On 23rd May, Simon Ferrier-May reached the summit of Everest. It was the end of an interesting journey, as Simon explaines:
“Me and Pemba Nurbu Sherpa (a lama from Pangboche monestry) reached the highest point on Earth at 06:29 on 23rd May.
“Here is just some of what we had to battle along the way:
• 45km/h winds on summit day. Enough to literally blow you off your feet, producing a wind chill of -35C.
• Pemba and I only had 5 bottles of oxygen to share between us on our summit push (you usually need 5 each), and two of the bottles were found on the south col from a 2018 expedition and kept aside for us.
• My first sherpa got pneumonia and got heli evacuated at the end of April.
• My second sherpa got Covid and got heli evacuated in mid-May.
• I climbed between base camp and camp 2, alone, four times when my sherpa were sick.
• I fell down a small crevasse in the Khumbu icefall, alone, and climbed myself back out, getting away with only some scrapes and bruises.
• I got covid (then climbed from base camp to camp 2, 6500m / 21300ft… one of the more difficult days of my life!).
• We had the worst weather on Everest since 2005. We didn’t have a real weather window. We just made do with the only possible chance.
• And on the descent we got completely lost in the Khumbu icefall.
“We left camp 4 for our summit bid at 21:30 on 22nd May. We then went 24 hours(!) from camp 4 to the top of the world and down to camp 2… an ascent of 940m, and a descent of 2300m!! That was all after only 3 hours’ rest at camp 4…. which was after climbing 9 hours from camp 3 to 4 (7100m – 7910m) without oxygen.
“In total, a 36 hour push!
“My ascent from camp 4 was with oxygen (I used 3 bottles from 7920m). A no-oxygen attempt was over for me when my second sherpa got sick at camp 2, right before our planned rotation to camps 3 and 4 – the most important thing for a no-ox attempt.
“After I got covid, any version of success seemed unachievable… so I’m very happy to have got the summit.
“Of our expedition (the company I had a permit with), there were 10 members and I think 14 sherpa…. Only Pemba and I made the summit. All others either got sick or turned around.
“Everest, for me, is done. I’m never coming back. But I stood on top of the world, and no one will ever be able to take that away from me.”
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