Updated with new information:
Joe Ashkar is en route for the North Pole after an aborted attempt to climb Mt. Everest. Ashkar, a Creve Coeur resident, posted the following statement to his website Tuesday.
"Friends, family and loved ones: first and foremost, I would like to thank everyone for the amazing support and encouragement during my quest to climb the 7 Summits and this past Everest Expedition.
As my good friend Ed Viesturs and one of the greatest mountaineers of all time once said: “Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.”
With that thought in mind, I decided to turn back and abandon expedition of summiting Mount Everest. I truly never recovered from the sinus/respiratory infection I suffered early on and by the time I felt better by dropping down in altitude, I had lost most of my acclimatization.
I could have forced the issue and continued on but I don’t think it was worth the risk. The mountain will always be there and there’s always next year."
Ashkar's wife Lisa told Patch Wednesday afternoon that her husband, who had returned home to Creve Coeur, was now en route to Oslo, Norway to move forward with previously scheduled plans to reach the North Pole as part of the Poles and summit quest within the year.
She said he would then scale Mt. McKinley in Alaska in mid-June.
For More Information:
- Creve Coeur Man Prepares To Climb Mt. Everest In Bid For History
- Creve Coeur Climber Back On Track After Falling Ill At Mount Everest
- Creve Coeur Man Nears Final Assault On Mt. Everest