October 18, 2006 – Summit Team Safe Back at the South Col

Wow, what a day.  Dave just called me from Camp IV to report the entire team is back and safe in the tents at the South Col.

IAt Base Camp Wally spent much of the day on the satellite phone spreading the good news about the successful summitt was a long descent for a team that had been moving continuously above 8000 meters for between 15 to 18 hours.  Kit arrived at the Col at 3:30 PM, the rest were there before 5:00PM.

Rest is in order for everyone, the 14 climbers and Sherpas who were on the summit today and the 2 additional Sherpas who were working off the Col, pushing up supplies and support and keeping Camp IV intact.  I know 16 people who will sleep very well tonight – even at 8000 meters!

Tomorrow holds more of an historic descent for this exceptional team: the Lhotse Face awaits!

Dave Hahn corrected me when I congratulated him for his 8 Everest summits while he was on the top today.  “7 ½”  he said, “7 ½” – what Dave means is it only counts as 8 when the team is down safely.  The rest of that story will continue to unfold tomorrow as they continue toward Base.

I am confident this crew will do fine.  They need the rest they will get tonight, but tomorrow holds more adventure, more turns - weary legs and spent lungs descending deeper into thicker air where they belong…..

Congratulations again to Kit, Rob, Jimmy, Bryce, Dave and all the Sherpas on the first ascent of the Nepal side of Everest in autumn in six years, great job guys.

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