Posted on Tuesday, 12 June 2012 . Permalink
At dawn on Friday 25th May, Alpine Exploratory leader Pete Ellis reached the summit of Mt Everest, and in doing so became one of approximately 300 people who have completed climbs to the highest points on each of the world’s seven continents.
Having climbed Kilimanjaro (5895m) in 1997 (and vowing never to go to altitude again), the quest began in earnest after an enjoyable and successful ascent of Aconcagua (6965m) in South America in 2007. Denali (6194m, otherwise known as Mt McKinley) in Alaska was next, followed by Carstensz Pyramid (4884m, Australasia), Vinson Massif (4892m, Antarctica) and Elbrus (5642m, Europe), leaving Mt Everest (8848m) as the final hurdle.
The 2 month expedition to the northern (Tibet) side of Everest proved to be the most taxing mentally and physiologically, with over 6 weeks spent at an altitude of 3 miles above sea level and air pressures down to 50% of what we are familiar with at sea level. The final push for the summit began from Advanced Base Camp (6400m) on 22nd May, aiming for a window of calm weather for the summit day on 25th May. Overnights were spent at Camp I on the north col (7000m) and Camp II (7800m) before arriving at Camp III (8300m) for a few hours rest prior to setting out for the summit at 9pm on 24th May.
Climbing through the night, it took 7 hours to reach the 8848m summit, arriving just after dawn to see the Himalayas laid out in the clear early morning light. The descent (statistically, the most dangerous phase) was safely negotiated, and a week later Pete was back in the UK taking some rest before going out to lead holidays in the French Alps.
All the team at Alpine Exploratory would like to send our congratulations to Pete on this tremendous achievement.