October 17, 2006 (Oct. 18 Nepal Time) SUMMIT!!!
It is exactly 10:00 AM local time on October 18th in Nepal and Pasang Tenzing just called me from the summit of Everest!
I cannot remember for sure, but it has not been since either 2001 or 2002 that anyone has climbed Everest, from either side or by any route, in the post monsoon season. Tom and explorerweb.com will know, and I will check with Liz Hawley later to be sure, but that does not matter now, our team has made it!
Our four lead sherpas, after a long morning of trail breaking and hard work are stepping onto the top one by one as I send this message. The others are coming behind, coming over the Hillary step at this moment!
Dasona has been describing to me that there has been spindrift blowing up off the Kangchung face and over the ridge onto our climbers all the way across from the Hillary step. This is no doubt stinging cold above 8800 meters, but the conditions for this summit are very good.
Back down at the South Col, Ang Nymgel, who with Aarita are watching Camp IV are telling me that it is absolutely still on the South Col. They are drying the climber’s sleeping bags on top of the tents!
I will send more reports as the team reaches the top. Congratulations to all of them as they step to the top of the world!