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Ed Hommers TORCH on Mount Everest SUMMIT!

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May 15, 2004 22: 45 EST
Saturday May 15, 2004

"Linda McMillan reporting from San Francisco, California

I am thrilled to report that the EVEREST: Friendship Beyond Borders Expedition has arrived at the summit of Mount Everest as of 7:55 AM Nepal time Sunday May 16th (7:10 PM Pacitic time 5/15)!

I received a phone call from Team Leader Tom McMillan that he was standing on the summit with Climbing Sirdar Nima Tashi Sherpa and Climbing Sherpa Pem Dorjee Sherpa. Just a few steps away were Climbing Team member Nawang Sherpa and Climbing Sherpa Nima Gombu Sherpa.

This is represents a first ascent of Mount Everest by a trans-tibial amputee and a first ascent by a disabled Nepali citizen.

All team members are well and the weather on the summit is good. Tom will call in later with more details of their summit push."

Nawang Sherpa and Tom McMillan. It’s not so rare to have a sherpa among the first teams to make the season's first summit push, but this guy is different. Nawang Sherpa is climbing Everest South with a prosthetic leg. A motorcycle wreck in summer 2000 left Nawang Sherpa, an aspiring high-altitude guide in Nepal, an amputee. He got a new "climbing leg" in 2002 thanks to the High Exposure foundation, a nonprofit launched by Ed Hommer, who lost his own legs on Denali and hoped to scale Everest one day together with Nawang. Ed's own Everest dream however ended in tragedy a few months later when a rock struck and killed him on Mount Rainier Sep 23, 2003. This year Tom McMillan, a California climber, stepped in to make Nawang's dream to scale Mount Everest a reality.

Image of Nawang, courtesy team website.

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