Thursday, May 24, 2007


EverestSA2007 Update 12

Mike Patterson (my cousin) & Everest team-leader Ronnie Muhl summitted Mount Everest at around 02h30 yesterday! I’ve been in bed with flu, and so this announcement might be a little late – having been on the front page of the Cape Argus yesterday afternoon, but it is still an achievement that needs to be celebrated!

We received the following sms from
Mike's wife Chez:

Mike called @ 02.45 from THE TOP OF THE WORLD – he sounded Gr8+laughed wif his SHERPA when I said hug him frm your FAM+a thumbs up frm SA+he gave a good chuckle when I said he is SA’s new no 12+OLDEST @ a record age of 55yrs-wind died down+Ron did his summit about 10 mins ealier, MAGIC MORN

Then on the EverestSA2007 site there is the following:

Report from Glenda Muhl

Ronnie, Mike and sherpas (Lhakpa Randu and I don’t have the other wonderful man's name) summited at 2:30am our time today. We had a sleepless night waiting for the call. I am so proud of their achievement - the 11th and 12th South Africans to stand on top of the world and Mike at 56 years, the oldest South African to be there. Ronnie could not speak for long but I detected a lot of emotion in his voice.

The conversation went something like this: "It's been a long haul, but here I am - it's incredible Glen - tell the children... here comes Mike - I haven't seen him since the 2nd step - he will be with me in about 10 minutes - I have to go - need to put my oxygen mask back on again....."

Mike called his wife a few minutes later saying, "I am top of the world" with the voice of Lhakpa Randu cheering in the background.

We are still waiting to hear of their safe decent; including more information from my unc John, who should be waiting from the team down at Base Camp.

Coming down is considered to be almost more dangerous, than the going up – I suppose the elation of pushing towards a goal is very energy sapping, while the downward trip is a battle of strength and will. So we are looking forward to news.

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To learn more about the Sherpa tribe that makes climbing Everest possible, read Beyond the Summit by Linda LeBlanc. Details of Sherpa culture and religion are interwoven in a tale of romance and high adventure. The story has something for everyone: a love affair between an American journalist and Sherpa guide, conflict between generations as the modern world challenges centuries of tradition, an expedition from the porter's point of view.

Below are selections from reviews. To read the complete ones and excerpts go to

Beyond the Summit, is the rare gem that shows us the triumphs and challenges of a major climb from the porter’s point of view. The love of two people from diverse cultures is the fiery centerpiece of a novel that leads its readers through harshly beautiful and highly dangerous territory to the roof of the world. Malcolm Campbell, book reviewer

Conflict and dialog keep this gripping story of destiny, romance and adventure moving from the first page to the last paragraph. LeBlanc has a genius for bonding her readers and her characters. I found I was empathizing in turn with each character as they faced their own personal crisis or trauma.
Richard Blake for Readers Views.

A gripping, gut-twisting expedition through the eyes of a porter reveals the heart and soul of Sherpas living in the shadows of Everest.

A hard-hitting blend of adventure and romance which deserves a spot in any serious fiction collection. Midwest Book Review

LeBlanc is equally adept at describing complex, elusive emotions and the beautiful, terrifying aspect of the Himalayan Mountains. Boulder Daily Camera

LeBlanc's vivid description of the Himalayas and the climbing culture makes this a powerful read. Rocky Mt News Pick of the Week

A rich adventure into the heart of the Himalayan Kingdom. Fantastic story-telling from one who has been there.

This is the book to read before you embark on your pilgrimage to Nepal. The author knows and loves the people and the country, and makes you feel the cold thin air, the hard rocks of the mountains, the tough life of the Sherpa guides, and you learn to love them too. This is a higly literate, but also very readable book. Highly recommended."
-- John (college professor)

Memorable characters and harrowing encounters with the mountains keep the action moving with a vibrant balance of vivid description and dialogue. Literary Cafe Host, Healdsburg, CA

This superbly-crafted novel will land you in a world of unimaginable beauty, adventure, and romance. The love story will keep you awake at night with its vibrant tension and deep rich longing. Wick Downing, author of nine novels

The book is available from,, Barnes & Noble and Borders Stores, and the web site for an autographed copy.
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