I’ve just finished reading two books concerning climbing disasters on Mount Everest: Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer and Lost on Everest: The Search for Mallory & Irvine by Peter Firstbrook. I was pretty fresh on the subjects too, knowing little about Everest beyond Sir Edmund Hilary and recent news items about people who have perished either attempting the summit or descending after summiting.
After reading the books, I thought to myself: “Is this something I could do?”
For a mere $65,000 US, you can book an expedition with companies like Adventure Consultants who will guide you up the Everest’s south side to the summit (I don’t know of any guided excursions up the much more treacherous and extreme north face).
You still have to be in top physical condition to climb, and understand that there are no guarantees that you’ll reach the peak. But should you make it, you’ll not only earn some pretty heavy bragging rights but also be treated to the world’s highest vista, where on a clear day it’s possible to see the rim of the Earth.
But the risks are large. The mountain is littered with bodies from people who have fallen, froze to death, or died from some other unfortunate circumstance. To bring this point home, here’s a video of climbers finding the body of legendary climber George Mallory, who, along with climbing partner Andrew Irvine, disappeared on the north side in 1924. Debate still rages about whether or not they actually conquered the mountain:
Still, I would imagine that, to some, the risks make the attempt that much more enticing.
How about you? Have you ever dreamed of climbing Everest?
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Richard Todd is an author, blogger, and Social Media guy. Plus a few other things that get lost in the clutter. Visit him online at www.richard-todd.com.