National Geographic has announced that Boulder-based mountaineer Cory Richards, whose expedition to Mount Everest was interrupted by a medical emergency that ended in him being airlifted to Kathmandu April 28, will not be returning to Everest Base Camp. Diagnostic tests on what led to Richards suffering from a shortness of breath and chest pain were inconclusive. The expedition’s team leader, Conrad Anker, made the call on Richards’ status after discussing the situation with six doctors, including Mayo Clinic staff at Base Camp.
Richards’ departure left Anker without a partner on his attempted repeat of the West Ridge route. Simone Moro, who climbed Gasherbrum II with Richards last winter (the expedition documented in the Banff Mountain Film Festival winner Cold), is one candidate currently under consideration. But it’s Moro who’s doing the considering — both on the logistics and on his own attraction.
“I need to have time to fall in love with this route. It’s like a woman, you know,” he said, according to a National Geographic blog.
Weather conditions will also need to cooperate to reduce the risk of rock fall in the Hornbein Couloir.