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U.S. Airman From Santee Continues Climb To Everest

Photo credit: U.S. Air Force

Capt. Colin Merrin, 2nd Space Operations Squadron, Capt. Heidi Kent, 7th Space Operations Squadron, and Megan Harkins, 1st Space Operations Squadron, take a moment to represent the 50th Space Wing at Mount Everest Base Camp.

U.S. Air Force Capt. Colin Merrin of Santee is a step closer to fulfilling his dream of summiting Mount Everest.

Merrin, a GPS satellite operations mission commander, is part of an Air Force team participating in a 50-day journey to climb Mount Everest.

If they summit, USAF Seven Summits Challenge team members would become the first group of active-duty U.S. service members to reach the top of the world's highest mountain - elevation 29,035 feet.

Merrin and his teammates have been acclimating themselves to Everest's extreme altitude with climbs from Everest Base Camp, which is at 19,500 feet, to camps further up on the mountain.

Understandably, contact with the rest of the world is difficult from Everest, but Merrin said in an April 21 phone call (as reported by 50th Space Wing public affairs):

"It was fun to get up on the [Khumbu] Icefall today and do a little climbing. I imagine it gets a little crazier up higher."

Team members have reported that they're aiming to make the final ascent from Camp 4 to Mount Everest's summit around May 18.

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