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Mountain Madness Everest Expedition 2002

Update 5/23/2002: Mountain Madness’ Everest Climbing team reached the top of the world! Dr. Julio Bird, Andy Colyer, Lakpa Gelu, Nima Gombu, Charlie Fowler and Hector Ponce de Leon left for the summit just before midnight. Lama Jangbu left from the south col 2-1/2 hours earlier to help fix lines with others. Matthew Holt had early on strained his leg during a move through the icefall. Matthew made a wise and considerate decision to stay at the south col given the condition of his leg. Lakpa Sherpa stayed back with Matthew.

The remainder of the group left camp 4 in the early morning hours of May 16. Lakpa Gelu took the lead with Nima Gombu taking up the end. Lama Jangbu was the first to summit. Dr. Julio Bird, Hector Ponce de Leon, Charlie Fowler, and Lakpa Gelu and Lama Jangbu Sherpa stepped foot on the summit of the 8,850 meter (29,030 foot) peak at 11am on May 16th. This is Lakpa’s and Jangbu’s 9th and 7th summit of Mt. Everest, respectively. Conditions on the summit at this time were all that Everest climbers could ask for. Beautiful clear skies and light winds greeted our climbers at the top. To the north, the high, arid Tibetan plateau could be seen extending its vast reach for hundreds of miles- to the south the jagged, glaciated peaks of the Himalayas stood in all their magnificence. Andy Colyer reached the south summit a bit later as the weather began to deteriorate at this point. Andy decided to turn around. Congrats to Andy in reaching this point, but equally for making the judgment call to turn around so close to the summit. He deserves the summit as much as anyone.

Everest, also known as Sagarmatha- the mother goddess to the Nepalese- allowed us a safe ascent and most importantly, a safe return to base camp on May 18th. The team is currently celebrating in Kathmandu. 

Congratulations to the team!

Chris Boskoff

Mountain Madness, Inc.

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