Breathitt man makes it to Mount Everest base camp in climbing quest

Breathitt County's Martin Douthitt has reached base camp on Mount Everest.

According to a posting Monday on the website of a Washington State mountaineering firm, Douthitt and other members of the firm's "first team" of climbers were "safe and sound" at the base camp at 17,000 feet.

It is a "big milestone for the expedition and marks the beginning of climbing," according to the Mountain Guides website.

There actually are two base camps on Everest. One is in Nepal, on the south side of the mountain. The second is in China on the north side of the peak. These camps are the starting points for climbers trying to conquer Everest. The trip to the top takes weeks, as climbers must stop frequently to acclimate to the ever-thinning air.

Douthitt, 67, visited the south base camp two years ago but wasn't physically fit enough then to try for the summit. He has said this will be his last attempt. Everest is the last of the seven tallest mountains on Earth's seven continents, the so-called Seven Summits, that Douthitt has yet to climb.