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Everest 2009 Home Sponsored by National Geographic Books

Descent to Base Camp - Part 2

By Ed Viesturs - May 20th, 2009 10:13 am GMT -0700

Via Satellite Phone - LISTEN IN!

To continue, so we descended from Camp II and made it through the Icefall and arrived here at about 4:00 o’clock in the afternoon in the thick air of base camp.

So yesterday the climb went rather well. It could have been a lot better but there were a lot of people on the route. That’s just the nature of the game. I made it to the summit in 9-1/2 hours and there were a lot of places where people were stacked up climbing on the fixed ropes and unwilling to depart the fixed ropes and once I found a bottleneck of people or somebody slow ahead, what I tried to do then was climb around them, just climbing free off the fixed ropes and that’s the only way I was able to get around a lot of the people that were going a lot slower then myself and the rest of my team.

The climb, the weather was good. Yesterday we left high camp at 11:00pm. We left the Balcony, 27,500 feet, by 3:00am, which was literally half the climb. At that point it was still obviously dark and very cold. Somebody registered minus 30 degrees fahrenheit at that time there at the Balcony. And as the sun rose, the winds died a bit, it got a little warmer and by the time we got the summit it was breezy but still a very, very nice day. We could see for miles around. The descent was rather uneventful. We got down in about four hours which was quick. We were able to get out of a lot of the crowds again and get back to the South Col by 1:00 o’clock in the afternoon.

So 14 hour round trip. My seventh ascent of the mountain and more then likely my last ascent of the mountain. It was a great place to revisit, to come back to Everest, but I don’t have the desire anymore to come back and climb the mountain for the eighth time, you could say. So thanks for checking in. I’m actually departing base camp tomorrow. I’m going to end this and start over.


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