Post-Summit Audio Report From Bill

May 27, 2014

Click here to listen to new audio report

The report is a bit muffled- his family understands it, but in case others cannot- Bill called his wife Sharon before this report who took some brief notes to summarize the gist of things:

snowed all the way up to summit

spent one night at camp 3

woke up next am  full on storm

got down to camp 2 blizzard at that point, hurricane type winds with snow

2 indians dad and sherpas  was scary

stopped at camp 2 but tents were all broken from wind

stayed for awhile then moved down to no col

totally exposed to wind on way down

couldn’t see person in front of him

couldn’t move fast,

was tired from summiting

waist high snow

got to no col into tents day before yesterday

came down headwall steep and dangerous in storm

no footholds , all covered with soft deep snow

got in last night  to abc

at this point they are safe

very tired

snowing and blowing on summit,,, no view,,,

continued storm since may 24

now wants to get down and home

hopes to get to Chinese base camp in one day

indians still with him,,  fun to have

took photos on summit, thinks they will be good

likes his sherpas

frostnipped fingers




28 thoughts on “Post-Summit Audio Report From Bill

  1. Bill, sounds like a great hike and congratulations. Thanks for the teaser report — can’t wait to hear the full story. Be safe — you’re still not off the mountain!!!

    1. Congratulations. Your achievements are outstanding and an inspiration to us all. Please be careful and have a safe return. Look forward to hearing more at HPS Waterman Rendevous.

  2. Bill…super job again and definitely what we call an “epoch” in mountain climbing. Takes tremendous courage and fortitude to reach down deep and “stay after it” moving up that summit ridge…hard to describe unless you’ve been there. Was worrying about your feet and hands in that stormy weather and glad that it was only frostnip…a tad slow on playing the piano when you get home and your hands will peel, blame it on your hang gliding experience…he! he! Can’t wait till you get home and we can see the photos…I have a very special one waiting for you. Take it easy on that long trek to Base Camp and savor every minute of your accomplishment….incredible for every “oldie, but goodie!”

    “One day and one step at a time!!!!”

    John Dahlem

  3. Bill, what you have accomplished, at age 72, is as extreme an exploit as was Neil Armstong’s touching down on the surface of the moon! You have inspired a whole new generation–especially those of us in our 70’s.

    Travel blessings,


  4. Bill, thank goodness you’re alright. Your descent was an epic saga, reminding me of the Apollo 13 re-entry during the blackout period, and this is not one of my jests.

    To be honest, I was a bit concerned, as you spent so much time at 8,300m. And I know how difficult descending can be after an exhausting summit success. As they say, when you reach the summit, you’re only halfway there.

    Of this I am not certain, but the monsoon season may have arrived, so your departure is well timed.

    You have performed admirably and honorably, but your family and friends miss you.

    It’s time to come home; well done, Bill.


  5. Enervation is in your voice, Bill… naturally, after your summit of Everest and partial descent, under such harsh, inclement conditions… it’s such a relief to know you’ve made it to ABC, down to a more friendly elevation… we all are anxious to hear your next report from Base Camp and then have you home in sunny SoCal… k;-)

  6. Words can’t express my feelings of thankfulness that you are okay after the descent you described.
    Your hard work, patience, trust in your abilities, and trust in God have brought you through this journey. You were on my mind as I rode my bike yesterday, beginning my training, as you are such an inspiration to me and to so many others. I am so happy for you that you have accomplished your goal. Now it’s time to go home and enjoy all you have accomplished and spend time with family, who I have no doubt are not letting you out of their sights!
    Peace, blessings, and love,

  7. Bill,

    Another fantastic accomplishment. It’s sounds like the crown jewel of all your summits.

    I’m glad that I knew this story had a happy ending before learning the extent of your ordeal.

    The Bill Burke Story needs an addendum for sure.

    Looking forward to seeing you when your back in civilization.

  8. You continue to amaze us all for too many reasons to list. It is an honor to know to you and your beautiful family. Come home safely.

  9. I am so glad you are down now. You had me worried when we didn’t hear from you….

    What an awesome achievement for yourself. You have inspired me with you tremendous journey.

    God speed and have a safe return home.

  10. THANKYOU for the report, very relieved to hear that Bill is still safe on the way down! What a tremendous ordeal, and incredible achievement to descend Everest in a storm/heavy, deep snow/blizzard–done without much rest!

    Looking much forward to hearing the next report that Bill is completely safe!

  11. Bill,

    A hearty congratulations on your success ! I stand in awe at your remarkable demonstration of physical strength and mental determination. Please tell Mingma I was very sorry to hear about the loss of his father. I am looking forward to a more complete recap of your experience.

    Dawes Eddy

    1. Hello Dawes.

      You are a humble man, as is Bill. I well remember that you also summited Mt. Everest in 2009 at age 66. In fact I saw you on the “Everest Beyond the Limit ” documentary.

      It was you and Bill who inspired me to return to mountaineering.

      You are both extraordinary, but again, humble.

      Perhaps you will return to Everest for another attempt. One thing we can count on in this sport is that the mountain will be there next year.


  12. Great job Bill, well done! A Summit from the South and now one from the North, 2 Mt Everest Summits in 7 trips on the Mountain, fantastic accomplishment! I hope some day to take a walk on Whitney with you again and hear about the trip in person, memories and experiences are what life is all about!

    Congratulations, “Live each day as if you mean it”, my motto and one you actually do! A true inspiration!

  13. My students and I are so thankful you made it back to ABC camp safely. What an overwhelming ordeal you went through to get there. We hope to hear more about it when you return. School ends this week for us, but we will keep in touch to learn more about your ascent and descent. You are truly an inspiration to us all.

  14. Hi Bill,

    We climbed Elbrus with you in 2005. Last year we met John Dahlem just a few kilometers from where you are right now and he told us you were still very active. So we have been following your journey this year with great excitement!

    Congratulations! It is an amazing achievement! Glad you are back down safely.

    Christian and Kristen

  15. Dear Bill,

    Thank God you are safe & on your way home. Wow! What an accomplishment! You are absolutely amazing. I can’t even imagine what you went through to fulfill your dream. You are indeed a living inspiration, a super hero & one of God’s Miracles wrapped into one. I am so happy that you are now safe & coming home. Let me know when your book is published. I want to be one of the first to purchase it & have you write in it for me. May God’s blessings continue to be with you the rest of your life. Love & Hugs, Betty

  16. Bill,
    congratulations to another huge accomplishment, savor the safer way down and hopefully a sunny summit to look back at.
    Your planning, determinination, conditioning, wisdom in picking the right time and all the blessings make this a most admirable feat.
    Greetings and safe ending to your trip with memories of those lost in the avalanche.
    Michael Boeckmann

  17. Bill,
    Echoing the other folks. Congratulation. You did it!! A wonderful accomplishment for you and your team.
    So glad you are down safely . Conditions were extreme but you persevered.
    It was great to follow you up Chomolungma and then a successful decent, like we were right along with you. Thank you.
    Hope we can meet some day in thin air.

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