Photo Tom West Everest 2004 Expedition©EverestNews.com
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!
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.
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.
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.
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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