March 27, 2012
Charley Mace, our Director for Soldiers To Summits, and a longtime climbing partner of mine, is bound for another ascent of Everest. He was with my team on the Hillary-Norgay route a decade ago and now he's going back to climb the West Ridge. This is the climb made famous by Tom Hornbein and Willi Unsoeld 49 years ago when they made the first traverse of an 8,000 meter peak.
Charley will be climbing with a strong team of climbers including Jake Norton, David Morton, and Brent Bishop (the son of Barry, who also climbed Everest 49 years ago). While the Southeast and North Ridges are the standard trade routes, the much harder West Ridge is rarely attempted and was last climbed in 1989.
Charley has a long resume in the high mountains, including successful ascents of K2, Gasherbrum II, and Manaslu. And he was with us on our Lobuche climb when 7 wounded soldiers reached the top. When he returns from Nepal, Charley will be organizing our Soldiers To Summits ascent of Cotopaxi in December.
We all wish him and his team the best!