Mount EverestUniversity of Maine professor John Bagnulo managed to summit Mount Everest on his 36th birthday. His friend, Bill Yeo, did not manage to make the peak. Both men are safe and healthy at the base camp. The men collected soil samples along the way, and tested out nutritional supplements for high altitude climbing.

Bagnulo and Yeo spent the last couple of weeks acclimating to the thin air at a base camp at an elevation of 17,500 feet. Late Wednesday (Thursday morning on Mt. Everest), Bagnulo’s wife, Joanna, and his mother, Janet, received calls by satellite phone from Bagnulo atop the summit. “When I picked up the phone, he said, ‘Mom. I did it,'” Janet Bagnulo recalled. “I’m just so thrilled and proud of him. It’s been a dream of his for so long.”

Congratulations to both men, even though Bill Yeo didn’t make it the entire distance. I can not even picture myself ever making the attempt. They decided to attempt the climb without a sherpa guide, and carried all their own supplies as well as the satellite phone and oxygen up by themselves.

(Photo Credit: Everest News)