Valerio Massimo Everest Expedition 2009

Me on the summit of Cho Oyu with Everest in the background

Summitted! Part II

May 21st, 2009 by Alix

Hello! It’s been such an exciting night with a multitude of dramas on the radio, just incredibly tense as each climber’s personal ups and downs unfolded. First of all thanks so much to my parents for sitting by the phone in Arizona in order to post a few updates as I was glued to my seat in the Sherpa tent, unwilling to miss a radio call, calling them intermittently with dictated messages.

There’s not much to say as I’m sure Valerio will want to post his own experience. Briefly, the team woke at 11pm for an 11:30 departure and made extremely good time, reaching the Balcony at 4am. There was some waiting here in the cold before they ascended and made their way to the South Summit where they got fresh oxygen bottles and powered their way to the infamous Hillary step, and on to reach the summit at 7:15am local time in gorgeous clear blue skies and some wind. He summitted together with Moises, John Black, and Chris Jones and spent almost 45 minutes on top of the world, including a lengthy radio call to me that was a bit obscured by wind… he sounded happy and well anyway!

Sorry too many exclamation marks but it’s very exciting to be here!

He continued to dawdle and take photos on the way down, even earning an exasperated reprimand from Russell for hanging around in the sunshine and ‘posing’. Sound familiar? He replied that he was just ‘sunbathing’. To be honest most of the time he just sounded like he was having fun!

He reached Camp 4 at 11:45, so almost exactly 12 hours round trip. Everything I write seems a bit anticlimatical so I’m going to go and savour the day. He’s not done yet of course- still a long way back down and a last scary trip through the Icefall, which has been very active with thundering avalanches today just in case I’d forgotten about it.

Thank you all for your wonderful messages, writing this has been such fun. Next (last?) post will be from Valerio with a selection of the ‘hundreds’ of photos that he took.

X from an elated EBC.

Hi Vix- I’ve heard a lot about you! I’m sure Chris will do wonderfully- he’s very strong and has La Gavroche to come back to! He arrived this morning at Camp 3 from Camp 2 and sounds very well, he radioed everyone who summitted to congratulate them. So sweet. I’ll pass on your message. x

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31 responses so far ↓

  • Alix – you’ve done an amazing job in keeping us all informed -thank you so much. Hopefully one day soon we’ll get to meet Valerio. Am sure Trich & Ron are as excited as you are. We were just enjoying our morning coffee when your latest post came in. Keeping fingers crossed for V’s safe return to EBC. As they say here in Portugal “Graca de Deus” you two will be reunited soon.

  • Amazing news!! The Everest Test trek members have been watching blog updates of all ascents with trepidation – huge congratulations to Valerio who met some of us at Gorak Shep whilst there…many many people rooting for you from the UK. All too hard to focus on the desk job when reading of such monumental achievement….!!

  • in awe, well done

  • Hearty congratulations from East Africa! It has been an amazing journey which we have been privileged to read about. So thank you Alix for giving us the chance and well done to Valerio for a mammoth achievement. Ax

  • Awesome news! My cap is duly doffed in your direction…
    Went to the hairdresser this morning and I had them hanging on my every word!
    Keep your wits about you on the way down; looking forward to catching up on your return.
    Drinks on me!
    best to you both, Will

  • Bravo mostrito! lo sapevamo ;-)))

    Graziella & Martha

    PS: Glad the yeti did not catch you!!!
    We are waiting for your return…

  • PPS:
    Yes, we are waiting for your return…but please…don’t run too fast! ;-)))
    Gx & Mx

  • Congratulations Valerio!!! How wonderful to have reached the top of the world and to linger in beautiful weather for 45 minutes! Amazing. We found your blog via South African Gilad Stern and have been avidly reading your blog. Safe journey down and we’ll be looking forward to more exciting updates from you and Alix. Well done again from Di Meek and many others in South Africa who have been following your successes.

  • Alix, we met you and your mom in Khumgjung. We have been checking the blog every day to check on Valerio’s progress and it has made our trip even more special to experience Everest through your entries. Congratulations to Valerio for summiting and to you for holding together under the stress of waiting. Sometimes (probably not on Everest) it is harder to be the person waiting than the person on the mountain. Say hi to your mom for us. Kris & Kevin

  • Congratulations to all the team !
    I am proud of you !!

  • Huge congratulations to everyone on the team. I was one of the guys who was part of the cricket match at Gorak Shep and met you guys when you came down.

    I am in awe of anyone who can get up there and am proud to have met some of the team.

  • Bravissimo Valerio!! E bravissima Alix. You must both feel on top of the world. Can’t wait to see you.

  • Congratulations Valerio – an incredible achievement! Very few are able to say that they feel on top of the world when actually standing on it – amazing! And Alix, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading your posts – thank you! Look forward to reading the next post and pics, Valerio. Best wishes Steph

  • posing and sunbathing …. ha !

    congratulations V !

  • Bravo Valerio, we all had tears of joy hearing about the ascent. – Bill and Jeanie

  • Thanks Alix and well done to Valerio, he (and therefore you!) must be over the moon.

    If you hear any news of team 2’s progress (in prticular Chris’) please mention it on your blog.

    Vix x

  • Got your message, and tried to call you back but coudn’t get through. Well done, truly amazing, can’t wait to hear about it. sleep well and get down safe.


    Delighted he has fulfilled a dream, i wonder if he will ever shut up about it? We are all off to Stephan’s bday tonight so I will toast your absence and Valerio’s success. When are you home? Am single!


  • ps any news of sir ranulph fiennes? it is all over the news here that he reached the summit today? now back at base camp apparently. xxxx

  • Oh my gosh – hadn’t looked in a couple of days and have just been breathlessly catching up – well well done to everyone and I hope you still have some nails left Alix – I think I’d have bitten them all off! How exciting – can’t wait to see the pics. Big congratulatory kisses from Geneva xx

  • Have been following your awesome quest and so goddamm proud of you guys! fantastic!
    Can not WAIT for your return and to give you the biggest squeeze EVER! so much love xxx Pinkles

  • Hey Valerio, saw Bliss the day before she left to join you at Base camp, had heard before you were doing this and am in awe my friend. It is a dream of mine to do it and I look forward to having a proper debrief, perhaps in BRC or hopefully closer to home at Kimberely. Many many congratulations; what an incredible acheivement. xx

  • WOW WOW WOW! Thinking of you all the time, all the best of luck for the descent, massive love! Just got back from Namibia cycle ride – me and Pinky have been rooting for you every day from the desert! xxxxx

  • Well done, huge congratulations. Very impressive!

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    tnx for info!!…

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    good info….

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    good info!!…

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    спс за инфу….