Summit Rotation

Summit Bound!

Summit Bound!

The settings for the electric blanket are marked in Chinese characters so I was happy to conclude that each represented some form of wonderful. At breakfast this morning the entire climbing team exchanged words of appreciation for the comforts of a bed and heated blankets and thick air. Then the attention turned to a fresh pound of coffee that was offered from a care package. There was talk of our plans in Namche Baazar and all the ways we would savor the next few days of relaxation.

A great night turned into the start of a casual morning then an urgent message arrived from Everest Base Camp, even before the coffee was brewed: Looks like good weather through May 15th!

So here is our plan:
May 8: Return to Everest Base Camp
May 10: Climb to Camp 2
May 11: Rest day at Camp 2
May 12: Climb to Camp 3
May 13: Climb to Camp 4
May 14: Night departure for Summit
May 15: Summit early morning and return to Camp 4
May 16: Return to Camp 2
May 17: Return to Everest Base Camp

The news transformed an otherwise relaxed and casual morning centered on heated blankets and fresh coffee to a sudden realization that we are embarking on our Summit Rotation days earlier than expected.

Although I have thought about and trained for the upcoming days for years, the news this morning was sobering.

I took extra time to enjoy the coffee this morning but spent the day intently preparing for a return to Everest Base Camp.

The stage is set.


  11 comments for “Summit Rotation

  1. May 9, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    We’ll have to get you back to Edgewater after all your travels and have you speak to Lumberg/Jefferson students this fall! Lots of us are following your trip reports back here in Edgewater.

  2. Lyn
    May 7, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    You’ve done a lot of things in your life, but this is monumental. So excited for you and your team. Can’t wait to see pictures and know that you have made it to the top of the world. Pray earnestly, step carefully, hang on to the rope, and shout hallelujah when you get to the top.

  3. Gwen Schmid
    May 7, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    I feel excitement just reading your updates and schedule to reach the summit!
    You are in my thoughts and prayers everyday. Can’t wait to hear the rest of the

  4. Phil Goss
    May 7, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    Jim, I am glad you are positioned to answer the door when opportunity is knocking. You’ve done the work, stay focused and energetic through the final steps. Good luck, breathe and of course – stay connected!!

  5. Angie Cook
    May 7, 2016 at 10:32 am

    Wow. It’s almost here. Praying for safe travels and good weather for your team. Can’t wait to be on the summit of Everest even though it will be in pictures. Again thanks for taking us along on this epic journey.

  6. David Howard
    May 7, 2016 at 10:17 am

    Godspeed and prayers for a safe Summit Jim !!!! Amazing what your doing !!!!

  7. Art Muir
    May 7, 2016 at 9:47 am

    Wow. Sounds perfect. That is great news. Should get you out of there a week or a week and 1/2 ahead of the normal schedule. Fingers here crossed for you and the rest of the team.


      May 7, 2016 at 10:16 am

      Art. There are only a few teams positioned to go for the summit. We have our camps set and oxygen cached and are ready to go! We hope that an early summit bid will help us avoid any crowding up high. Fingers crossed for good weather tomorrow and the ability to return to EBC and have a full day for final preparations. Will keep you posted! Thanks for checking in on our progress. Jim

  8. Anonymous
    May 7, 2016 at 8:12 am

    Reading your words and imagining how you are feeling is sobering and inspiring on this end, Jim. We continue to hold you, Traci, Hannah and Sarah in our hearts. Warmly, cherishing a cup of coffee as you do, with warmest wishes with you, Molly McDowell.

  9. May 7, 2016 at 7:44 am


    All of the Viellieus are following your expedition. We wish you a safe trip to the summit and we can only imagine, through your posts, how profound it will be for you. thank you for sharing.

      May 7, 2016 at 10:01 am

      Amy. Thank you for such a nice note and for being such a supportive friend to me and Traci and the girls while I have been away. Thank you! Jim

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