Tom McMillan reported in by satellite phone late Monday night 11:50 PM Pacific Time / Tuesday afternoon about 1:30 PM Nepali Time.
He said that they are now at Base Camp, all are safe, in good health, and in great spirits!
Now that the weather is getting warmer on the lower parts of Mount Everest, the treacherous Khumbu Icefall is getting even more dangerous. So on Tuesday the 18th they left Camp 2 (21,300ft.) very, very early so they could pass through the Icefall while temperatures were still very cold.
He reported that Nawang has had absolutely no problems with his prosthetic leg--it is warm and comfortable for him, even going downhill. In fact, Tom said today Nawang went down the Icefall faster than he ever has. This is quite remarkable!
Also, it seems the big snowstorm that we had seen in all the weather forecasts had not appeared there yet, so they enjoyed good conditions while descending. At the time he called, he reported that the weather was good; I suspect it has changed in the past few hours. But that won't matter, because they are well-protected from the elements at base camp.
When Tom called it was early afternoon Nepali time, and he mentioned that it was time for them to start celebrating now (he mentioned something about a bottle of fine whiskey that our new base camp manager, Tim Roberts, had brought to share for this occassion).
Tom said the climbing team will leave base camp in a couple of days, and probably be back in Kathmandu in about a week (others on the team will stay to pack up our camp and trek back with the yaks. He sounded very happy when he called, and a little bit tired--not surprising!
They all did such a wonderful job climbing this huge mountain in such a safe style. Now it's time for all of us to celebrate too, knowing they are finally down from the mountain, safe and happy!
© McMillan Associates 2004-6. All rights reserved.
at Base Camp, where they can finally
relax, have some big meals, and celebrate their success
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