Friday, May 15, 2009

Summit Push

I've got big news.  The summit push we've been waiting for is on.  We'll be up at 3:30 a.m. Saturday morning and heading up the Khumbu ice fall toward Camp I well before dawn.  The schedule is entirely subject to the weather, the movement of other climbers on the mountain, the health of each expedition member, etc., but if everything goes according to schedule:

Saturday: everyone moves from base camp to Camp I; spend the night at Camp I
Sunday: everyone moves from Camp i to Camp II; spend the night at Camp II; Alex Abramov, the expedition leader, divides the expedition into two teams
Monday: the first team (most likely including me) moves to Camp III and spends the night
Tuesday: the first team moves to Camp IV; the second team moves to Camp III
Wednesday: the first team pushes for the summit starting between 9:00 p.m. and midnight Tuesday night; ideally we reach the summit between 5:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. Wednesday morning; although exhausted, for our safety and survival we descend all the way from the summit back down to Camp II by the early afternoon on Wednesday; the second team moves to Camp IV
Thursday: the first team descends from Camp II to base camp; the second team pushes for the summit and descends to Camp II
Friday: the second team joins the first team at base camp

The earliest anyone will hear from me is Thursday morning in the U.S., but Friday or Saturday is more likely given how unpredictable a summit push can be.  We're most likely to spend more than one night at Camp II waiting for the ideal opportunity to push higher up the mountain.  You've really only got one shot at the summit once you commit to Camp III and Camp IV.

Now more than ever I appreciate all of the thoughts, prayers, meditations, and positive energy that people have been sending my way.  It makes a huge difference, both to me and to every other climber on Mount Everest this season.  With all of my heart I hope and pray that everyone will be able to return to their friends and families in health and safety.


  1. I am so excited for you...I can barely stand it! All the best to you and your fellow hikers. I will keep all of you in my thoughts and prayers. I am eager to hear you speak - face to face when you return - SAFELY to PHX! Enjoy each day!!!...Lori Forsythe

  2. You made it!!! I have been thinking about you and your adventure all week and sending positive thoughts and energy your way :) I searched and...jackpot! The internet is an amazing thing. Below is what I found. Way to go!!!

    I hope when you return to PHX I will be able to hear you speak about your experiences. I will try to watch for updates but would really appreciate any info you may be able to send me each day!!! Lori Forsythe

    Airborne Ranger Club Team summitted Mount Everest south side today at 07:50 AM,. Abramov’s 7Summits-Club expedition also succeeded with a large group, including Alex himself. Here is the list:

    Alex ABRAMOV (Russia) – head
    Viktor BOBOK (Russia) – guide
    KHUTOROVSKY Vladimir (Russia)
    CARPENCO Andrey (Moldavia)
    NIKITIN Dmitry (Russia)
    RAVENSTIJN Erik (Holland)
    MARIN Michael James (USA)
    CARPENCO Andrey, who has become the first Moldavian Everest summiteer.