Expedition leader Todd Burleson reports from Everest

Alpine Ascents Team Leaving for Their Summit Bid
Friday, May 23, 1997
10am PST, 11:15pm (South Col)

Digital and voice satellite communication by MVS USA
Click to hear Todd Burleson's radio dispatch from the South Col.

AAI Sherpas on the South Col, 26,300'
[Click for bigger image]
From Burleson's Radio Call:
Hi, I believe it's late evening on May 23rd or morning of the 24th. I'm at 8,000 meters (26,300') at the South Col. I am with our five members [Wally Berg, Charles Corfield, Eric Simonson, and Greg Wilson] which includes myself and eight climbing Sherpa who will attempt the summit.

I'm very excited. I've never seen it so warm in my life up here. It's like a Mount Baker [a 10,000 foot volcano in Washington state] at about 4 or 5,000 feet but the oxygen is thin. Weather looks very good. It's 11pm, and we should be leaving in about five minutes for the summit. Did you copy that?

Freddy Blume in Base Camp: five, five, five, Todd.

Ok, we're going to move as quickly as possible... I just saw a big, big lightening flash off in the far distance over Nuptse. It's very beautiful. We're looking down on all the clouds in the valley. There is a little overcast above us; that's probably why it's so warm here. Really not a breath of wind -- I can hear somebody talking 20 meters away. We'll file another update later.

Freddy Blume in Base Camp: ok, Todd. All five of you guys feeling good?

Ya, everybody's good. We're excited. We're going to be real serious and watch the wind, and hopefully get to the top of this thing pretty quickly. Ok, South Col out.

-- Todd Burleson, Expedition Leader

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