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  Everest 2007:  South Africans summit Everest


Photo Tom West Everest 2004 Expedition©EverestNews.com

Report from Glenda Muhl

Ronnie, Mike and sherpas (Lhakpa Randu and I don’t have the other wonderful man's name) summited at 2:30am our time today. We had a sleepless night waiting for the call. I am so proud of their achievement - the 11th and 12th South Africans to stand on top of the world and Mike at 56 years, the oldest South African to be there.

Ronnie could not speak for long but I detected a lot of emotion in his voice. The conversation went something like this: "It's been a long haul, but here I am - it's incredible Glen - tell the children... here comes Mike - I haven't seen him since the 2nd step - he will be with me in about 10 minutes - I have to go - need to put my oxygen mask back on again....."

Mike called his wife a few minutes later saying, "I am top of the world" with the voice of Lhakpa Randu cheering in the background.

Earlier: 16th May 2007                                    SUMMIT SUCCESS!

We are ecstatic to announce that Andy van der Velde successfully summited Mt. Everest at 5am Nepalese time this morning.  He climbed with Nima Sherpa in good conditions and is now moving down towards Advanced Base Camp.

15th May 2007:  It was great to hear Andy’s voice from Camp 3 at 8 300m. He described the conditions as cloudy, but warm inside the tent. He is ready for his summit bid and plans to leave the highest camp in the world at 9:30 tonight. The remaining three members relaxed in Base Camp and enjoyed their first fresh salad for lunch in 6 weeks. The latest weather report reveals a stable window for all of next week.

14th May 2007; Andy and Nima reached Camp 2 at 7 700m safely and in fine spirits. The weather is holding, although some instability still exists. Ronnie, Mike and John walked down to Base Camp for a few days’ rest before their summit push next week

13th May 2007: An up-to-date weather forecast was obtained which still revealed that a reasonable weather window existed.  The majority of the team felt that the window is not ideal and would prefer to wait for warmer and more stable conditions at a later stage.

Andy, however, is determined to take advantage of the opportunity and left Advanced Base Camp at 13:30 today accompanied by the very capable Nima Sherpa, who has six summits to his credit. We established that 150 climbers are taking advantage of this weather window to push for the summit. Go Andy Go!

10th May 2007; John arrived in Base Camp early this morning from Shigar and joined the rest of the team on their walk up to Intermediate Base Camp. With porters to help carry their personal gear, the team covered the 11km stretch in four hours. 

The team is committed to arriving in Advanced Base Camp refreshed and ready for their summit push.

9th May 2007

As we prepare to leave Base Camp for the last time, we find ourselves spending time focused on the weather. There is a possible weather window around the 17th and again around the 21st.  We need to get to Advanced Base Camp before we can have a clearer picture of what lies ahead.  John will join us in Intermediate Base Camp tomorrow.

2nd May 2007

Ronnie, Mike and Andy packed up their gear and walked down to Base Camp for a rest.  It snowed for 4 hours, which made the going very tough indeed.  Along the way they met John on his way back up to Advanced Base Camp and he was in high spirits, looking forward to his climb up to 7 000m. 

1st May 2007:

Just after breakfast  we heard that the climbers from Kazakhstan were in trouble on the descent and that they called for help at 4am this morning. Our Sirdar Lhakpa Randu was involved with their rescue, which took 16 hours.

The Kazakhs finally made it back to Advanced Base Camp at 9pm.  They were physically, mentally and emotionally drained. 

 
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