An incredible six people from Orange County summited Mount Everest during the weekend with only one local climber – the oldest American to have climbed the world’s highest mountain – being forced to turn around during a repeat attempt.
Undaunted – and rightly so – Bill Burke, 68, of Costa Mesa, proclaimed his trip a success after high winds, sub-zero temperatures and darkness prevented what he hoped would be a double summit, one from the mountain’s north side and one from the south side.
In a satellite phone dispatch late Sunday night, Burke reported he was only a few hundred vertical feet from the top when he “ran out of gas.”
While disappointed, Burke made one of high altitude climbing’s toughest decisions: To turn around when he could almost taste success.
Consider what Everest pioneer Sir Edmund Hillary once said of summiting Mount Everest: It's not about who summits. It's about who gets down.
The six climbers who did summit took the traditional southern route. Burke was on the north face, considered a tougher climb.
They included Cindy Abbott, nearly blind in one eye from a degenerative disease; John and Ryan Dahlem, .....http://www.ocregister.com/sports/summit-250051-degree-everest.html