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Everest 2003: Ben Clark
Dispatch


Ben Clark Summits Mt Everest!

Everyone, it is with great pleasure and slightly misty eyes that I get to tell you that Ben Clark has made it to the top of Mount Everest and has safely descended to the comfort of his tent at Camp 6 (8300 meters)!!!!!

He finally did it! It has taken so long to tell you all of this because the three climbers forgot to bring the radio with them when they set out this morning!

I have just gotten off the radio with Ben and he is doing very well, they made the summit at around 11:45am Tibet time today (11:45pm EST)

The three of them (Ben, Lhawang and Lhakpa [all three summited]) are healthy and resting up for tomorrow's descent down to ABC.

Just so you know, I have informed Ben's parents of the great news!

I recorded the radio conversation and will send it out shortly.

Thank you, everyone for all of the emails, thoughts, and prayers.

Jon Miller (a much relieved Base Camp inhabitant!

Ben Clark Summits Mt Everest!

Jerry, it is one of the great honors of my life to tell you that Ben made the summit at 9:30am Nepali time today and is now resting comfortably at Camp 6!

I just got off the radio with him (they forgot to take it with them to the summit) and he is doing really well. Doesn't quite know what to think about it all yet, but he's got the time now that he HAS STOOD ON THE TOP OF MT EVEREST!!!!!!!!

I recorded the conversation and will get it out immediately, but I must compress it first...

Congratulations, what a wonderful day this has turned out to be! Jon

SEVERAL NEWSFLASHES  BELOW!!!

Here's the latest: Tibet 11:10 AM 5/22/2003

I just met with my friend Dimitri, the doctor from the St Petersburg, Russia team. He has just gotten off the radio with his team. They say that they are at the Second Step waiting for a turn to ascend the aluminum ladder placed there decades ago. They say there are many climbers waiting for their turn to go up the ladder, so it is possible that Ben and his Sherpas are waiting in line. The Second Step is at an altitude of about 8,700 meters. Not far from the 8,848 meter summit!

If we cannot contact Ben, at 12pm (noon) Dimitri and I will try to contact his team again and ask if they see Ben. Jon

Here's the latest: Tibet 12:15 PM 5/22/2003

Here's the latest: We're still waiting.

Dimitri just finished a radio call with his friend and teammate Nicolaiy Totmiyanin. There is no information to be had about Ben. "Koliya" is only about 1 hour from the summit and he is not using oxygen. Climbing the peak WITH oxygen is quite an ordeal, so I certainly don't blame Koliya for not taking the time to look around for Ben! It's possible that Koliya will be the first climber to summit without oxygen this year. He's a good friend, and I've got my fingers crossed.

The day has already seen a few teams summit, though, so the weather is not keeping people off the top. I just got back from a friend's camp and they said one of their climbers is on the top right at this moment! Anyway, I'm quite excited, and can't wait to tell people, myself, that MY climber is on the top. Soon, soon. Stay with me, he's almost there! Jon Miller

Here's the latest: Tibet 2:15 PM 5/22/2003

Hello everyone! Still no word on Ben's progress.

While we're all waiting, I thought I'd introduce you all to Ben's communication team down here at Basecamp. I've attached small photos of Dawa, Boca Lama, and myself, as well as a pic of the North East Ridge from 9am this morning. BEFORE the weather set back in. Just trying to pass the time... Jon Miller

[Pictures will follow soon]

Here's the latest: Tibet 3:15 PM 5/22/2003

I just wanted everyone to know that our Russian friend I spoke of earlier, Nicolaiy Totmiyanin, is standing on the summit as I type this!

Dimitri and I just contacted him via radio and he has made it without oxygen. Also, he has not seen Ben, but he said that the summit was actually crowded with people! Kolia will wait on the summit for 30 minutes so he can welcome his other teammates, Vladimir and Andre who are just behind him, to the top of the world. Dimitri will check in on them in 30 minutes and if Ben is anywhere to be seen up there, we'll get a radio into his mittened hands! Any time now, my friends!

Jon Miller

Dispatches

 





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