News From Everest

Another update from our ex cadet on Everest.

At 0939hrs GMT on 20th May, myself and five other members of the expedition, together with Sangi Sherpa, succesfully reached the North Col of Everest – 7050m/23,000ft!!!!!!

It was an amazing experience to be climbing on the world’s highest mountain and to be alongside climbers heading for the summit! It was also an incredibly tough day with the weather being the worst on the mountain so far this season (typical!) and the decent was somewhat of an epic – but we all made it back ok!

We were joined on the last section by a Chinese climber who seemed as happy to reach the North Col as we were and called over his comrades to assist with the team photos! From what we’ve heard, the Chinese Expedition later went on to put about 20 climbers on the summit and it would be very interesting to know if he was one of them!!

Sadly, we also learned that one of the Seven Summits Team died whilst decending from the summit – his body was found by the Chinese.

Quite a few of the teams have taken advantage of the brief weather window from 20th-23rd May but most of the big teams, such as Jagged Globe, are waiting until the end of May/beginning of June when much calmer weather is expected. A small number of climbers ventured above the North Col early on but got quite a beating – we saw some very sorry looking people indeed!!

We were also priviledged to be able to spend a great deal of time with the Jagged Globe North Ridge summit team – they are a great bunch and some of the things written by the very silly Times journalist, Stephanie Marsh, may well be inaccurate, so do bear that in mind should you happen to read them. I wish them all the very best of luck in their summit quest – but especially Sibusiso Vilane. He is a wonderful man (an African Game Ranger) and is aiming to be the first black person to climb Everest from both the North and South sides. He previously summited Everest in 2003. I have given Sibusiso several Tibetan prayer flags that I bought in Lhasa – should he again be successful, Sibusiso has agreed to do me the most profound honour and place those prayer flags on the summit for all my friends and family. A quite remarkable act of generosity.

Well, I shall sign off for now. I hope you are all well and I look forward to catching up with you all again soon!!!!