Two men from Ogden, Utah, Will Calton, and Tom Burton, are in route to the highest mountain in the world, Everest. We’ll attach dispatches from the S2 Mountaineering Team so those in town can follow their progress. The following dispatches are unedited. Ogden Outdoor Adventure is privileged to have access to the S2 Mountaineering Team, and we wish them the best possible weather, and for a safe summit and return trip back home.
Trip Report: 04-08-2012
S2Mountaineering / Everest Team 2012
Family and Friends,
The Island Peak Team is reporting in from the remote mountain village of Chhukhung at 15,400 ft. The south face of Lhotse (27,940 ft.) towers beside our lodge while Island Peak stands proudly beside her a few miles up the Chhukhung Valley. The afternoons bring snow storms to this part of the valley, so we are staging here in hopes of advancing to Island Peak Base Camp tomorrow morning.
Much has happened since our last full report on April 3rd. You may have been informed via satphone that the team successfully advanced to Everest base Camp. What may have not been apparent from the report was the performance of the team and the conditions they encountered. The team advanced to Base Camp (17,490 ft.) on April 6th after acclimatization stops in the villages of Lobuche and Gorak Shep. The group negotiated the Khumbu Glacier, traversing lateral moraine, steep slopes of scree and three inches of fresh snow. The only thing more impressive than their success is the fortitude demonstrated by a few of our members experiencing high altitude for the first time. It was amazing to witness and even more amazing to see the smiles and tears when they reached Base Camp. The Khumbu Ice Fall and the presence of Mt. Everest above us seemed secondary to the outburst of emotion from Team 2012. Congratulations on a difficult journey and an awesome accomplishment!!
The Base Camp Trekking Team is descending down the Khumbu Valley as I write this message. Their departure also marks the beginning of separate ascents of Island Peak and Mt. Everest by the expedition climbing teams. These mountains are unforgiving. The climbers will be encountering harsh conditions and difficult terrain. In the coming days, we hope that you will keep the climbers in your thoughts and prayers as they begin their ascents.
Personal Impressions. The members of our Trekking Team began their descent this morning to the lush valley floors where the Rhododendron and Magnolia forests carpet the landscape. By now, they must be settled around a stove in a cozy lodge engaged in vibrant discussion. Just as they have for much of the last two weeks, they gather to celebrate a day of hard work and time well spent. Their departure saddens me. As I pause to consider the task of scaling Island Peak and Mt. Everest, my message to you is this: I am inspired by your friendship, generosity and personal drive to achieve amazing things each day. Most of all, I am deeply thankful you have shared this time with me and that I am a witness to your great success.
I hope you will forever count these mountains among your blessings.
Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA