It was late Sunday night — but almost midmorning Nepal time — when the Twitter message came through: “Scottie, Sherpa Team, and I are on the top of the world. We’ve climbed all of Everest. What’s Yours?” That was the tweet from the top of the world, as Jamie Clarke, Scott Simper, and the Sherpa climbers from Expedition Hanesbrands crested to Mount Everest’s 29,035-foot summit after weeks of effort.
As a communications director last month in Nepal with the expedition, this news touched me close. I trekked and lived with Clarke, Simper, and the rest of the expedition in Nepal and at Everest Base Camp for three weeks in the country. When I left, the climbers were heading to Camp II for acclimatization. I trekked down as they climbed up, and then I flew back home while they curled in a tent and gasped for air. A tinge of envy accompanied me as I left Kathmandu. A climb on Everest was so close for me, though I only made it — by choice and time limits in the country — to 18,600 feet on a small peak near the mountain.
Clarke and team kept working, digging tent platforms, kicking steps, moving up and up. They cinched hoods and turned from strong wind. Ice crystals scoured the Lhotse Face, an immense and dangerous slope. But after weeks of effort, the sweat and lung-gasps paid off last night. The entire team stood on top of the world!
As of now, Expedition Hanesbrands is descending the mountain. They have a couple dangerous days ahead of them still. Congratulate the team, and wish them luck as they go down-rope, down the huge faces, through the icefall, and back to Base Camp to rest, finally, after so much effort to get to the top. Follow the expedition at www.ClimbWithUs.com.