May 30 – Summit 9:00 am
Here’s the latest from Everest. At 8:00 am. I heard from the summit team with
the news that the climbers and the Sherpas were all together, and that they
were half way between the balcony and the South Summit. The weather was still
very good with very little wind. Everyone was feeling good and moving
strongly. Apparently they started out a little slowly last night because
Chewang went ahead to help set the fixed lines up to the balcony. In the
meantime Thapkee was with Vern and David but carrying five bottles of oxygen.
Now that they are all together again Thapkee and Chewang can share the oxygen
carrying duties and it sounds like they are making a bit faster progress.
These guys are amazing.
In the meantime, the second climbing team left Camp 2 at about 6:00 this
morning heading for Camp 3. I’ve heard them a couple times on the radio this
morning breathing hard but doing well. Tony has been fighting a tooth abcess
problem but seems to be doing ok.
At base camp Kent, Cathleen, and Mostafa are packing up and will be heading
down the valley today. We wish them well on their journey home.
That’s all for now, Ellie
Update: May 30 Summit Night 5:20am
May 30, 5:20 am:
We finally got a radio report from Chewang, who is assisting Vern and David,
and is also helping put in fixed lines. He was calling from the balcony, where
he had run out of fixed line rope to install, and was waiting there for Vern
and Dave. He says the conditions up there are really good – cold but very low
wind. Everyone is waiting for the sun to hit soon to warm things up. He can
see a whole line of people making their way up the mountain, but everything
seems to be going well.
Meanwhile, Dave Morton, Jose Luis, Lakpa, Esther, Danielle, and Tony are at
Camp 2 having breakfast and preparing to move up the mountain to Camp 3 today.
Willi has been up a good part of the night helping monitor the radios, so he
will stay at Camp 2 supporting all the teams.
Ellie from Base Camp
Update: May 30 Summit Night 4:00am
Hello from Everest Base Camp,
It's plenty cold here in base camp right now so I imagine it's really cold up
on the mountain. As expected, we haven't heard anything from the climbers
since they left the South Col last night. In previous years the teams have
been somewhere near the balcony or a little above at this time of the morning,
so we hope that's the case with these climbers as well. Here in basecamp we
see lights and hear noises from other camps who are also up all night tracking
their cimbers. Otherwise it's pretty quiet.
May 29 - Off to the summit 11:15
Hello in cyberland,
At last we’re on our way! This is Base Camp Manager Ellie Henke reporting from
Everest base camp, where we’ve just heard that Vern Tejas and David Liano have
started on their way to the top. Today they moved up from camp 3 at 7,200
meters (23,600 feet) to Camp 4 at the South Col at 7,960 meters (26,100 feet).
When they arrived they got some rest and decided they felt pretty good. After
weeks of wind the weather was improving, and a few hours ago they reported
that this evening was almost dead calm. So the decision was made to go for it.
So far this season no one has reached the summit of Everest from the southern
Nepal side, so suddenly we find ourselves on the cutting edge.
So the final leg of the climb begins for Vern and Dave as they leave the South
Col at 11:15 this evening. I will be sending in periodic reports, but I am not
expecting to have too many communications with them. They are under strict
orders not to risk frostbite by taking their mittens off during the night to
do radio calls. So no news will be good news.
Meanwhile, the base camp staff is huddled around a propane heater in the
communications tent. Gopal, our liaison officer Bed, Kumar, Lakpa, Gelbu, and
myself will be trading off throughout the night to monitor the radio and track
the progress of the climbers.
So stay tuned for further news from our first Everest summit attempt.
Vern Tejas, Willi Prittie, Dave
Morton, Jose Luis Peralvo, and Lakpa Rita Sherpa will lead the Alpine Ascent
team on Everest this Spring. They will attempt the standard South East ridge
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