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.
Satellite Call – 04-20-2012
Tom called from Everest Base Camp tonight via satellite phone, it was Saturday morning, April 21 in Nepal (Tom’s 50th birthday). He sounded great, he has a cough but says he is trying to tough it out. They had their Puga religious ceremony on April 13th and then their Sherpa group moved up through the icefall the next day to set up camp 1 (almost 20,000′ ) and camp 2 (about 21,500′ ). Earlier this week the climbers went through the icefall for the first time. Tom said it was really cool. There were about 15 ladders and he said the talk at base camp is that the icefall is in great shape this year compared too other years. He said there had been one avalanche in the icefall and you could see where it had covered an area as a ladder just disappeared into the blue ice. He said it took just about all he had physically to get through the ice fall. It took 5 hours to reach camp 1 and he collapsed in exhaustion in their tent. It was cold outside and the wind was howling and their great Sherpa’s kept bringing them pringles, juice, hot chocolate, soup, ramen, and potatoes.
The next day they went to camp 2 which took about 2 1/2 hours. He said it was beautiful, the sun rose over Lohtse and they were right at the base of Everest, he said the summit looked so close, like you could reach out and touch it, and yet it is still 8000′ higher! Yesterday, and today are rest days at Base Camp and in about a week they will start to move on up to camp 3 and spend a few nights at camp 2. He says the weather has been generally good. The coldest night they have had was the night I spent at base camp with him ( 9F ). Since then it has been getting down to 15F-20F at night, but the sun comes out in the morning and warms everything up nicely. Sometimes clouds and storms come in the afternoon and it snows a bit. The group with Mark and Jed Naisbitt found them and brought them some chocolate. Tom is quite impressed with the kindness, and the strength of their Sherpa’s.
Tom wanted me to send everyone back home his love.