Fischer had not swept any clients back to Camp IV during the day because he’d never made contact with any of them after Gammelgaard had parted from him early in the climb. By two-thirty, all the clients who had started the climb had made the top of the world. There were no more climbers to sweep, no place for the clients to go but down. But nobody moved off the summit until three-ten.
There were forty minutes of celebration, picture-taking, tears, congratulations, and backslapping— and forty minutes less oxygen, forty minutes less daylight.
All of them but two (I think) were dependent on oxygen. All of them knew they were running out. All of them knew there were delays going down.