KATHMANDU, MAY 13
A retired Air Force colonel from US scaled the world's highest mountain this morning becoming the first living kidney donor to climb the highest mountains on each of the seven continents.
According to Navin Trital, Managing Director at Expedition Himalaya, David Ashley, 48, from Arlington stood atop the roof of world at around 8:00am this morning.
With the successful ascent of Mt Everest David becoming the first living kidney donor to climb the highest mountains on each of the seven continents, he added.
David was accompanied by Phurba Sonam Sherpa and Karma Gyalzen Sherpa to the top of Mt Everest, Trital shared.
David donated a kidney to his classmate in 2017 when he was on active duty military service.
"From summiting Pikes Peak in fall 1997, to Rainier, Adams, and a host of Colorado 14ers, to peak bagging with Tom Becht in So Cal, I fell in love the mountaineering. But balancing that and work limited my aspirations," David posted on Facebook.
"Then in summer 2019 I retired, and the world opened up. Since then I've begun international big mountain climbing, hitting peaks in Tanzania, Guatemala, France, Chile, Equador, Alaska, Antartica, Argentina, and Australia. And of course the Seven Summits has been part of that. I still climb domestically, but just for training in prep for the bigger mountains," he added.
Now it's time to head up for a crack at Mount Everest, final of the Seven, he shared on his Facebook page four days ago.
"If successful, I'll be the first living kidney donor to climb the Seven Summits. Along the way I've been part of two Guinness World Records, bronze medal at the High Altitude Obstacle Course Race World Championship, partnered with another Veteran to finish his own Seven Summit quest on Denali, sprinted in and out of Russia between major world events, and summited Aconcagua despite almost half of our climbing team and guides coming down with COVID. Oh, and got stuck in Antartica for a week."
He further elaborated, "You see, I'm not just attempting to climb the highest mountain in the world on the trip. I'm permitted and prepared for a double-header: Everest and Lhotse. Lhotse is the 4th highest mountain in the world at 27,941 ft. It's connected to Everest. So if things go well and we succeed on Everest, we won't be dropping down to EBC. We'll stay up for a shot at Lhotse. It could be the next day after Everest summit and a night at Camp 4, it may be a few days."
"We may drop down to Camp 3 or 2 and go back up. And we may decide to skip it entirely. The plan is bold, giving us a rare opportunity that not many climbers dare to attempt. But it's fully flexible," David concluded.