Good morning at 7am from Everest Base Camp where I have just heard that Mike and the AC team are now on the South Summit! Dean and Iza are about half an hour behind, crossing the rock band just below the South Summit. Everyone is doing well.
Since leaving The Balcony the team will have made their way onto the South-East ridge, travelling along moderate, undulating terrain to a rock buttress known as the South Summit Rocks. Unlike the Yellow Band, Geneva Spur or Hillary Step, the South Summit Rocks tend to be something of a surprise to most climbers as they do not feature in most of the Everest climbing literature. The South Summit Rocks are made up of a series of rock ledges and they are climbed on the Kanchung Face side of the ridge. Having negotiated this often tricky section the route then leads onto open snow slopes and the crest of the SE ridge and, after about 100m, the South Summit proper is reached.
It is a beautiful morning here in Base Camp and I am sure that the team will be enjoying fanstatic views over Kanchenjunga, Lhotse & Makalu. The South Summit offers the team a good opportunity to rest, eat, drink and change oxygen bottles before the final part of the climb to the summit of Everest.
Thanks for following tonight’s summit bid and I look forward to updating you again soon as the AC team take their final steps to the summit of Mount Everest!