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  Astronaut Scott Parazynski's 2008 Everest climb

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Author Topic:   Astronaut Scott Parazynski's 2008 Everest climb
Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-23-2008 12:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What an AWESOME, history-making EVA! This one will go down as one of our biggest successes in EVA history. Words can not express how proud you made everyone with the execution by the entire team. Scott, what a way to add to an already impressive EVA career! The summit of Everest will have a hard time competing with the view from the boom.
These congratulatory words were sent from Mission Control to STS-120 mission specialist Scott Parazynski after his spacewalk to repair a torn solar array on the International Space Station. His November 2007 ride on the end of the space shuttle's inspection boom attached to the end of the station's robotic arm took him about as far as any spacewalking astronaut could reach from outside the ISS.

Now, Scott Parazynski is heading for another high climb, attempting to summit Mt. Everest.

Departing today for Nepal, Parazynski will be followed in his trek over the next month by a NASA team heading to Everest's base camp. Among the expedition are STS-120 fellow spacewalker Doug Wheelock, as well as astronauts Jeff Ashby and Kent Rominger.

A veteran of five space shuttle missions, Parazynski is currently scheduled to attempt the summit in May. Among the items he plans to take with him to the top are a flag flown on his second spaceflight, STS-86, to the Mir space station, and tributes to NASA's fallen astronauts, including Karl Henize, the first astronaut to attempt Everest.

On October 4, 1993, STS-51F astronaut Karl G. Henize, Ph.D., died during an Everest climbing expedition organized by the Loel Guiness Research Foundation. In accordance with his prior request, he was buried on the mountain at the British base camp.

Parazynski will also carry with him with a patch for the annual April 12th Yuri's Night celebrations and flags for Texas Children’s Cancer Center's Purple Songs Can Fly project and the Houston Museum of Natural Science's Challenger Center.

The climb will be well covered on the web, with multiple sites posting updates:

FFrench
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posted 03-23-2008 12:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How nice and appropriate that he plans to pay tribute to Henize.

Jay Chladek
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posted 03-23-2008 02:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Now even though members of the expedition are NASA astronauts, is this an official NASA expedition or is it just a climb among friends who happen to be NASA astronauts? Its funny. I watch these guys go into space and perform exciting things in orbit. But whenever I hear of somebody climbing Everest, I pause and sometimes wonder what is going through their minds as it pretty much is one of the most dangerous things out there to do. Reason being is no matter how prepared you are for the climb, nature can turn in an instant and bite you in the rear, possibly killing you in the process (as Karl sadly found out).

I do sincerely wish these guys all the best and I really hope they all come back safe with all their fingers and toes intact.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-23-2008 04:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jay Chladek:
Now even though members of the expedition are NASA astronauts, is this an official NASA expedition or is it just a climb among friends who happen to be NASA astronauts?
To quote Scott Parazynski from his first journal entry:
I'm taking this trip on my own time and dime, but my team and I hope to share with all those interested a view into the life of an Everest expedition, particularly since there are so many parallels between the exploration we do in space to what we'll be doing in the Himalayas.

kimmern123
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posted 03-23-2008 05:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kimmern123   Click Here to Email kimmern123     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I certainly wish Scott the best in this adventure. This will be very exciting to follow. From Scott's first journal entry it is clear that this has been a goal of his for a long time and I'm sure it will be a great experience.

Good luck to Scott and the rest of the summit team!!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-23-2008 09:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This expedition fulfills a long-time desire by Parazynski, dating back to before he became an astronaut in 1992. From Stanford magazine:
As a 30-year-old physician, Scott Parazynski joined a team of other doctors organizing a climb of Mount Everest. But two months into the planning, he got a call from NASA inviting him to become an astronaut.

Everest would have to wait.

irish guy
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posted 03-24-2008 11:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for irish guy   Click Here to Email irish guy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Less then a hour from where we live here in Co, Kerry lives the first Irish man to successfully climb Mt Everest. Pat Falvey, was a close friend of Dr. Karl Henize, and was with him on that terrible day that he lost his life.

Thanks Robert for the links to allow all of us to follow the trip.

MCroft04
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posted 03-24-2008 01:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does Scott need permission from NASA to attempt such a dangerous undertaking? They wouldn't allow Gordo (Cooper) to race cars.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-24-2008 07:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mel, I submitted your question to the appropriate person within NASA public affairs, though she is currently working the overnight shift for STS-123, so her reply may not come until after Endeavour lands. In the meantime, I've made a few more inquires with others who may know NASA's policy about such activities.

(Obviously though, given NASA's participation in the expedition, Scott and his group received whatever permission, if any, that was needed. There's precedent, too; according to the NASA release announcing Dr. Henize's passing on the mountain, he was on leave from the agency at the time [rather than retired]).

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-24-2008 09:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
ReelNASA: Everest Expedition 2008 Trailer

Astronaut Scott Parazynski soon sets off for a new expedition. This time, he won't be leaving Earth.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-25-2008 10:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On the subject of space travelers and Everest, there have been at least a couple of rocks that have made the opposite trek, from the mountain to orbit:
  • In 1991 aboard STS-40, James Bagian carried "a small souvenir rock collected by his friend Tom Hornbein in 1963 on the first ascent of the West Ridge of Mount Everest."

  • In 2006 aboard STS-115, Steve MacLean carried "a small stone off of Mount Everest" for a friend who had climbed the seven continents' seven highest mountains.
Are there other pieces of Everest that have flown in space?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-30-2008 01:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to Scott Parazynski's latest journal entry, "tomorrow we depart Namche for Tengboche, the site of a famous monastery and the location of camp for the next two nights. We'll then step up towards Dengboche, Gorak Shep and Everest Base Camp, arriving 7 April."

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-02-2008 05:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MCroft04:
Does Scott need permission from NASA to attempt such a dangerous undertaking?
As mentioned earlier, I submitted your question to NASA and today I received their response, as well as additional information regarding the agency's involvement in the Everest expedition.
  1. Is Scott Parazynski on official NASA work time for this extensive trek and climb? No, Scott is not on duty status and is on personal annual leave. Other than annual leave compensation, he is receiving no compensation from NASA. This is basically a vacation for him that fits with his mountaineering hobby.

  2. People have died in climbing Mount Everest, doesn't NASA have some rules directing astronauts to not participate in dangerous activities. Yes, NASA does have rules that limit activities like snow skiing, water skiing, mountain climbing, skydiving, etc. for astronauts assigned to a space mission. These restrictions take effect 12 months prior to the scheduled launch. . But since Parazynski is not assigned to a mission (he recently completed a mission as a crew member of STS-120), these restrictions do not apply. Parazynski is now in a period that allows an extensive vacation prior to beginning the typical technical work required of astronauts in between mission assignments.

  3. NASA appears to be supporting this climb, is NASA a partner in this activity? NASA Public Affairs identified a value in helping communicate aspects of Parazynski's Everest climb because of the natural parallels between the challenges of climbing the Earth's tallest mountain and exploring space. Scott is a big supporter of exploration and education and developed a number of ways to communicate the story of his climb to tell others and encourage young people to pursue their education and dreams. NASA sees a great - if not unusual - opportunity to collaborate in communications that help the public see the parallels between space exploration and exploration of the far reaches of Earth.

  4. NASA seems to be using different media to communicate about the Everest trip, why is this? We see this as a good opportunity to try out and enlarge our ability to use more advanced, social media capabilities for unique exploration activities. Material from Scott will appear on a NASA blog site, a YouTube site, and even a MySpace page. In addition, several individuals and groups will receive communiques from Scott to help transmit the story.

  5. NASA must be spending excessive amounts of resources to support this private adventure, how much? NASA is supporting its very small involvement with resources already funding public affairs programs. Personnel are supporting this effort in addition to other on-going duties supporting Shuttle, Station and Constellation. A small amount was used to arrange for very limited number of satellite phone services to get the story directly from Scott. All other climbing-related equipment and expenses, including personal insurance, was paid for by Parazynski.

  6. To some this might appear to be a special privilege for Parazynski, is he getting any special favors here as an astronaut? As an astronaut who's flown to space five times, Scott does have a certain degree of fame that makes the story of his climb more newsworthy. As in astronaut appearances and speeches, astronauts are particularly good at telling the story of their explorations and the public readily pays attention. In this case, Scott's on his own time, but the story of his climb has enough parallels to space exploration to capture the public's interest to hear message about importance of preparation, training, safety, teamwork, etc. for difficult exploration expeditions. In the end, this is a special situation where there is a benefit to our communications role in helping tell others about his climb.

  7. What exactly are the parallels? There are great parallels of mountain climbing and space exploration including survival in very challenging, extreme environments, working in specialized, even dangerous circumstances wearing specially-adapted clothing, developing and working in small teams on highly-demanding tasks, etc. Parazynski's climb to the peak of Mt. Everest is much like astronaut training such as the NEEMO underwater lab and wilderness training which are often publicized to show the public similarities to space exploration. Also during Scott's summit, a call will be attempted to patch Parazynski to station crewmembers to further describe the parallels between the two activities.

    • What other historical events/activities have involved NASA astronauts and Mt. Everest? Parazynski took photographs of Mr. Everest from space, which he will present to various groups in Nepal during his expedition. He is also carrying a number of flown items such as mission patches, flags and tributes to fallen NASA astronauts including STS-51F crewmember Dr. Karl Henize, the first astronaut to attempt Everest, but died during the expedition in 1993.

  8. How long as Scott been planning this expedition? Scott has been planning for this expedition for more than 15 years. He was originally scheduled to join an expedition to climb Everest in 1992, but his selection into the astronaut corps and subsequent space mission postponed his expedition plans until this year.

  9. Are other NASA astronauts also climbing Mt. Everest with Scott? Several other NASA astronauts and employees will also be traveling to Mt. Everest basecamp for a portion of Parazyski's trip (around the time he attempts to reach the summit). These NASA employees are also using their own personal funding and vacation time for this trip and will be on a separate expedition from Parazynski. They will not be attempting to summit the mountain, but instead will provide moral support and assist with transmitting expedition coverage and educational support.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-19-2008 12:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Keith Cowing has posted an update based on a conversation with Scott Parazynski calling from Everest Base Camp:
Scott and his team have been at Everest Base Camp at an elevation of 5,380 meters (17,700 ft) on the south side of Mt. Everest in Nepal for a week now.

He sounded really good and said that "everyone is doing well and in excellent spirits" but noted that "at this point a little of the loneliness is starting to set in" in terms of friends and family and that in this regard he "now feels a kinship with my friends on-orbit".

...today he and his climbing team will be heading up to Camp 1 which is located at 6,065 meters (19,900 feet) where they will stay for three days. This is all part of the gradual process whereby he will acclimatize his body to work at higher and higher altitudes. This process assures that climbers will be at maximum capacity when it is time to make the push for the summit.

During their stay at Camp 1 they will make a day hike even higher up to Camp 2 also known as Advanced Base Camp (ABC) which is located at 6,500 meters (21,300 feet). They will then head back down to Everest Base Camp and rest for a few days before doing this again.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-28-2008 03:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
BBC News [via NASA Watch]: News blackout at Everest base camp
The Nepalese authorities have imposed a complete communications ban from the base camp upwards and closed territory on Everest above 6,500 metres until the torch has been and gone from the top.

We knew there were restrictions on satellite phones and video cameras but were now told that even pre-recorded radio material on non-political subjects would not be allowed.

The move came as China prepares to take the Olympic torch up its northern side of the world's highest peak.

The ban is due to be lifted by May 10 at the latest...

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-12-2008 12:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SpaceRef.com:
Astronaut and Mountaineer Scott Parazynski Brings Explorers Club Flag to Mount Everest
When astronaut Scott Parazynski stands atop Mt. Everest in a few days, he will be making note of a number of non-profit and educational organizations - among them the Explorers Club. With him will be a small Explorers Club flag. A full sized flag (#114) will remain at Everest Base Camp.
The article includes a photo of Explorer's Club flags that have flown to the Moon on Apollo 8 and Apollo 15.

Another flag, reports SpaceRef.com, will be carried aloft by commercial space traveler and Explorers Club Fellow Richard Garriott (FN'98) in October 2008.

Jay Chladek
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posted 05-13-2008 04:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So has the news blackout been lifted since the Chinese completed their torch run up the mountain?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-14-2008 12:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jay Chladek:
So has the news blackout been lifted since the Chinese completed their torch run up the mountain?
According to Outside magazine's blog, restrictions on the south side of the mountain have been lifted. Climbers are now free to use satellite phones and wireless internet.

Speaking of which, an update from Scott Parazynksi via Everest OnOrbit:

"We're now waiting for camp to be set up on the South Col - Camp 4 (7,920 meters - 26,000 feet) and some fixed lines towards the summit. We're a bit uncertain when the summit window will open - probably some time after 22nd."
That was yesterday, this is today:
Just got another call from Scott. Coordinating media issues. The summit window now looks a bit firmer for 22 May. That would put him back at Everest Base Camp on 24 May.

Jay Chladek
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posted 05-14-2008 01:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Uh oh, if a camp four and some fixed lines haven't been set yet, then there could be some real traffic jams on the top of the mountain when the summit window opens up on the 22nd as a lot of climbing parties will probably be trying to make their summit attempts that day. Traffic jams like that can be real killers if they end up trapping people up there in the death zone for too long.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-15-2008 07:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Everest OnOrbit:
Send your thoughts to the summit of Mt. Everest

Astronaut and mountaineer Scott Parazynski is resting at Everest Base Camp for a few days after a series of climbs up and down Mt. Everest designed to acclimatize his body - and hone his climbing skills. Scott called me several times on Tuesday - as he has since he arrived a month ago to update me on his progress. I expect several more phone calls in the next several days.

The current thinking is that the summit window is centered on 22 May. Weather and human traffic are the main factors affecting his progress to the summit. Given that it takes a week to do the trek up the mountain, summit, and then head back down, we expect that he'll be heading off this weekend for his "summit push".

Our original plan did not work out in terms of comms and updates from Base Camp. So here is the back up plan: post your comments below. If you simply want to wish Scott "good luck, best wishes, etc." post that and I will do a head count. If, however, you have something a bit more expansive to say - please post it. Please try and make it simple so that I can condense it down to something I can efficiently convey to Scott and that he can keep in his oxygen-starved brain. Longer comments will be left online for Scott to read when he gets back home.

Scott will be the first human to fly in space and summit the highest peak on our planet. What does this mean in terms of personal determination and endurance? In terms of exploration and pushing frontiers? As a preview of things to come - and of risks to be taken - on other worlds?

We won't see a similar combination and alignment of first accomplishments again until someone summits the highest lunar peak - or Olympus Mons on Mars.

Send your thoughts to the summit of Mt. Everest. Give Scott something to think about. Be a part of this unique climb.


Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-16-2008 12:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Everest OnOrbit:
Scott says that he expects to leave Everest Base Camp tomorrow morning (17 May) at 3:30 am local time to begin his climb to the summit of Mt. Everest. "When I head out of the vestibule of my tent it will be like heading out of the airlock hatch aboard the International Space Station for an EVA" he said. "I will be wearing my bulky red summit suit. I will have clumsy mitts on, an oxygen mask, and my body will be covered from head to toe with gear, patches, and other things - just like being out in space."
Image below: this is Scott's summit jacket. Among the patches are one that symbolizes the crews of Apollo 1, Columbia, and Challenger; the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, Autism research, and the American flag Scott wore on his spacesuit during his STS-120 EVA.

Although, in the important moments, this climb is a test of one's personal physical skill and endurance, knowing Scott as I do, when he stands atop Everest he will be standing there for all of the comrades lost in the exploration of space. You can see it by the patches he has on his summit jacket and the banners he will leave behind.
Image below: Scott will leave these banners atop Everest. Styled after the prayer flags you see all over Everest, these banners honor the crews of Soyuz 1, Soyuz 11, Apollo 1, Columbia (STS-107) and Challenger (STS-51l). Scott also has a patch from STS 51-F to honor astronaut Karl Henize who died on Everest in 1993.

DChudwin
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posted 05-17-2008 09:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DChudwin   Click Here to Email DChudwin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good luck to Scott Parazynski as he begins his ascent of Mt. Everest.

There are some more great photos at Everest OnOrbit: Photos of the Khumbu Icefall.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-17-2008 10:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
International Mountain Guides update:
This morning (18th Nepal time) Scott [Parazynski], Adam & Bob Lowry with their personal sherpas and Casey and his team (Bob and Ari) headed up for their summit bids. They all went to C1 with the exception of Scott and Kami who went on to C2. They are scheduled to go for the summit on 21st or 22nd.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-19-2008 10:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to International Mountain Guides, Scott will reach C3 tomorrow morning (local time).

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-21-2008 11:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On Monday, May 20 at 10:35 a.m. CDT, International Mountain Guides reported:
Scott [Parazynski], Adam, Bob, Chip, Vance, Joe & Kurt are at Camp 3.
At 9:15 p.m., the report was:
Bob and Scott are heading down to C2.
Three hours later, the next update included:
Bob L. and Scott have now made it back down to C2 where Ryan, Rohan, Serge, Monty, Val, Tim, and Mike are waiting.
On May 21 at 10:10 p.m. CDT, IMG reported:
Monty, Scott, and Bob are heading for BC from C2.
Other members of the IMG expedition have summitted during this time period. It not yet clear why Scott descended from C3 to base camp...

Andy
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posted 05-22-2008 07:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Andy   Click Here to Email Andy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
On May 21 at 10:10 p.m. CDT, IMG reported:
Monty, Scott, and Bob are heading for BC from C2.
Other members of the IMG expedition have summitted during this time period. It not yet clear why Scott descended from C3 to base camp...
I think it's pretty clear that his climb is over, for whatever reason. Too bad.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-22-2008 08:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
IMG reports this morning that Scott has arrived back at base camp. He provided this update to Everest OnOrbit:
Summit so close, yet so far...

There I was, literally just 24 hours from standing atop the world's tallest mountain, 6:30 am, May 21, 2008.

The radio call from Casey had just come in, indicating that he, Ari, Danuru and Dawa had actually done it, and with extra determination I gave my pack a hoist, wincing in sharp pain in the process.

Just the day before I'd awoken with low back spasms (something I've dealt with intermittently in the past), but I had still managed to climb the very steep Lhotse face between Camps II and III in a very respectable four and a half hours, cinching my climbing harness like a weight lifter's belt. The night at Camp II had been hard, unable to find a comfortable position for my low back for more than a minute or two. I told myself to persevere, the summit was tantalizingly close --- by morning all would be well, else I'd just "ignore" the stabbing pain and press on to the top.

My buddies Adam, Kami, Namgya, Bob and others at camp were as helpful as friends could ever be under the circumstances --- getting ready to move up to Camp IV for our summit assault -- placing a fresh oxygen cylinder in my backpack and installing the crampons on my boots (there was no way I'd have been able to reach them. With their encouragement I braced myself and led off up the steep slope towards the Yellow Band on a test run. Within 10 paces I did an about face and told my friends "I'm done," averting my wet eyes from probably some of theirs. I knew that if I continued up with them I'd slow them dramatically, possibly compromising their summit success, and conceivably place them in a rescue situation (mine). After 59 days on this expedition, and a lifetime of dreaming about it, it was a painful but easy decision to turn away from the summit...

There's no need to feel sorry for me, though, as I've had the adventure of a lifetime here --- and besides, I can handle a short period of self pity on my own! Thanks so much for following along with my Everest expedition. In the weeks ahead (after I've downclimbed the mountain and flown back home), we'll post some other great photos and videos here.

Namaste,
Scott

KSCartist
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posted 05-22-2008 08:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As painful as it was for him to turn around, it was the right decision for the right reasons.

Scott deserves a lot of credit and respect for the attempt. Something tells me this won't be the last time he makes this trip.

Tim

cspg
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posted 05-22-2008 10:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Did someone make it to the top? I've read that a Nepalese sherpa named Appa has just completed his 18th climb to the summit (news posted 5/22).

Chris.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-22-2008 10:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cspg:
Did someone make it to the top?
Yes, multiple members of the IMG expedition, of which Scott was a part (not to be confused with the NASA expedition), have summited:
IMG Leaders Mark Tucker and Ang Jangbu report that at 6:23am Danuru (#10), Dawa (#6), Casey (#2), and Ari reached the summit.

IMG Leader Mark Tucker reports that Chip with Jamling, Vance with Pemba Dorje and Joe with Mingma Tshering have reached the summit and are now on their way down.

IMG Leader Ang Jangbu reports that Adam and Ang Namgya and Kurt and Kancha Nuru are now on the summit and will be starting down soon.

kimmern123
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posted 05-22-2008 10:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kimmern123   Click Here to Email kimmern123     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I felt quite a bit of disappointment when I heard Scott had to turn around. This has been a dream of his for so long, and then make it that far just to turn around. It must be a bit sad...

However I'm still thrilled by the way Scott has allowed the rest of us to follow this adventure. It has been a blast!

Larry McGlynn
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posted 05-22-2008 03:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have more respect for Scott now, then for his time in space. It takes a mature person to understand that it was not going to be their day. If he had "summit fever" and pressed on toward the summit, then he would have placed himself in danger as well as others in the expedition.

It takes a mentally tough person to make the decision to call their climb.

I have seen the same thing in divers. They get "got to see it fever" and enter a dangerous area on a wreck that is beyond their training or physical limitations and die.

The person who decides that they need to call a dive is a person who survives to dive again. Like Scott on Everest, they are the smart ones.

------------------
Larry McGlynn
A Tribute to Apollo
www.apollotribute.blogspot.com

Henk Boshuijer
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From: Netherlands
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posted 05-22-2008 03:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Henk Boshuijer   Click Here to Email Henk Boshuijer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Scott did a great job and he made a wise decission to save his health and the safety of his fellow climbers....

It must have been a difficult decission I am sure... but Scott made the right decission to quit...

Henk Boshuijer

keith.wilson
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From: Callander, Stirling, Scotland
Registered: Jun 2002

posted 05-22-2008 04:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for keith.wilson     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Do you think Scott will try for Everest again during another climbing season?

Keith

Jay Chladek
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From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 05-25-2008 03:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
More then likely yes he will. I would say he is probably going to get his back spasm condition checked though to see if anything can be done about it before he climbs again though. I have to wonder though if the high altitude and lack of oxygen might have had something to do with the condition getting worse compared to it being a nuisance at lower altitudes?

I also agree that he did the right thing hitting the abort button when he did. It shows he is thinking these problems through properly. Now I hope he has a safe trip home.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-26-2008 05:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If his plans held, Scott Parazynski is now on his way back to Houston.
My last 24 hours at Everest Base Camp were a blur. After guardedly muscling my way down the Khumbu icefall for the last time, I immediately began thinking about what it would take to get back home. I knew that once I began the trek out, each step I took would finally be one step closer to home.

I had anticipated a three-day, 36 mile walk/limp through springtime valleys, getting progressively greener as I descended. Everest veterans had described seeing newborn yaks and beautiful rhododendrons on their prior post-climb descents, so despite a gait somewhat like Frankenstein's I was sort of looking forward to the long way home.

A friend and fellow climber had developed a medical condition necessitating evacuation, however. As he was unable to make the long trek out, physicians at the Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA) clinic at base camp ("Everest ER") requested a helicopter evacuation for him.

My friend appointed me his "personal physician," and since there was an extra seat in the French-built Cheetah helicopter (flown by the Nepalese Air Force), I was told to finish packing in 15 minutes (!) and start hiking towards Gorak Shep, where they thought the aircraft might be able to duck in under the weather.

The weather was much less than ideal, but our ride from The Mountain to Katmandu was one I'll never forget: skimming treetops by just a few feet, with enormous valleys opening up beneath us. Most of the Himalayan giants were shrouded in clouds during the flight, but looking down at the raging rivers, tiny villages and tenuous suspension bridges made it seem like we were airborn for just a few minutes...

If all goes well, my duffel bags will arrive in Katmandu from the mountains this afternoon --- thanks to two very strong porters, who carried them all the way from base camp to the Lukla airport --- and I'll be on my way back to Houston tomorrow afternoon (via Bangkok, Los Angeles and Dallas). I can feel the jet lag setting in already!

Jay Chladek
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Posts: 2211
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 05-29-2008 12:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It probably is a good thing he got out when he did as apparently Nepal just voted to abolish the monarchy. Granted three days of celebration have been scheduled (which the Nepalese population seems to be taking to heart), but considering some of the violence in that country in recent times could mean things might get nasty if somebody attempts to make a grab for power.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-12-2008 07:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Houston Chronicle: Astronaut's adventures don't end in space
Sometimes, it takes courage to turn back. That's not something astronauts do easily.

But on May 21, with the 29,028-foot summit of Mount Everest just a day's climb away, that's exactly what Scott Parazynski did.

Wracked by what he thought were the back spasms he had known off and on for years, Parazynski left Camp 3 on the south face of the world's highest peak and started down.

The 47-year-old astronaut, who trained as an emergency room doctor before joining NASA, had dreamed of scaling Everest since he read about the first time it was conquered, in 1953, by New Zealander Edmund Hillary and his Sherpa guide, Tenzing Norgay.

"I was at 24,000 feet and in a great deal of pain, looking up at the summit and really longing to go there," Parazynski said. "I could taste it."

Parazynski, who led an equally daring spacewalk in November when he braved the threat of electrical shock to repair rips in a solar panel on the international space station, spoke of his Everest adventure in an interview at the Johnson Space Center.

Jay Chladek
Member

Posts: 2211
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 06-13-2008 01:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow, he is dang lucky to make it back if his back got that bad. I wonder when his surgery is scheduled for?

I personally don't look on Scott's attempt up Everest as a failure. People climb it for many reasons, mainly to help find themselves. Not making it to the summit can tell just as much about a person as making it there. If one dies up there, nobody will ever know their story as it will be a secret they take with them. Coming back to tell the story I think is a much better result, even if it wasn't successful.

I am certain that if the surgery is successful, Scott will climb Everest again. He's got the mountain in his blood now and he knows he should be able to aclimatize to it next time he tries to ascend it.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-09-2009 10:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
OnOrbit: Scott Parazynski Is Heading Back To Mt. Everest
Scott Parazynski will be heading back to Nepal in a few weeks to make another attempt to become the first astronaut to stand atop Mt. Everest. Stay tuned next week for website upgrades at the expedition's main website at OnOrbit.com/Everest. You can follow Scott's preparations on Twitter at SPOTScott and overall updates at EverestOnOrbit. Also participating will be Miles O'Brien (MilesOBrien) and Keith Cowing (KeithCowing) who plan to provide education and public outreach support onsite at Everest Base Camp during the entire month of May. Support services for our activities will be provided by the good folks at IMG (International Mountain Guides).

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