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On the Summit: 29,035′

Just received the call we’ve all been waiting for from Maj Rob Marshall, leader of the USAF 7 Summits team, reporting that he and three other team members reached the summit of Mount Everest at approximately 0520 Nepal time. Fifty years after the first American boots stood on top of the world, the first American military team has followed in those footsteps. They report very cold temps and windy, but not a cloud in the sky. They will unfurl the Star and Stripes and the USAF flag on the summit, and we’ll post that photo just as soon as we get it.

Two of the climbers, Capt Colin Merrin and SSgt Nick Gibson, turned back earlier. Colin had been fighting a respiratory infection and just didn’t have the energy reserves to summit safely, and Nick was risking frostbite in his toes. These guys deserve a huge amount of credit, as they made one of the toughest decisions a climber can make, turning around short of the summit. Both made a good decision to turn back, and they are already safely back at Camp 4.

Spread the word to all your friends and fellow Airman: the USAF flag is flying from the highest of the high ground!Summit Tracks