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Everest Exodus
11:56 a.m. EDT May 16, 2003
The greatest Everest summit push of our time started this morning. Climbers are leaving base camp in droves, grabbing the chance of lower winds next week. Three days from now, Everest Base Camp will be a ghost town. This year between 400 and 600 climbers from both the North and the South Sides will be going for the summit of Everest, all within a short time span of just a couple of days. If the weather holds and the conditions are right, an epic number of climbers could summit, on Everest's South Side alone there are almost 30 teams.

Last year on May 16th, 77 climbers from 14 teams stood on the summit – all in one day. The total for that year was 154 summits and the year before that, 2001, holds the record at 182 summits. This year serious records could be broken. Never before has Everest seen so many expeditions. If 50% of the climbers going for the summit make it (reasonable if the weather is right) the record could easily be eclipsed and possibly doubled.

50 years ago there were only 2; Including the surrounding 8000m peaks, this year could see nearly a thousand humans migrating above the 8000m level at the same time - right where the jets fly! On this great anniversary and celebration of our world’s tallest mountain, we are witnessing nothing less than a magnificent tribute to the human drive.

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