Congratulations on everyone's success! I think that Himalayan Ascent could get used to this. Get some warm tea into you, and get down safely.
I send special love to my wife Margaret with whom I am enormously proud.
A significant part of mountaineering is knowing when to turn back, and acting on it. The mountains are littered with those that did not. There is enormous emotional pressure to continue when the summit is so apparently close, and at a time when the body and mind are exhausted. So much sacrifice and preparation seems to be at stake. It takes bold character to make the hard decisions in the face of such resistance. In fact, the sacrifice and preparation is there to return safely. The mountain will still be there in the morning.
I wish to pay my respects to the Sherpas who have passed away, and their families who now go without. The new mountain skills school cannot bring people back, but will assist in reducing accidents in the future.
Thanks to Sumit, Lakpa, Ankaji, Dendi, and the rest of the Himalayan Ascent team for turning dreams into reality. Thanks also to the amazing rope doctors, porters, and the generous villagers along the way.
Thanks to Chris Burke for recognizing Margaret's capability and potential. Thanks for encouraging her to join this trip.
Stephen St. Hill
13 May 2013