Post 27: Prelude to a Championship.
Update the Morning of May 15. After hearing about the weather, the conditions on the mountain, consulting and listening to what other teams here are planning and considering the weather window for summiting, May 20 is our Target Date. The 18 (Friday) Winds are forecast to drop below 15mph above 8000m/26000’.
A small team of Sherpas and about 50 people from various teams will be climbing on that day as the final ropes are fixed above the South Summit to the Top of the World. I’ve also learned that about 200 climbers including sherpas and support from teams like Peak Freaks, IMG, RMI, AAI, Asian Trekking, Adventure Consultants, Indian Army, and More are planning on Making May 19 Their Summit day…..winds are forecast to stay low for that entire day. But talk about a Parade…….not gonna take part in that one. To avoid a traffic jam and basically a parade up to the Summit, we are opting to leave the 16 from EBC, and be in position to take advantage of light winds which are forecast to continue calm from the 19 but will increase by the afternoon of the 20. Crowds will be less on the 20. As long as I can be up and off the summit and back to the south Col before noon on the 20, I will be safe from the high winds. Lets hope this forecast stays good and winds don’t increase too early. Tomer, throw us a bone here my friend! I’d rather have a little bit more wind and 50 people (which I will leave early to get in front of them) rather than 200 people and no wind. Talk about a party to the Summit. It is about to get interesting, lets hope everything stays on the safe side.
The anticipation is becoming similar to getting ready for a Championship game, you’ve done all your homework, all your preparation. You’ve practiced for days and months and maybe even years. I’ve been climbing mountains since I was a kid, and I’ve become only as good as the mountains have let me become. Its time for the mountain to decide, but I’m gonna give it my all. I’ve played the route from Camp 2 (6400m) on the 18, to Camp 3, then Camp 3 7300m on the 19 to the South Col at 8000m a thousand times. I’ve read all the books. Every Mountain I’ve ever climbed whether it was the 400 ascents of the 14ers in Colorado, peaks during the bivys project last year, or when I’ve Climbed Mckinley, the Mexican Volcanoes, or Peak Lenin, Or Mount Rainier, I’ve always played “Everest” In my Head, I’ve always rehearsed what I’d do on each day. Then comes Summit Day. If it is the 20 of May, I’ve played summit day in my head a thousand times. I know what time to leave to beat the crowds (between 8 and 9pm). I know how many oxygen bottles to carry (2), I know to go fast, but not too fast so that I make the top by sunrise, but that I save my energy for the descent. I also know what I’m gonna do on the summit, and also how I plan to make it back to Camp 4, then down to Camp 3, then down to Camp 2.
It’s gonna be the greatest game I’ve been able to play. I’m not even nervous, I am excited because I am ready. I know what to do………ever since I was 10 years old I’ve wanted to go up Everest and perform, and do something great. I’m playing this game to win, not to lose, and I am doing this more for than just myself. Its for all the people that will never go up there. It’s for my very best friends back home…..my parents, my brothers and sister, my grandmother, my relatives, and for everyone else who has been following along. It’s for the Little Girl Ryan Marie who passed away too early in life only a few short years ago. For David Pietrack’s Father, and for many others…….It’s for all the people I have been blessed to come into contact through basketball, all the kids I’ve coached in camps and in seasons. For all my sponsors as well…..It’s for anyone I have met who has cared to listen to my journey and follow along now, thanks so much. It’s true that if you want to have something bad enough you just have to go out and do it. No Off Days, I will take the N.O.D. flag to the summit, time to go be a Champion and literally stand on top of the world. IN life sometimes you have to sacrifice a lot, and I’ve been sacrificing things in life for a long time, but the rewards are worth it. Please send me some good prayers, and vibes and I plan on coming back and telling you all about it. Until then thankyou and I promise to update soon. It’s Game Time.
Best, Dr. Jon