Everest 2024 – Summary

The business end of the Everest Spring season is upon us as acclimatisation activity comes to a close with teams wrapping up their final rotations to gain maximum physiological (and mental) adaptation up to Camp 3 and a bit beyond ahead of the summit window opening up shortly.

According to the Himalayan Database, Everest has been successfully climbed 11,997 times since the first ascent by Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953. The route split is 8351 South (70% via Nepal) and 3646 North (30% via Tibet). The average summit age is 35. The gender summit split is 11,112 Male (93%) and 885 Female (7%). Of the 11,997 summits to date, 225 (1.9%) were achieved without bottled oxygen, 11,772 (98.1%) were achieved with bottled oxygen. There are 332 deaths recorded on Everest to date, including 4 Irish fatalities over the years. 388 Permits were issued for foreign climbers this year, 318 Males and 70 Females.

From an Irish perspective (Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland), Everest has been climbed 76 times by 59 Irish climbers (9 women, 50 men), with a total of 147 Irish attempts to date by 101 different climbers. The average summit age for successful Irish climbers is 41.

Everest 2024 – Irish Climbers

From an Irish perspective (ROI and NI), Everest has been climbed 76 times by 59 Irish climbers (9 women, 50 men), with a total of 147 Irish attempts to date by 101 different climbers (including a couple of attempts by yours truly). Full details on all Irish summits and attempts here.

This season there are four Irish climbers that I know of attempting Everest.

– James McManus (41) from Tipperary
– Robert Smith (53) from Tyrone
– Michéal Brogan (55) from Westmeath
– Eoin Brogan (30) from Westmeath

The Nepalese authorities released a breakdown of Everest permits by Country which indicated that there were six Irish males with permits to climb Everest this year. So there are at least two others out there who we have yet to identify. Efforts are ongoing!

James McManus
(Seven Summit Treks)

Robert Smith
(Adventure Consultants)

Michéal Brogan
(Summit Climb)

Eoin Brogan
(Summit Climb)

James McManus (41) had intended climbing Everest from the Tibet side with a dedicated Sherpa from Nepal Pyramids and using the camp infrastructure of Seven Summit Treks. He was planning to climb without supplementary oxygen (although the Chinese authorities have banned ‘No Os’ climbs of Everest this year!). A major delay by Chinese authorities in issuing permits caused SST to cancel their expedition on the Tibet side and so James switched from Everest via the Tibet side to Lhotse via the Nepal side (which is Everest route most of the way up). James completed his first rotation which involved going from EBC to Camp 1 (19,500ft/5943m) last Saturday, then up to Camp 2 (21,000ft/6400m) on Sunday and then up to touch Camp 3 (23,500ft/7162m) and back to Base Camp in one long day on Monday last. That is a strong pace given (and regardless of) the limited acclimatisation window he has had due to the permit delay and subsequent change of plan. His second and final rotation begins on Friday 9th May when he will go directly to Camp 2, then to Camp 3 on Saturday 10th and onward to touch Camp 4 on Sunday 11th before returning to Camp 2 and then EBC by Monday 12th to rest and plan the summit push on Lhotse. James will be attempting to climb Lhotse without supplementary oxygen. While Lhotse has been successfully climbed four times by Irish climbers, there has never been a ‘No Os’ climb of Lhotse by an Irish climber. Other 8000m peaks have been successfully climbed without supplementary oxygen by Irish climbers (Cho Oyo x2, Manaslu x 3, Broad Peak x1), but this would be a Lhotse first for an Irish climber. James reports coldness in his hands which he is focused on managing in his forthcoming rotation. His schedule is fast-paced and with little margin to play with. He seems in good shape after the first rotation and will know infinitely more about his summit chances once he gets back to EBC on Monday 12th ahead of a summit push later in May.

Robert Smith (53) is from Omagh in County Tyrone, now living in Fort William in Scotland. He is a professional mountain guide and is lead guide for the Adventure Consultants expedition team this season on the Nepal side of Everest. Robert and his team have completed their first rotation through the icefall to Camp 1 (19,500ft/5943m), then on to Camp 2 (21,000ft/6400m) and after an extra day of rest at Camp 2, back through the icefall to Base Camp to rest and prepare for the next rotation. They attempted to begin their 2nd rotation on 5th may, however a Sherpa team ahead of them had reached an impasse in icefall caused by a recent collapse which made continuation impossible. So they had to reset back at EBC and on 6th May they headed thru the icefall, bypassing Camp 1 and straight to Camp 2 in 12 hours. After a rest day at Camp 2 on 7th May they moved on to Camp 3 (23,500ft/7162m) and the teams first experience of using supplementary oxygen. They are currently making their way back to Everest Base Camp to rest and prepare for their summit push which could start late next week, weather depending.

Michéal Brogan (55) is from Mullingar in County Westmeath. He is climbing with the Dan Mazur owned Summit Climb expedition team which consists of nine clients on their Everest team this season. Micheal is originally from Tyrone but has been living in Mullingar for some years now and is a member of the Mullingar Hiking Group who completed trips to Toubkal earlier this year and Mt. Blanc last June. This is Michéal’s second time on Everest having previously attempted the climb in 2022. Michéal is attempting to climb Everest with his son Eoin, which is the first Irish ‘Father-Son’ combination to attempt Everest. Both Michéal and Eoin have completed their acclimatisation phase with rotations conducted up to Camp 3 (23,500ft/7162m) over the past couple of weeks. They are now resting (some of their team is at EBC, some have hiked down to Namche for some chocolate cake and to gobble up that thicker air). The team will now prepare for their summit push which could begin late next week, weather depending.

Eoin Brogan (30) is from Mullingar in County Westmeath and is Michéal’s son (See above). Eoin has previously climbed Mt. Blanc (2023) and Toubkal (2024) with the Mullingar Hiking Group. This is his first big Himalayan mountain climb and the first Irish ‘Father-Son’ combination to attempt Everest. See Michéal’s details above for status of his climb. Both Eoin and Michéal are being cheered on by the Mullingar Hiking Group.

Everest 2024 – Summit Window

The Everest Spring season summit window occurs in mid-May when the strong winds (Jet stream) smashing against the top of Everest subside to enable climbing to the top (some years it is a wide window, other years its a couple of days). Meteorologist Geoff Linsley describes it as follows: The heating of continental Asia during the summer causes a reversal of the jet stream, which contributes to the monsoon season in tropical high altitudes. This happens because the typical north-south temperature gradient is reversed when 30 degrees north becomes warmer than at the equator. Around May, the two forces tend to balance each other and nearly stagnate the winds at Mt. Everest. An additional facet of the reversing weather comes from a phenomenon called the Indian Ocean Dipole. Its positive phase leads to stronger trade winds and cooler than average sea surface temperatures near Indonesia and Australia. To the west, the waters around Madagascar remain warmer, intensifying convection and the monsoon. In its negative phase, the patterns are reversed, which helps the strengthening subtropical jet stream weaken the monsoon and rejuvenate winds over Mt. Everest.

Climbers spend 40 days or so acclimatising and preparing towards that summit window in mid-May so that they are in place and physiologically adapted to have a shot at a summit push. Various expedition leaders will meet at EBC with latest weather data in hand to hammer out an order for teams to proceed up the mountain during the summit window, in the hopes of avoiding overcrowding up high. Some years this is more successful than others, and it all depends on how wide the window is expected to be. This is the phase of the adventure when you need luck the most. Below is data on All and Irish summit dates over the years showing quantity of climbers versus summit dates. 88% of Everest summits occur from 10th to 23rd of May with 23rd May being the most recorded summit day. 65% of Everest summits occur from 16th to 23rd May. From an Irish perspective, over 70% of summits have occurred from 16th to 23rd May with the earliest recorded summit on 12th May and latest on 7th June.

So watch out for a wave of summits over the next 10 days.

(Hover on graph to see totals)

Everest – Latest Numbers

(Click to view next slide, hover on graphs to see data)

Thanks to Himalayan Database team for data assistance. 

Note: Stats for Irish climbers of Everest from Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are combined on this website. That is not a political statement, it is a reflection that climbing and trekking on the Island of Ireland from the mighty Mournes to the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks and stretching out into the world beyond, has a long and proud cross-community and cross-border makeup which transcends political and religious backgrounds. Some Everest climbers from Northern Ireland have climbed on their British passports and are proud of their identity as Northern Irish and British, while others from both North and South have climbed on their Irish passport and are equally proud of their Irish identity. Live, let live, and climb!

The author: Paul Devaney is a native of Longford, is co-founder of the Irish Seven Summits project and an aerospace freelancer based in London. Paul is an amateur mountaineer and has completed six of the Seven Summits and attempted Everest in 2014 and 2015. In both seasons his expedition was halted due to major incidents (Avalanche in 2014, Earthquake in 2015). Paul has climbed and trained in the Alps and completed climbs from Alaska to Antarctica and from Jordan to Ecuador. He lives in London with his wife Rima and twin daughters, and has been documenting Irish climbers on Everest & 8000m peaks since 2014.

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