We had two climbers and one Everest summit picture. Byron Smith's version is found in his "See you at the top" Press Kit section, followed by the overlay caption "Byron Smith Successful Summit, May 21, 2000."
On another website, this same person, now a Dane, is broadcasting from the summit on May 20, 2000, the day before Byron summited. <cutoff>The Danish still photos appear to be taken from the same video tape that Byron is using on his web site. Both use the almost exact caption "I can't go any higher."
<b>Truth in shades of yellow, red and blue</b>
Since we ran the story a few days back, ExWeb has received confirmation that the summiteer in picture is in fact Mads Granlien, from the Danish expedition, and not Byron Smith.
Most of you had already noticed the blue down parka and a yellow/orange oversuit that Byron is shown wearing throughout the climb, including the photo on his website with caption "Byron Smith with oxygen mask at the South Col, descending from successful summit." All the Danes' shots are instead very consistent with this one climber wearing the red summit down suit with the yellow overboots.
<b>Byron's website: Summit shots as yet unavailable </b>
One reader pointed us to a statement on Byron's website saying "Many people have been asking about summit photos. They are as yet unavailable and unfortunately may not ever be produced. Severe high winds on the day of Byron Smith's summit prevented him from taking video from the top and several still cameras were not functioning..."
Nobody however seems to be able to explain why Mads is featured in Byron's press kit summit video. No word from Byron either, whilst several readers are - <i>upset</i> - to put it mildly. "Was he really up there at all?" you ask.
The truth is, we don't know - and still hope that Byron will help ExWeb to sort it out. Until further notice though, Byron Smith's Everest summit is marked <i>disputed</i>, due to the fact that the summit video he has presented to the press is not of himself.
<i>Byron Smith has made quite a name for himself at ExWeb. In the fall of 2003, he sneaked under the radar and climbed Carstensz Pyramids with the help of locals, and happily detailed his Indiana Jones adventure on the Internet. All of the Army guys and the guide who helped him were easily recognized from the article, they said. Word spread and soon all permits for CP were canceled, leaving a number of very angry people - and climbers.
This time around, readers pointed ExWeb to a discrepancy in Byrons summit images from Everest. The readers didn't want to have their names disclosed; "Byron Smith has threatened law suits to anyone that gets in this way," they wrote. ExWeb has tried to reach Byron Smith over email but received no reply.</i>
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