Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Expedition Summary

Today all climbers have either begun the hike out from base camp or taken a helicopter from base camp to Kathmandu.  Last night we had our celebration with our Sherpa team, and thus have concluded a successful expedition. 

Our May 20 summit was not an easy one, the day turned out to be colder with higher wind speeds than anticipated.  There were other factors that complicated our summit day, however in the end 3 guides, 5 climbers, and 6 climbing Sherpa made the summit together.  2 of our climbers and 2 Sherpa had to turn back before reaching the top on our summit day because of complications resulting from the harsh weather conditions, and thus we avoided any injuries.  We were the only team to climb to the top on the South side route after the large scale attempt on May 19, and I don't anticipate any climbers going to the top until May 25 at the earliest based on the current weather forecast.

We decided to cancel the Lhotse extension climb because the route up the Lhotse couloir was not in suitable condition by our standards for guiding.  We are thankful for our strong and supportive Sherpa team that helped us achieve our goal of climbing Everest and making it back down safely.  Thanks for following along!

Garrett Madison

1: Rob & Karma at the summit holding the Lama Geshe blessing card
2: Climbing up the Hillary Step in icy conditions
3: View from the South Col high camp after returning from our summit

Monday, May 21, 2012

Team back to Base Camp

The entire team is safely back in Base Camp. It almost feels like summer here and people are sunning out on the rocks, enjoying cool beverages, and reminiscing about the climb.

We would like to congratulate Alpine Ascents Guide Eric Murphy who summited Lhotse yesterday at 3:41pm. We would also like to congratulate Jim Matter on his Everest effort. Jim reached the Hillary Step before impending frost bite to his fingers forced him to turn back to the South Col. The Hillary Step is a section of technical climbing only 200 feet below the summit at an altitude of 28,870 feet. That is more than 600 feet higher than any other mountain in the world and is certainly an amazing achievement! He was able to avoid frost bite to his fingers and has fully recovered.

A few of our team members will be departing on Helicopters early tomorrow morning and the rest will be walking back to Lukla through the rich oxygen and forested trails of the lower Khumbu Valley.


Back down to Camp 2

The team has safely descended the Lhotse Face and are back to Camp 2.  The weather is surprisingly nice today given the forecast and our climbers will be enjoying a fine afternoon in the Western Cwm before returning to Base Camp tomorrow.  We can’t wait to see them again and congratulate everyone on a job well done!


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Back in the South Col

The team has made it safely back to the South Col.  They are filling up with hot drinks and getting into their down sleeping bags. They will rest at the Col for the remainder of the day and night before descending to Camp 2 tomorrow.  The team will be back to Base Camp the next day and we are excited to welcome them safely back to camp soon.



Back down the Triangular Face

The team has just radioed from the Balcony.  They are doing well and everyone is in good shape for their descent through the Triangular Face back to the South Col tents. The Col is fairly windy at the moment, but those tents will still be looking pretty good to our climbers!


On the way down

The team has successfully descended the Hillary Step, passed the South Summit, and are currently on their way down the South East Ridge.  Nice work!




The team has reached the top of the world!!  Climbers Rob Sobecki, Laurence Clark, Mark Shuttleworth, Leanna Shuttleworth, and Marc Hester reached the summit of Mt. Everest along with Guides Garrett Madison, Lakpa Rita and Jose Louis Peralvo.  The climbing was tough with gusting winds and some driving snow, we could not have done it without our amazing Sherpa Team.  Joining us on the Summit are Kami Rita Sherpa, Karma Sarkee Sherpa, Ang Passang Sherpa, Ningma Tsheri Sherpa, Pemba Tenzing Sherpa and Ang Nuru Sherpa. No one climbs Mt. Everest alone and we are especially thankful to all the family and friends who have supported us day in and day out over the last two months.  We could not have done it without you.

A huge congratulations to today’s summiteers as we continue to follow them back down the mountain.  The top is only half way and we will continue to monitor the climber’s progress as they descend back to the South Col for some well deserved rest.