) are on their way down to Pheriche (a small village a days walk away at lower elevation). Many teams will do this right before their big summit push to let their bodies strengthen and breathe some thick air, while stuffing their faces with some delicious (I guess that"s relative) food.