March 26, 2010

Costa Mesa, California

On March 30, I depart for Nepal to begin my quest for a double summit of Mt. Everest.  I will be posting reports on my website every few days as events dictate.  If you register on the website, you will receive an e-mail announcing the posting of a report.  I invite you to respond to these reports, and I promise to read every response.

In my last post, I set out my plan for the double summit, which I will not repeat here.  My “Itinerary” and the “Route to the Summit” are posted in the Mt. Everest section of my website.  My friend, Alan Arnette, has put together an excellent comparison of the North and South routes, which I encourage you to read.

I have trained very hard for this expedition and feel that I am ready.  Ollie and I recently completed a 61-mile bicycle ride in the mountains and foothills of Orange County, and then along the coast for the home stretch.  When we finished the ride, I knew Ollie had me physically prepared for my trip.

Ollie and Papa after their 61-mile ride

Ollie and Papa after their 61-mile ride

The logistics for this trip are tricky and challenging because of the typically short weather window in May for reaching the summit.  As you will see from the Itinerary, I hope to summit on the North side by May 12 so that I can circle back around and then summit from the South side by the end of May.  It will be a bit like threading a needle, but I’ll give it my best.  Of course, a lot depends on weather.  Bad weather followed me everywhere last year, even on summit day when I was caught in a storm.  So, this year I am hoping for better weather. If you are inclined to include me in your prayers now and then, please mention the weather.

Last week, I turned 68.  On the subject of age and Everest, I point you to another article prepared by Alan.

As always, I put my full trust in the Lord.  He is my expedition leader and my life guide.

My next report will come from Kathmandu.

Bill Burke