Thursday, 26 May 2011

The Way Down...

Following the successful summit attempt the team have now retreated back down the mountain. Greg and Mark descended slowly, accompnied by Zac and three Sherpas. They arrived back at Camp 3 (8,300m) at 17:00 (12:15 UK time) and are overnighting there before continuing down tomorrow. The rest of the summit team are at Camp 2 (7,800m) with the exception of Steven, who showed signs of suffering from HAPE so has continued down to ABC with Chris.

The expedition saw 18 successful summits (8 clients, 8 Sherpas and 2 guides) out of a possible 24 who started (13 clients, 9 Sherpas and 2 guides). There were also a number of records broken by the team with:

  • Geordie becoming the youngest Britain to complete the true 7 Summits. At least for a couple of hours, until...
  • George taking the world record as the youngest person to complete the true 7 Summits.
  • George also becoming the youngest Britain ever to summit Everest.
  • Jaysen becoming the first ever Mauritian to summit Everest.

Zac was struggling with a bit of sickness at Camp 3 before the summit attempt and the dehydration that this caused led to initial symptoms of HAPE at higher altitude, but these have subsided as he has moved back down the mountain. He reached the top at 09:40 (04:55 UK time) and remained there until 10:30 (05:45 UK time), including 20 minutes on his own and a phone call to his parents including a (not entirely appropriate) quote from Sir Edmund Hillary on summiting Everest! He reports that the weather remained fine and warmer than expected throughout, and that despite seeing lights on the South Col early on in the dark during their summit push, they only spotted five other climbers on the mountain all day.

The whole team will be withdrawing to ABC from their various points on the mountain throughout the day tomorrow. They then expect to be back in Kathmandu on 30 May.