Edita is sending amazing photos this morning from the base camp. She writes..
“I am sending just a few thoughts (sorry if my writing is not very coherent – I am still processing all that I experienced on Everest, (it was not an experience of or from this world…)
I did it!:-) Wow, I can’t believe it! It was a very humbling experience – I knew it wouldl be hard and dangerous… and it was beyond any difficulty or danger I ever imagined… It was like climbing on a razors edge between life and death… We were climbing literary on the thinnest edges – the smallest mistake would have been deadly. It didn’t help seeing so many dead bodies laying up there… in peace… That day it was just Tarki my sherpa and me. Other climbers were either ahead of me or turned around because of cold and wind and other reasons.
Winds were much higher than the forecast showed — around 40 – 45 miles/hr. Not many people climb during these high winds…It was exceptional. My Sherpa Tarki and I were on the summit at around 9 AM Nepali time on the 22nd of May. It was just two of us on the whole summit (nobody else from the south or north sides was there!). It was a really an incredible feeling — we could see the curve of the world (see summit photos). I will write about this in more detail later… We probably spent 15-20 min on the summit which is a lot of time considering these high winds. However, I felt great, I wanted to enjoy the moment. Coming down was still ahead of us – coming to the summit is only half-way of the journey and the most dangerous. The climb down was dreadful and difficult as we were exhausted after the long and difficult climb to the summit. People who climbed the south side before they say that the north side is 50% more technical and dangerous than the south side… There were only 3 climbers from the team of 10 plus the group leader who reached the summit on that day (Margaret, Ole, and I). I consider myself very lucky – Mother Goddess Chomolungma was kind to me — she kept me safe. Many people got frost bites or other injuries. Even my Sherpa got two fingers numb, frost nipped (he will recover), but I came down with no cold injuries which is incredible after spending more than 16 hours at the ‘death zone’ of Mt Everest. Walking on the edge of life and death was dreadful but at the same time incredible, out of this world experience. I felt so vulnerable but had this drive inside me that kept me going – one step at a time. It was humbling. It was terrifying. It was exhilarating!. It is still all so fresh but I felt summitting wasn’t the highest point of my journey to Everest. I felt an incredible moment of happiness when I came down safely. That was a victory! :-)”
What an incredible accomplishment! There will be other photos posted as they come in.