January 12, 2012
Dear Family & Friends:
In April of this year, I will be returning to Mt. Everest one last time to attempt a double ascent, which has never been done: ascend and descend on the South side in Nepal, travel to Tibet and then ascend and descend on the North side. This will be my sixth trip to the mountain of my dreams.
I will be climbing from the South side first because the lines are fixed on the South side much earlier than they are fixed on the North side. This will give me the opportunity to summit early in the season on the South side and then travel to Tibet and complete the double summit.
My expedition organizer this year will be Asian Trekking. This will be my fifth year with Asian Trekking. I have not yet selected a Sherpa for this trip, and it is possible I will have a different Sherpa on each side of the mountain. Some of you have asked about Mingma, who was my Sherpa for the last 4 climbs. Our relationship is as strong as ever. My family feels the same way about Mingma, and we hope some day he can come to America to visit us.
Thanks to Ollie, I am getting back to fighting form with my training regime. At this point, I am about 10 pounds overweight. But, this is about where I want to be when I leave for Nepal on April 3 as it gives me a comfortable margin for the 20-plus pounds I will lose on the mountain.
If you are interested in following my 2012 double summit attempt, please register on my website (eightsummits.com) and you will receive e-mail alerts when I post expedition reports from the mountain. If you have already registered, you do not need to re-register.
My good friend Alan Arnett, who summited Mt. Everest in 2011, has one of the best websites covering Mt. Everest and other mountains. He has just posted an interview with me which you may find interesting. Here is the link: http://www.alanarnette.com/blog/2012/01/11/everest-2012-interview-with-bill-burke/#utm_s
I turn 70 years young in March.
God is good.