Talked with Jon this morning - he's back safe in Basecamp (17,100ft).
"I need a shower and a shave", he joked, "And, i'm skinnier than you've ever seen me....even skinnier than after our sleeping on the summits project last summer." That's saying a lot, because I remember that! I have a feeling Jon's mom will change all that with some great home-cooked food.
I congratulated Jon on essentially climbing Everest twice - with two very different outcomes. Jon said his trip back up through the Balcony and Hillary Step "brought back a flood of memories". Jon has kept a very detailed account of what he saw and experienced on his mini-laptop, which he carries with him. Jon also has video and photos of his two trips up Everest. Jon also conducted grant-funded air and water quality tests on Everest, so "I have to analyze all this data, it's research never done before on Everest so high up", Jon said.
I asked Jon about his successful summit early on the 26th. "My bag was packed and I was ready. Coster sent me up with Jangbu Sherpa at 8pm. Jangbu had to keep telling me to 'slow down Jon', but I just wanted to get this done." Jon said, "I looked back and could see a stream of headlamps heading up the ridge, but I was ahead of them and moving way too fast to worry." "We had the summit to ourselves for 15 minutes, just Jangbu and me", Jon said, "The wind was dead-calm, your forecast was right on the money."
Jon plans on "telling his story" after he gets down from Basecamp and back to the US. It's compelling stuff. We poured our hearts and souls into our current book, Sleeping on the Summits: Colorado Fourteener High Bivys. Jon said, "That project was the absolute best training I could've done for Everest, period." We're both extremely excited about the book. It's never been done before. A mix of mountain meteorology, mountain geography & geology, Teamwork, Risk, and high resolution photography. http://www.jonkeverest.org/ORDER-SLEEPING-ON-THE-SUMMITS.html
-JK & CT