Mark Ballard, the St. John’s man who just reached the summit of Everest has made it safely back to base camp at the foot of the mountain.
Ballard reached the summit on his first attempt; an achievement difficult for even seasoned climbers due to challenges with weather and crowding in addition to the challenge of the mountain itself.
MUN professor T A Loeffler just returned to the province after summiting nearby Yala Peak in Nepal. Having attempted Everest three times so far, she could describe the conditions Ballard encountered on his descent.
She says in order to get back the team had to cross the Khumbu Icefall, a vast plain of ice that can shift and open into great crevasses that they had to pick over with great care.
Loeffler says if you can imagine Newfoundland’s iceberg season, with ten thousand icebergs in a slope from a height of six Signal Hills, and having to climb through it.