This is Dave Hahn calling from the roof of the . . . Hotel Tibet in Kathmandu Myself and Mark Tucker flew in from Lukla early this morning, the rest of the team flew in yesterday, so we are all out of the Khumbu and everybody . . . . so we are very comfortable right now. And there doesn’t seem to be, well. . . .. there are still political problems here but the city doesn’t seem roiled up too badly right now. There are power shortages, so there are a bunch of generators running but otherwise things are pretty comfortable right now. Went out for a team dinner tonight with the gang, it was wonderful, nice and easy and good food, we’re all filling ourselves up. We still don’t’ have all our bags, they are following us down the valley and should be here in a couple of days, so we’re not really all set to get on airplanes for home yet, but close, we’re just about at the finish of the . . . . be down and out. I got together with a bunch of the other leaders and trip organizers at the ministry of tourism today for a meet about how to make Everest climbing safer and better, interesting, but also nice to see everybody there, all the trip leaders and organizer. Anyway, we are getting used to nice hot summery days and plentiful food. All very welcome. Bye for now.
This is Dave and I’m still at Everest base camp. Myself and Leif got down yesterday. Our Sherpas just about have our whole load down the mountain now. . . . . walking toward base camp . . . lower part of the ice fall . . . .not in any danger any more. When they get here we’re going to bug out and head down valley. I haven’t been down valley all season so it will be a thrill to walk down and sleep in Pheriche tonight. The expedition is coming to a close. The weather is still nice today, didn’t snow on us today the way it had been the last couple of days but there are a lot of clouds in the sky in mid afternoon and it does seem like the season is starting to change a little bit, getting closer to the monsoon and less like climbing season.. The next few days we'll be on the trail heading down toward Lukla and eventually Kathmandu . . . . (satellite transmission fails).
This s Dave, we’re down now at Advance Base Camp, 21,300 again, myself and Leif Whittaker, Tshering and Tendi spent the night up on the South Col. Pretty bizarre, when we came down this morning the Lhotse Face was completely empty, we have been used to seeing hundreds . . . . .completely empty, we broke trail down through new snow and coming into ABNC was pretty surreal, no tents anymore, again from being a camp that hundreds of people were living in was completely empty except for our camp. Tonight, myself, Leif, Tshering, Tendi, Lama Babu and our two Camp II cooks we are the population of Camp II entirely. So our cooks, and Pasang are taking great care of us. We are all looking forward to getting down to base camp tomorrow. Kind of oddly, it continues to snow, it snowed here seemingly all day, that didn’t seem to be in the forecast but there you have it. Our memories of being on the summit yesterday aren’t fading, but like I say are minds are starting to be filled with being off the mountain, being finished. Soon.
There have been American father-son duos to climb Mt. Everest before, notably Barry Bishop and Brent Bishop, and John Roskelley and Jess Roskelley. But only the Whittaker family can now claim three blood relatives to have reached the top: Jim Whittaker, the first American to climb the peak, in 1963, his nephew, Peter Whittaker, who climbed Everest last year, and now Jim’s own son, Leif, who climbed Everest yesterday with Dave Hahn. Not surprisingly, Jim Whittaker is very happy.
“I’m delighted and happy and so proud of Leif,” said Jim Whittaker from his home on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. "He’s been climbing since he was a little boy, and this was always a goal of his, he set his sights on it.
On Whittaker’s 1963 climb, the expedition put in six camps, not the traditional four used today, including one at 27,500 feet, near the South Summit. ”A lot has changed since those days,” Whittaker, now 81, added. “This is a very big day for me. Diane and I are so proud of Leif. We talked to him on his way down from the summit. What a contrast that is from 1963, when it took our runner eight days to cover the distance between Base Camp and Kathmandu, that was the fastest means of communication.”
Surprise surprise! On the summit of Mt Everest with my team! It feels pretty damn good. We sure didn’t think we were gonna get it last night. We got it, were up there, it’s ah . . it’s ah . . . what time is it? 8:04 in the morning, and we’ve been up here taking a bunch of pictures, there are still a lot of clouds in the sky. It’s pretty dramatic. We are loving being here. The cold is pretty hard on my battery. I’m gong save a little bit of battery and try to give you a call when we are down a little bit safer. But man it’s as big a thrill right now as it ever has been for me. Bye now.