A Short Summary

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Written report translated from audio report:

“Hello Everyone, It’s Bill Burke from….

I sent a report on what happened over 24 hrs ago from the north col but my wife just told me that it didn’t go through. I feel very bad about that because I guess you guys were kind of wondering what happened to me. I will give a really short report now because I’ve got to get down to Chinese Base Camp and then when I get to Kathmandu I’m thinking I may put together a full report of exactly step by step of what happened on summit day. Otherwise first report is that Aboul and Doug and I are all safe at Chinese Base Camp. We made it down… from Advance Base Camp…..Doug already left CBC and Aboul, so I am the last one to leave here…..

On summit day we left Camp 3 for the summit at 8:30 in the morning, right behind the Chinese team that was climbing to the summit, not the fixing team, but the climbing team. Bottom line Aboul, the Russian made it to the summit okay. Doug and I got up to the NE ridge right above the first step actually to a place called “green boots” where an Indian climber died a few years ago and he is still there and you can still see his green boots so they call it that now.

Mingma completely surprised me by saying that we had to turn and go down because of moving too slow. I challenged him on that, we had a bit of an argument we were moving too slow, i thought I was moving quite fine, I felt strong, I felt really good.

But then he said that the sherpas that were with us didn’t have enough oxygen they only supplied with ? bottles of extra oxygen which isn’t enough because there were like four of them. I couldn’t say anything …because …..Mingma…ever ….in danger because they weren’t supplied with enough oxygen…had no choice, we had to go down.

As far as moving slow I have to … on that, I am going to go into it now. … reflection when I write the report from Kathmandu. The bottom line is I didn’t think we were moving slow at all, we made pretty good time….

That’s it in a capsule, obviously I am very disappointed that I didn’t get a chance to make it, I know Doug is too, his story is a little different than mine…. I’ll pass it along when I do my longer report. I am sorry for all of you who were following us so close and supporting me, I feel bad for you too. But you know it’s a….maybe I’ll come back, maybe I won’t, maybe I will have to be satisfied with the one summit of Mt Everest from the south side and be happy with that. So I’ll think about it and everything is going to be ok.

I’ll come down and probably do another report or two between now and Kathmandu. I am thinking about doing a rather long report so you get an idea what it is like to move up from camp 3 to the summit and encounter some difficulties and disagreements that are pretty typical . …..

I heard night before last one of the 7 Summits Climbers died on the second step coming down after going up which is quite sad. So I am happy to be alive, glad to have all of my fingers and my….(choked up)….sorry…….glad to have all of you as my family and my friends….. Thanks again for following my trip. As usual I consider it a privilege to be here and to even be on this mountain. Ok you guys-. Goodbye.”


Comments

45 thoughts on “A Short Summary

  1. Sorry to hear you didnt make it Bill. Strange that your Sherpas did not have enough O2, was it poor expedition organisation or just a (very costly) oversight? Definitely something to discuss with Asian Trekking.I do know how you feel, a similar situation

  2. Bill,

    From everything I see, once you’re are prepared, getting to the top seems to be outside of the climbers control. You gave it a shot but you were not supposed to make it this time around for reasons nobody will ever understand. Your past s

  3. Hey, be proud of what you attempted. Be satisfied with the one summit and go back and enjoy your family. Being safe and in one piece is a good thing. Plus the memories for a lifetime. Russ

  4. Your bravery, grace, and dignity are an inspiration Bill. You and yours are a remarkable family. Can’t wait to hear that you are back in So Cal in their arms. xoxo

  5. Bill, perhaps at the back of Mingma’s mind is the thought that you have had your fair share of Sherpa and Everest time, and that you should let younger climbers take their turn .

  6. i consider it a privilege to have been invited to join you on this latest adventure on Everest. You are a hero to me and I cannot imagine the disappointment you are feeling – but I completely agree with your conclusion. It is more important to return sa

  7. It is ok, you have inspired me. Your life is valuable. Tomorrow I leave for CO to try to climb Manitou Incline,(It is not the same as Everest) but it is my first & like you I am a senior citizen :). I heard there is a bail out trail if I can’t make i

  8. Bill, Glad to hear that you are safe on your latest adventure. As always, you are an inspiration! ~Lara

  9. Bill, your stories, your courage, your support while I was down last year w my loss, your spirit and your stories about your lovely family are more than enough for me..for us! to support you and follow you ‘no matter what’ You could be climbing MT. Diabl

  10. Hey, Bill, you survived an incredible adventure, energized vicarious climbers the world over, and have even more amazing stories to share for the rest of your life – quite a successful expedition if you ask me. We’re all extremely proud of you, old boy!

  11. Sorry for your disappointment, but don’t feel sorry for us! Reading your posts makes us all feel we are there, and for us, its not about the summit but the adventure! P.S. I’ve seen Green Boots’ picture on the web.

  12. Dear Bill, I have been following your adventures for years. Everytime you go to Everest I worry about you. I run to the computer first thing in the morning to read your reports. I am so glad you are safe (and I do not need to worry). Please, you did E

  13. I know you must be especially disappointed because you felt so strong, but your achievements are inspiring as well as your grace in the face of disappointment. Just as everyone that is following your adventure, I am so glad you are safe & strong. Yo

  14. I know you must be especially disappointed because you felt so strong, but your achievements are inspiring as well as your grace in the face of disappointment. Just as everyone that is following your adventure, I am so glad you are safe & strong. Yo

  15. What a ‘savage arena’ you choose to play in! Those words belonged to my old school buddy Joe Tasker who immortalized them in a book of the same name. Joe disappeared on May 17, 1982 while on the North Ridge, along with fellow climber Pete Boardman. It was

  16. After losing someone very close to me on his summit day almost two years, I can only say that I wish there was someone there like Mingma telling him they were moving too slowly, that they didn’t feel well enough, or that it wasn’t meant to be that day…

  17. You do not need to be sorry. I’ve enjoyed following your adventure every step of the way and I’m proud you are up there giving a go at something most people can only imagine and wonder about. Thank you for sharing your stories.

  18. O Bill, I am so sorry to read your news. I had tears too. I done even know you, but you are a friend of Karol Hatch and so am I. I am a dear friend of Karol’s mother. I follow your trips all the time. I was so excited that you made it this far, and to com

  19. O Bill, I am so sorry to read your news. I had tears too. I done even know you, but you are a friend of Karol Hatch and so am I. I am a dear friend of Karol’s mother. I follow your trips all the time. I was so excited that you made it this far, and to com

  20. Bill…fantastic effort and in the end that is all that counts…you definitley didn’t disappoint me that is for sure…you ran the whole show on the North side. You were the head man, had to make all the tough decisions, had to try to get the Chinese mov

  21. You are an hero to us all,God Bless You.Have a great summer, my love to you and your beatiful family.(HUGS AND KISSES OLLIE POP)

  22. Mr. Burke,
    so thankful you and your team are alright. We kept hearing of deaths on the mountain and have been keeping you in prayer. Thank you for the reports. You have not disappointed anyone! You are a very brave man. If only we could each have jus

  23. Bill, you have made the double summit in integrity and leadership. Those are the summits people will always remember you for.

  24. Bill, you have made the double summit in integrity and leadership. Those are the summits people will always remember you for.

  25. Bill, you have made the double summit in integrity and leadership. Those are the summits people will always remember you for.

  26. I am following your story from Ontario, CA (Airport)for the first time via emails… It is excitig to hear and i am so happy for you and that you are safe. Keep up the good work and I look forward to hearing the rest of your story about this wonderful ad

  27. My Dear Bill, you are our hero. What other 69 year old has summitted once and twice almost made it again? This is an amazing record.

    We can’t alway accomplish our goal no matter how hard we try and you remind us that we need to go as far as

  28. My Dear Bill, you are our hero. What other 69 year old has summitted once and twice almost made it again? This is an amazing record.

    We can’t alway accomplish our goal no matter how hard we try and you remind us that we need to go as far as

  29. Bill,

    I am glad you are safe above all. I am disappointed for you. What an amazing experience.

    See you when you get back.

    Cory

  30. Dear Bill

    Sorry to hear that you were turned around when you could have had a fuller summit bid. Sounds awful.

    Congratulations for what you did get to accomplish. Glad to hear that you are safe and sound. And, looking forward to hear

  31. Sorry to hear that, but I am glad you are safe. Remember the quote,’shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.’

  32. Hi Bill,
    I too am so happy to hear you safe and sound back at camp. I know that things didn’t work out the way you hoped, but I want to thank you for taking me as close as I will ever get to the summit! You are an amazing person and your accomplish

  33. You’re still the man! Thanks for making the effort! You’ve been an inspiration…God bless you, your team and your family.

  34. Wow… sounds like it might take some time to bring all the factors involved. Sorry you didn’t get to the summit. All the praise in the world for putting yourself in a position to do it… AGAIN!

  35. Bill congratulations on your summit attempt, although you are disappointed in not making your goal – your family & friends are not & you’re still inspiring to us all & forever our hero!
    I recall your persuasive tactics on McKinley so I’m

  36. First and foremost, we love you Bill. SO much to say, but we will wait until we see you next. Namaste,
    Clarice and Rick

    P.S. In Namche today and heading down to Pakding. Wonderful trip and great beauty here!

  37. Bill we are all proud of you. (t has been a lot of fun following you on your trip. I know you are disappointed of not achieving your goal of double summitting but look at what you have achieved. Sometimes we need to reflect on what we have accomplished..

  38. Bill, I am sorry for your disappointment, but it’s an awesome accomplishment anyway! Most people on this planet can’t do what you did, let alone get off their duffs. You are an inspirational role model for many people of all ages. We all need to continue

  39. Bill, my wife & I followed your entire trip. You are a hero in our eyes and you have accomplished more then any of us rookie hikers will ever get to do. You have been to places and seen things most of us can only imagine by living through your words

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