Tom called from Camp 2 about 12:15 am Pacific Daylight Time (about 1pm in Nepal) Wednesday to let us know that they have begun their summit bid. They are pacing themselves to arrive on the summit on May 15th or 16th to take advantage of a favorable "weather window" with only light winds on the upper part of the mountain those days (check the weather links on the left side of this page for details).
He reported that
all team members were feeling strong and are eager to get to the top.
A couple of very strong expeditions are ahead of them, which will make
the snow conditions easier for our team (if there is new snow, the first
teams will break trail for the others).
The summit pyramid of Mount Everest
© McMillan Associates 2004-6. All rights reserved.
You can track the changing weather conditions on Mount Everest by visiting these websites:
Everest Factoid of
Everest is a Lightning-Free Zone
Since Mount Everest is so stormy, how likely is it for lightning to strike climbers at the top part of the mountain?
Actually, NASA's satellite-based lightning detection system does observe significant lightning strikes in the Tibet plateau, on mountains up to about 7,000 feet. But none along the highest mountains along the Tibet border.
Mount Everest doesn't get hit by lightning or, at least, the satellites have never observed any strikes. It's postulated that extremely high mountains change the whole development of clouds. Perhaps the clouds lose their electrical charges as the rain drops out of them as they go up and over the mountain.
Mount Everest presents many dangers to climbers, but at least lightning is not one of them!
Going for the summit!
EVEREST: Friendship Beyond Borders team members Nawang Sherpa, Tom McMillan, Nima Tashi, Nima Gombu, and Pem Dorjee are on their way to the summit!