Madness Everest Expedition 2002
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.
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.
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
to the team!