Steamboat man summits Everest

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An exhausted but relieved Dr. Eric Meyer phoned his friend Kevin Kolvereid on Wednesday night and filled him in on the news: Meyer, a Steamboat Springs resident, had successfully summitted the world's tallest mountain earlier that day.

After six months of training and frustrating delays while in the Nepalese capital of Katmandu, Meyer reached the summit of Mount Everest just after noon Wednesday, according to dispatches posted on www.everestnews.com.

Meyer, an anesthesiologist at Yampa Valley Medical Center, summitted with fellow American Tim Horvath, Tenzi Sherpa, Galu Sherpa and Tenzing Sherpa, the Web site reported.

"Fatigued, but a happy, resolute kind of fatigue," is how Kolvereid described Meyer's condition after speaking with him via satellite phone.

Numerous area residents familiar with Meyer's quest to climb the 29,035-foot Mount Everest have followed his progress via www.everestnews.com, which is updated daily and provides information on the various teams attempting to summit the Himalayan peak.

Meyer reached the top of the famed mountain on its Tibetan side via the northeast ridge route. A dispatch on the Web site described his ascent to the summit.

The report was posted by Daniel Mazur, the leader of the larger international climbing expedition of which Meyer was a member. It said Meyer and his four team members left advanced base camp Monday and climbed to an elevation of 7,600 meters, or about 25,000 feet. The team climbed an additional 700 meters in elevation the next day while battling stiff winds. They awoke to clear skies and temperatures well below zero degrees Wednesday and left for the summit at 4:30 a.m. local time. The team summitted less than eight hours later and quickly descended 2,400 meters to its advanced base camp.

While Meyer's ascent was a success, others attempting the feat this month haven't been as fortunate. At least three Mount Everest climbers have died in the past two weeks, and some reports indicate the number of fatalities could be as high as six.

Kolvereid said now that Meyer's expedition is complete he is headed back to Katmandu, and then home to Steamboat.

Friends and acquaintances describe Meyer as an avid mountaineer and endurance athlete who has competed in ultra-marathons and other high-endurance events.

"The man is a walking lung," Mark Edelfelt said. "You name it -- if it has something to do with endurance, then Eric's good at it."

Meyer, originally from Montana, has lived in Steamboat for nine years, Kolvereid said.

-- To reach Brent Boyer call 871-4234

or e-mail bboyer@steamboatpilot.com

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