Hello! Karina and Pemba here, just back from the top of the world!
Fortunately our expedition was successful and most important: we are all back down safe and healthy.
But due to the the strong winds and very low temperatures Pemba Sherpa, who now has summited 6 times stated that this season was the hardest summit day with the harshest conditions he has ever had…
We had planned to summit on May 16th. We’d based our summit day looking several times into many different weather forecasts and they all said May 16-18th would be a good weather window.
So on May 15th evening we were at the South col. At 8.000m, using our O2 bottles and waiting for the windows to get weaker but they were almost blowing our tent apart! Winds as strong as 65mph and -40oC temperatures blew away any expectations of summiting on May 16th and Pemba told me we had to come down the next day because we didn’t have enough O2 bottles to wait for another day at C4.
That for me was terrifying! I’ve waited and worked more than 3 years to make this expedition and this dream possible and I saw that I only had one little chance! Not fair… I told Pemba: “ Sorry, but I’m not leaving, please to try to find 3 more bottles” and he replied that was not possible…
I agree nature is much bigger than anything and weather must be respected but I had to have at least one more chance to try and for that I had to make an extreme decision: send 2 people of my team (that had already summated before (Scott And Mingmar), down in order to have some more O2 spare bottles for me and Pemba to try to summit on May 17th.
And that’s what we did: while more than 45 people turned around on May 17th because of the strong winds we went up and summited at 7:38am. We could not stay more than 15 mins on the top but that was enough to make us see all the beauty from the top of the world and feel nature’s power.
The other part of the team had a purpouse to go down that even him didn’t know and it was a noble one: almost at the Lhotse Face he found a girl with HACE that would’ve died if it wasn’t for Scott’s help and he short rope rappelled the entire face down safely to C2. My congratulations to him: nothing can be more beautiful and important than saving a life!
Well, and this is our Everest Experience coming to an end and a very happy ending…