First 3G Phone Call from Summit of Everest

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English mountaineer Kenton Cool summited Everest for the ninth time on Thursday, an accomplishment he celebrated by calling his wife on his cell phone—from the summit. It was the first cell call made from the top of the world's highest mountain, Wired reports. Cool was able to make the call after 3G coverage (third generation mobile communications, or cell and data service) became available on Everest last October.

Cool also tweeted from the summit, a feat he claimed to be another first. “Everest summit no 9! 1st tweet from the top of the world thanks to a weak 3G signal & the awesome Samsung Galaxy S2 handset! @samsunguk,” Cool posted. But last October, explorer Eric Larsen bagged this honor when he tweeted from Everest's summit on a Delorme GPS device.

Other noteworthy Everest summits include Charlie Whittmack, an Outside Reader of the Year Honorable Mention, who summited last week with Asian Trekking. The feat brings an end to Whittmack's World Tri, his ninth-month quest to swim, bike, trek, and climb 10,000 thousands miles from London to the summit of Everest.

Brazilian Rodrigo Raineri, who had planned on hang-gliding from the summit, abandoned his summit bid after experiencing frostbite on his toes in C4. Yet a flight from the peak could still take place this season, as Briton Squash Falconer plans to paraglide from the summit. She is currently in base camp after an acclimatization climb to C3.

More summit attempts can be expected soon as good weather has settled over the area. Edurne Pasaban, the first woman to summit the world's 8,000-meter peaks (we think), posted on her blog that “Summer has apparently arrived, the rivers are now flowing through the camp and the glacier is melting.  This is good news for us, as the temperature has risen a lot and this is just what we need.” She is also currently resting in base camp before attempting to summit Everest, this time without supplemental oxygen.

–Michael Webster

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