November 9, 2016
We just (finally) received this brief message from my dad from his portable device.
The trip is over. The mountain is a beast! Small but mighty. Kicked our butt big time-especially mine. I plan to leave Burke-Khang alone. This mountain is for the ages. Even David and the experienced Sherpas were blown away! I am choppering out of here tomorrow. I’ll never cross those glaciers again. Once I am back in Kathmandu and physically and mentally recovered, I’ll file a complete report. I have some great photos and videos to share. ”
More to come-
You’ve got to know when to hold ’em.
Know when to fold ’em…
There’s a reason why this mountain is unclimbed, and will probably always remain so. But it’s still your mountain, and you will return home safely to your family. Ollie is waiting!
You have fought honorably.
There is no cause to look back.
It takes a very special man to know when to bow away from a mountain, but I have no doubt that you gave your best shot at this climb… especially since the mountain is named after you…I am so looking forward to hearing about this ‘BEAST’ in your next post.
But I am so grateful that you are returning from this experience, alive.
Your comment about never crossing those glaciers again, bring me to a point of teariness, because I can only but imagine how much you wanted to be the first to summit this mountain. I suspect that from that brief message of November 9th, it will be a long time coming, before any of us hear that someone has done it…or that it is totally unsafe for climbing.
Thank you so very much for keeping me riveted to my computer every day so that I could check in, and see WHERE IS BILL. You have given me so much inspiration and excitement for my own life, with all of your own stories and such kind words for your Nepalese friends. I also appreciated all the information that you gave with each day/photo, so that the newbies will have a better idea as to where to stay and where to eat while in Nepal.
Alana, from Canada
Thanks from the middle of Missouri for letting us live vicariously through you. I share your exploits with my wife who is a quadriplegic. Glad your safe!! As wise man knows when to say when.
Bruce and Melissa Eckhoff
Bill so glad you are all great. Texting with Sharon and she sent me a copy of your decision. First I asked if you were all ok and she said yes you were so well prepared for this but sometimes all plans don’t work out and this is your mountain and what an honor for you to have your name attached to it and you did your best and now it time to come home to your family and so many friends that have been with you all the way looking forward for your safe return and seeing more pictures and more of your experiences God has been with you all and ready for all to come home
Thanks for forwarding Bill’s message. Good to know that he, David and the climbing team are well. No doubt his upcoming report will be an exciting tale of high adventure; it must be, since we know Bill did his utmost to summit, but wisely retreated…
PS: Bruce & Melissa, I was just in Centralia, MO! Warm wishes.
Thank you Lisa for the update. Was becoming a bit concerned after two days with no post. Thanking the Lord for his wisdom and pray Bill is well.
“Home is wherever you leave everything you love and never question it will be there when you return.” — Leo Christopher
We are all looking forward to your return home.
So sorry, Bill. I know you wanted to summit your mountain. But it was a wise decision to leave when it got too dangerous. It seems aptly named after you, tough and mighty, like you are. Thanks for sharing your adventures with those of us who will never be able to see those places ourselves. Glad you’re safe.
Glad you are all safe. I was concerned also about not receiving a post for two days. You are an inspiration for all ages. Looking forward to your account in the mountain. Safe travels home and God has richly blessed you, Pat
Beautiful looking mountain. Will be great to get you back home safe.
Ollie is looking forward to his next bike ride!!!
A wise decision!!!
To visit a place is minor; to change within is greater, and you have been transformed by two experiences on Burke-Khang–enjoy the moment. Feeling grateful that you are out of harm’s way and will soon be returning home. (Thank you Lisa for the posting.)
Thank God it’s over!!! I was very worried!!! So I guess they named that mountain after the right man because only the strongest know when to walk away!Now you and your mountain are one and the same…The toughest of the tough!God Bless!!!
So glad to hear you are safe Bill, what a tremendous test of your strength and endurance……getting close enough to give us all a good taste of the majestic beauty! Im glad to travel along with you, even as you make your way home! Bravo……hellofa ride!
Glad to hear that you’re safe Bill. You’re one of my favorite heroes. A great inspiration to many of your followers. You’ve been blessed with courage, awesome accomplishments and a gentle spirit. Looking forward to hearing from you soon.
The time waiting for this post was painful! The name of this peak is yours but it belongs to God. Some things are meant to stay that way. HE spared you for a reason which HE will reveal to you in another page you will undoubtably write in the next book in your life. Thank you for again showing us all the joy, bravery and wonder of your life through this and all your journeys. You continue to enrich us all.
Elated that you are returning safely. Looking forward to hearing about the adventure and seeing the always fabulous pictures and stories.
“It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” (Sir Edmund Hillary). Sounds like you made a great decision.
Bill, I share the comments of many of the people who have already registered their remarks. From the moment I saw photos of the mountain and the route I began to fear for your safety. The route appeared to me to go up slopes that could cut loose at any time. And, as you know, an avalanche can take anyone out, no matter how proficient a climber. Many climbers have found that out in the last few moments of their lives. I’m glad to hear you are safe and sound and returning home to loved ones.
BILL and the BURKE-KHANG TEAM:
You all have made the best decision for this season of climbing to be safe and come back to all your loved ones.
Let the mountain be as it is for now. Go in peace, leave only footprints and take only pictures of the ‘lonely mountain’.
It will always be your mountain. Burke-Khang-amazing. Good decision. Good journey. Your family and friends await.
As has been said you have a beautiful mountain named after you, sorry you had to leave the “beast” behind but family and friends will be so happy to welcome you home Bill. We have enjoyed following your many incredible, brave adventures over the years.
Bill & CJ
Blessings, Bill! I am glorying in your wisdom, which may be the greatest, and finest, conquest!!!
A mountain as big in stature as the giant it’s named after. Let’s honour the beast for being sold bold and glory in the men who knew when to say NO.
You’re a legend Bill, well done you. Safe flight out.
Tim K. (UK)
We were getting worried when we didn’t hear from you for a couple of days. It sure sounds like you made the absolutely right and wise decision to turn back from this “beastly mountain”. Your safety and the safety of your colleagues is far more important than risking your life trying to summit this impossible mountain. You made two valiant attempts, and for that you should be very proud. Your many accomplishments are already legend. Now it is time for you to rest and write your book. We very much look forward to seeing you and Sharon when you get home. God speed!
I am not at all surprised that a mountain the bears your name is a “mighty beast”. Congratulations on your journey. Cant wait to hear all the details when you get back safe and sound!
It’s awesome that you made a go of climbing Burke Khang the mighty beast but very wise of you to listen to your intuition and stay safe.
Looking forward to seeing the photos and videos of your amazing adventure!
Famous last words. ” Better to be safe than sorry”. Since you had such great intentions and gave it your best shot you can be proud of going for it. A beast is better in pictures and memories. Thank you Bill for taking us on your great adventure and coming home safe!
Absolutely the right decision. Knowing when to cease one of your life’s passions and something that you are incredibly talented at, is a very difficult, almost impossible decision. The parallel to this is how many professional athletes step out at top? I was also concerned when we didn’t hear from you for a couple of days but God has kept you safe and for that we are very grateful.
Safe travels home!
Bill & team,
You were not alone on this climb. A large number of people were rooting for your success and safe return.
I am sorry your mountain is still unclimbed, but agree the safe return part is the most important part. Great effort and good decision.