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Prayer flags above Dingboche. Lhotse and Island Peak in the background.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

News from ABC

May 22, 2013 8:30 a.m. CDT

The communication is back.  A dispatch from Altitude Junkies appeared sometime after 7 a.m.   Just as I was finishing reading and digesting that report at 8 a.m. I received a call from Robert. Some of the information below is directly from him.

Altitude Junkies confirmed that only 3 of the team plus Phil (expedition leader) and 7 Sherpas made it to the summit. Robert was among the 6 team members that turned back because of imminent danger of frost bite.  I had been concerned about Robert's toes freezing as they were pretty badly frost bitten on his ski descent of Manaslu. Once one has had that problem there is the danger of re-injury.

I received a satellite phone call at 8:10 a.m. from Robert and not only his toes but his fingers had been in danger of serious frost bite.  Fingers and toes or a possible Everest summit?  He chose wisely. We only had 2 minutes to speak on a borrowed satellite phone so here are some details, not many, sorry.

It took Robert 11 and 1/2 hours to climb from Camp 2 at 25,590' (7,800m) to Camp 3 at 27,230' (8,300m). Robert couldn't feel his fingers most of that time and his toes were worse.  At Camp 3, his wonderful Sherpa tried to warm up his feet but was unsuccessful. I don't know how close to the summit Robert climbed before deciding to turn back.

Robert is now at ABC and sounded very good. The team will leave for BC tomorrow and I know Robert will be sending a report as soon as he is able.

Patty Kay
Lincoln, NE


  1. Damn, feel bad for Robert. All that time and energy to get that close again!

  2. Glad to hear that all are safe. I know that there is disappointment but applaud the good decision making.