reaches top of world
part of Everest expedition
A 47-year-old Charlotte native who lives in San Rafael, Calif.,
joined an elite group of climbers May 16 when he reached the summit
of Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world.
Tom McMillan, part of the "Everest: Friendship Beyond Borders
Expedition," summited Everest at 7:55 a.m. with Nima Tashi Sherpa,
44, and Pem Dorjee Sherpa, 22, both of Nepal, according to
McMillan's wife, Linda.
Linda McMillan said her husband called by satellite phone from
the 29,035-foot summit.
"I heard some mumblings," said Linda McMillan, who spent 21/2
weeks at base camp before returning home. "I said, `Who is this?
Tom, is that you?' He tried to call while he still had his oxygen
mask on. He said, `We're here on the summit. I can't believe we made
"He basically was jubilant," Linda McMillan said Friday from San
Rafael. "I can't believe this went so well. They hit the weather
She said he had described the weather as sunny, clear and not
windy. A few days later, high winds and snow swept the mountain.
At 8:15 a.m., team members Nawang Sherpa, 32, and Nima Gombu
Sherpa, 35, both of Nepal, reached the top. Nawang Sherpa became the
first person who wears a prosthetic leg (for his below-the-knee
amputation) to climb Everest.
Tom McMillan is believed to be the first Charlotte native to
reach the Top of the World.
He is the son of Dr. Thomas and Alice McMillan of Charlotte, grew
up in Charlotte and graduated from Myers Park High in 1972. He got a
degree in performing arts from the N.C. School of the Arts and a
degree in chemical engineering from the University of Utah.
He's now a database developer for San Francisco-based AMB
Property Corp. The company's CEO, Hamid Moghadam, was the lead
sponsor of the expedition.
Dr. McMillan said his son, known in his youth as "Tim," began
hiking and climbing at age 13. He has climbed Mount McKinley in
Alaska, at 20,320 feet the highest peak in North America, and last
summer he summited Mustagh Ata, a 24,758-foot-high mountain in
For Nawang Sherpa, climbing Everest was a lifelong dream McMillan
helped him achieve.
Nawang Sherpa lost part of his left leg in a traffic accident and
was fitted in 2001 with a prosthetic. He met McMillan during his
1998 attempt at Annapurna, a 26,545-foot mountain in Nepal. Nawang
Sherpa acted as a guide for 15 trekkers who joined McMillan at
Annapurna's base camp, including Linda McMillan.
When Moghadam and others agreed to help sponsor the expedition,
McMillan invited Nawang Sherpa to join him.
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