May 23, 2007
I have not heard again from Bill. We are waiting. I know he was very tired and we are anxious to hear that he has made it safely further down the mountain.
Yesterday Dan Mazur reported on Everestnews.com that Terry and his Sherpa summited at 9:00 AM and that Bill and his Sherpa turned around, 200 meters from the summit, at the South Summit at 12:45 PM. Bill told me yesterday that it would have taken him 2 more hours to get to the summit. That would have put him there at 2:45 PM and from what I have read, that is too late to reach the summit and get back to Camp 4 safely. From what I’ve read, you need to start down by 2 PM. (This coming from a housewife in Costa Mesa..)
Jeff Giger (son in law) found this description of the South Summit:
The South Summit
The climbers’ first small victory of the day, the South Summit is a ping pong table-size dome of snow and ice at 28,700 feet. From here the climbers can obtain the view of the final obstacles ahead of them: the Cornice Traverse, the Hillary Step, and the final slopes to the summit. It is traditional to change oxygen bottles here so that one has a fresh bottle for the final ascent and return to the South Summit. If it’s late in the day or the weather is deteriorating, this is the place to make the all-important decision to turn around.
I will let you know when I hear something.