In Mike’s own words:
I’m happy to report back-to-back 8,000 meter summits of Everest and Lhotse (4th highest mountain in the world)!!! The summits were only 24 hours apart. We left at 2:15 am from Lhotse high camp and reached the summit of at 5:30 this morning. Perfect weather and fabulous views of Everest.
What made Lhotse so special was the dramatic alpine summit, steep climbing, surrounded by the legendary 8,000 meter peaks of the Himalaya. Best of all we had the mountain 100% all to ourselves – not a soul, my remarkable Sherpa Chewang Lindu and me. What a remarkable juxtaposition to 24 hours earlier on Everest!
Both Chewang and I were so much looking forward to seeing our family and friends and getting home we capped the day with a 10,000 ft descent from the top of Lhotse to Base Camp. I was back in time to joined the IMG Classic Team (whom I can’t say enough great things about) for a fun celebration.
The route up the Lhotse Couloir is the white line that diagonals left and straight to the summit. Spectacular and steep!!
Big huge massive congratulations to Mike for his amazing double 8,000 meter mountain summits in 24 hours!
Mike’s Lhotse summit bid started at 9:00 am MT this morning and in a record 3:15 they were at the top.
They will be headed through the Icefall – for the last time – in a couple hours and then will be safe at Base Camp.
This is an amazing achievement and I can say that I am extremely proud to have been able to chronicle this climb on this particular year. Go Mike!
Not one to let moss grow, I just heard through Mike’s wife that he will be moving down the mountain to the saddle between Lhotse and Everest (about 25,930 ft). He and his Sherpa will take a few hours break and then, yes, they are going to head up Lhotse. Lhotse stands at 27,940 ft.
Updated to include more details on the Lhotse/Everest Traverse thanks to Alan Arnette.
Alan was good enough to give more details on the Lhotse/Everest saddle. He writes that:
It will take them a couple of hours to descend to the midway point between the top of the Geneva Spur and Camp 3 where they will begin to regain altitude towards the summit of Lhotse. There is a High Camp there where I assume they will take a healthy food and water break before climbing to the rock gully to the summit. There have been multiple summits of Lhotse already this year so the fixed line is in place. There have been no reports of rock fall more than normal.
I am happy to report that Mike safely made it to the summit of Mt. Everest and is now on his way back down. Congratulations on a the undertaking of a lifetime.
We here at Climb7 want to express our heartfelt congratulations to all the climbers who summited during this tumultuous 2012 season. Living your passion is never easy and we commend those who dare to dream HUGE.
The official post listing the IMG team members who summited today can be found here.
IMG just reported this on their website:
The first IMG climbers are reaching the summit now, and the rest are not too far back. Conditions are excellent. The eastern sky is just starting to get some color. It’s going to be a fantastic sunrise up there this morning. We’ll post the complete summit list once everyone gets up there, and we have a chance to send the list to the Ministry of Tourism (which gets notified first, per the regulations).
Alan Arnette’s wrap up, of course, is amazing. That is primarily where I am getting my information at this point.
As a side note, there are some legalities around reporting summits due to regulations of the Nepalese government. According to the paperwork I received from IMG, the “Government of Nepal gest first notification of summits and deaths on the mountain, and they release this news first.”
I will report news as it becomes available!
Mike just called in from Camp 4, aka, the South Col. He and the team are now at 25,938 ft – 7,906 m. He feels great and still sounds really strong. They will start the push for the summit in about 10 hours (9:00 am MT).
This is it, everyone!
Exciting news from Mike today. The team left yesterday at about 3:15 am (3:15 pm MT on 5/23) and made it to upper Camp 3 at about 8:30 am (8:30 pm MT). This is Mike’s personal high point so far (about 24,000 ft). They will spend the rest of today and night at Camp 3 using supplemental oxygen. At about 6:00 am today (6:00 pm MT for us), they will leave for the South Col.
Joel Gratz offered the following information on the upcoming weather:
The 26th & 27th look okay for winds. Not the lightest winds I’ve seen forecasted, but below or around 30kts. Then a bit stronger winds on the 28th with decreasing winds on the 29th and very light winds on the 30th!
Mike and the IMG Classic team spent yesterday as a rest day at Camp 2. They will be taking off early morning (this afternoon for us) to Camp 3. The plan is to stay the night at Camp 3- using the supplemental oxygen.
The IMG Classic team successfully traversed the Icefall yesterday and is now at Camp 2. The team will take today as a rest day. The “hike” to Camp 2 covered about 10 km (6.25 miles) and was a pretty steep 4,000 foot elevation gain. Mike sounded strong and focused.