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Climb the ropes by kicking your crampons into the ice and then lean on your legs. Don't hang on the rope, it is exhausting and dangerous. Climb the icefall early in the morning. Climbers usually head out at AM.

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Don't leave BC later than 6 AM. The icefall thaws later in the day and avalanches become more frequent. Plus you'll boil. Climb time: hours not acclimatized, hours after acclimatization. This is a vast, flat area of endless snow, deep crevasses and mountain walls frequently washed by avalanches.

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Here we set up camp 1. At night we listen to the deep, murmuring cracking sounds under our tents. It is the crevasses opening and closing deep down in the glacier beneath. You keep your fingers crossed that it won't happen right under your tent. At least not just now, while you are in it. Pounding headaches torture you. But it is here that for the first time, just a few steps around a corner, we gain first close sight of Everest. Be sure to set camp away from tiny cracks, those possibly hiding the mouths of large crevasses. Climb this area clipped to the fixed ropes, since crevasses lay hidden everywhere under the snow.

You could remove your crampons on this climb. Sometimes, weather can turn this usually easy part into a difficult one, due to deep snow and whiteout.

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Always start out in good time. Stay away from the walls, they avalanche frequently. Later in the season end of May this snowy area starts to turn rotten and can turn quite nasty. After an endless, slow march through the silent valley, you reach at last a rocky patch, at the foot of the icy Lhotse wall.

Asia: 8,850m / 29,036ft

This marks camp 2. This place is absolutely stunning. Clouds roll in from the lower ranges of the Himalayas, up the valley and into the camp. While acclimatizing, we spend time looking for cool old climbing gear; left here by all of Everest's climbing history. This is also the last chance to get a decent, prepared meal. We eat all we are handed because soon we'll be surviving on instants only. Don't camp too close to the Everest face, since it avalanches once in a while. Although tempted to idly hang around camp, bring yourself to take walks to the Lhotse face. It will speed acclimatization and relive altitude problems.

The walks force you to breathe deeper and faster, thus saturating your body with more oxygen.


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Imagine sliding a fun, icy slope on a sunny winter's day. Only this one is meter ft high. This is not a place to play.

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The dangerous part is to hang on to rope of dubious strength and to change carabiners between the ropes. You might feel not too clear in your head, especially upon coming down, but it's crucial to concentrate. One slip and you are gone, far higher up than you had intended really. The camp here is a true eagle's nest, placed right out of the wall. Going to the toilet at night is a tedious task to dress and secure oneself.

In addition, just to find a spot for it on this narrow platform is tricky enough. But the view is grand and by now you are well on your way to the summit. The climb towards the wall is a flat walk that gets you nicely warmed up. At the wall, you will step in to the ropes and the icy incline begins immediately. After an hour or so, you will reach the "Ice bulge", an icy, bumpy part.

After that, it is a pretty uneventful, steep ice climb to C3. Occasionally, you will hear a howling sound and watch rocks catapult down the wall. Blocks of ice sometimes come falling behind climbers. Watch your head, lean on your legs not the rope and rest on the lines only occasionally.

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The climb will be either easy or hard, depending on weather. A dry, cold season means sheer, blue ice. Maintain your crampons sharp. Deep snow makes the climb easier, but increase the risk of avalanche. These are rocky sections on the wall, secured by a tangle of old and new ropes. Check the ropes well and watch for rock falls from climbers above you. Another traverse takes you to the foot of the last wall to C4. This part is steep but not very high and soon you'll put your nose above it's edge, thus entering the land of the spirits ' the Deathzone.

Camp 4 sits on a plateau resembling a moonscape. You are at the edge of the atmosphere and the sky owns a strange, dark blue color. It is surely the closest you can get to space on earth. Only a small climb above camp, you look down the Tibetan plateau with it's vast brown plains, white glaciers and the other alpine giants - Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, Makalu -in the distance. It's all magic and unreal.

Yet, this is also the place were the media, fame and fun of BC definitely are gone. Only fear remains on everyone's face. People don't talk a lot. Resting in your tent, feeling weak already, you try to get some sleep as night falls outside. In a couple of hours you will start to put on your gear for the final part of the adventure - the summit push. The wall towards the summit is steep and dark, you are in the death zone and you can't help thinking that within the next 48 hours, there is a very real risk that you might not live.

Go over your gear in daylight. Have everything neatly organized. Drink at least 3 liters of fluid or more if you can. To date, over people have died climbing Mount Everest. Unexpected storms, avalanches, freezing temperatures, high winds, and of course, the dangers presented by the extreme high altitudes challenge even the most seasoned mountain climbers.


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Fortunately, with the advances made in modern climbing equipment and the use of highly trained guides, the fatality rate has now reduced significantly. Climbers generally pass through Everest Base Camp and then 4 additional camps in order to allow their bodies to acclimate to the altitude. Mount Everest claimed 8 victims on that day alone. Journalist and mountaineer, John Krakauer wrote a first-hand account of the tragedy entitled Into Thin Air. Since retrieving the bodies of those who die on the mountain would be dangerous, gruelling work, the majority of the corpses remain as they were.

Given the ice-cold temperatures, they are preserved and act as trail markers for those attempting to reach the summit. Sign in.


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