In the latest voice message sent via sat phone earlier today, Kids Alive supporter and veteran mountain climber Rick Poole, sounding tired yet confident, said he and his team are now teed up to scale Mt Everest’s peak early tomorrow (Nepal Time).

Rick and his team are now 6,000 feet shy of Mt Everest’s summit as they await their turn to scale the peak. At 23,500 feet above sea level, Rick is about 3,000 feet higher than the summit of Mount Denali which he climbed a few years ago.

The vagaries of weather at this altitude impose a narrow window of time to scale Mt. Everest’s summit. This is compounded by the fact that there is only one-lane passage to go up as well as to descend Everest. To avoid traffic jams and ensure safety, the climbers are led to the top in batches.

This year Nepal Department of Tourism has issued a record number of Everest climbing permits: 381. According to The Himalayan Times, over 200 climbers attempted to scale Everest’s summit this morning. Accompanying the climbers to ensure their safe passage as well as to carry climbing gear are 500 local expert Sherpa climbers.

Rick, in his usual understated way, commented, “Walked up here this morning, went up the Lhotse Face again. A little slower going today, not because of us – it was a pretty busy day on the ropes and these people are having a hard day and there's really nowhere to go, so it's okay.” Lhotse Face runs at a steep incline of 30 degrees covered with snow and ice.

Rick Poole, veteran mountain climber, businessman, husband, father, and longtime supporter of Kids Alive, is committed to raising $1 for every one of the 29,035 feet he will climb! Rick’s goal is to benefit the children of Dominican Republic as they scale the mountains in their own lives and climb toward bright futures.

Please join Rick with your financial and prayer support and follow his final ascent via this blog and on Facebook:

Rick Poole and his family with Kami Rita Sherpa who has scaled Mount Everest 25 times and is now Rick's climbing guide.