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