Both sides of Mount Everest have hundreds of climbers on it right now and many are hoping to reach the summit this week. Newfoundlander Mark Ballard reached the summit on May 21 with dozens of other climbers.
Ballard is 31 years old, has been to 91 countries and credits his father as a major inspiration. In an interview with CBC, Ballard’s father, Derek “Doc” Ballard, said, “He’s amazing. I might be biased, but he’s done it. He’s not a dreamer, he’s a doer.”
A few days ago, Mike Mulrooney became the first Nova Scotia climber to complete the seven summits list with an ascent of Everest. He’s now attempting Lhotse.
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We have finished our last acclimatization climb to Camp 3 (7200m). Weather was windy to say the least 40-50km/hr with gusts of 65 made it quite the challenge! Here I am with my Sherpa – Fura Sherpa who at 22 has summited Everest 4 times! Everest is in the background – approx 1600m higher. Next time we leave base camp will be for the Summit!
Also on Everest are a number of alpinists climbing without supplementary oxygen, suck as Juan Pablo Mohr from Chile and German David Göttler. Nirmal Purja is on Everest and is hoping to quickly enchain all 8,000-metre peaks with the world’s highest peak then over to Lhotse and then a flight to Makalu. He’s already climbed Kangchenjunga, Annapurna and Dhaulagiri.
On the north side, Cory Richards and Esteban “Topo” Mena have started a summit push up their new route. There aren’t many details and no updates in the past two days.
And over on Nuptse, Tim Mosedale and Dorjee Gyalgen Sherpa are the first climbers to summit this season. They’ve been breaking trail to the summit for the past few weeks through unstable weather.
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The weather window is here. It’s not ideal, but if we wait more, we risk loosing the opportunity. In alpinism, there are never perfect conditions, and that’s part of the process and journey. Taking calculated risks are expected, and luckily in our case, we are surrounded by experts who help us form our decisions. @estebantopomena and I aren’t proud and machismo attempting to conquer or tame the wild. We are here on our individual journeys, together for a single goal. I feel scared as much as I feel strong. Fear is good – it keeps us safe. As I’ve expressed, my battle with mental health includes anxiety that runs high, and it is one of the factors that keeps me cautious and conservative in decision making. It’s that exact quality now that makes my near-and-dear a little more at ease. We will be disconnected until we return back to basecamp, but my loved ones back home will be getting a evening update. But as the saying goes: No news is good news. Thank you to everyone who has been sending us positive thoughts, energy, prayers, notes…there truly is no way to express how much this makes us feel supported and cared for. It’s times like these that make social media precious…it has given us all the opportunity to be participants on the journey to the mountain, and it’s provided connection, support, kindness, and inspiration. Thank you for all being a part of that – that presence, your presence, has been a part very much part of my getting up the mountain. #everest