It's official: Dr. John Kedrowski of Avon, Colorado successfully reached the summit Mount Everest on Friday, May 25.
According to Vail Daily, Kedrowski reached the summit of the Earth's highest mountain with Jangbu Sherpa on Friday at 3:30 a.m., Nepal time -- that's 3:45 p.m. Colorado time.
Kedrowski sent this tweet from his Twitter account on Friday:
This was Kedrowski's second summit attempt in a week, after just days prior, 100 mph winds and heavy mountain climber traffic trapped more than 100 climbers near Everest's summit and resulted in the deaths of four others in one of the deadliest days ever on the mountain.
CNN reports that Kedrowski, a geographer and professor, says that the ascent ended amidst a "perfect weather window." Christ Tomer, KDVR meteorologist and friend of Kedrowski's, posted an update to Kedrowski's blog celebrating his friend's success:
Congratulations, Jon! You've worked hard for years to reach this goal. We've climbed hundreds of mountains together, slept on 58 Colorado Fourteener summits and wrote a book, and talked for hours about what it would be like to stand at over 29,000ft gazing across the horizon admiring the Parallax Effect. Amat Victoria Curam
Kedrowski told KDVR's Tomer that he felt like "a million bucks" after his quick ascent to the top of the mountain where he skipped two intermediate camps. "Now all I want is a shower and a shave -- and a real bed might be nice too," Kedrowski said.
Kedrowski's successful ascent seems especially poignant when compared to the previous Saturday's dire scene. "There was a traffic jam on the mountain on Saturday. Climbers were still heading to the summit as late as 2:30 p.m. which is quite dangerous," said Gyanendra Shrestha of Nepal's Mountaineering Department to The Associated Press.
"With the traffic jam, climbers had a longer wait for their chance to go up the trail and spent too much time at higher altitude. Many of them are believed to be carrying limited amount of oxygen not anticipating the extra time spent," Shrestha said.
Reached for comment by Fox31 meteorologist Chris Tomer, Kedrowski described a series of haunting scenes:
“[One man] was basically hallucinating, he took his hat off, his gloves were thrown away and then he kind of reached out and looked at me … he kind of reached out to me, kind of in a zombie-like fashion... At that point, there’s not a lot you can do for somebody that’s dying and frozen to death.”
According to Kedrowski's blog, he assisted with four of the attempted rescues near the summit.
The AP has identified the climbers who died Saturday as 61-year-old German doctor Eberhard Schaaf, Nepal-born Canadian Shriya Shah, and South Korean mountaineer Song Won-bin. The missing climbers are a Chinese national and his Nepalese Sherpa guide.
Listen to an interview with Kedrowski about the Everest tragedy, at KDVR.
The Huffington Post previously reported on Kedrowski after he spent the night on the summit of every 14er in Colorado. See photos of that trip, below:
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