I am endlessly fascinated and terrified by anything that has to do with Mount Everest. I’ve read Into Thin Air, watched inumerable documentaries on the subject, and scoured the internet for as much information on the peak as possible. There’s no end to the mystery and thrilling stories behind that prestigious climb. And for as much as I try, I cannot wrap my head around why someone would want to climb such a treacherous mountain; at the same time, I can imagine the complete and utter rush of accomplishing such an incredible feat. This time-lapse video of Mt. Everest captures that other-worldly natural drama that makes this peak almost magnetic.
I’d love to know: Is it hard for you to wrap your mind around such terrifying adventure like this? Or do you crave tackling seemingly insurmountable obstacles? And, just because I might die if one of you says yes: Has anyone climbed Mt. Everest?!!
P.S. — George Mallory, an English mountaineer who tackled Mt. Everest in the early 1920s, is famous for responding to the question, “Why do you want to climb Mt. Everest?” with “Because it’s there.” The audacity, am I right?
22 thoughts on “Mount Everest”
I’m in the camp of people who don’t get it – I have zero desire to try to attempt something like climbing Mt. Everest.
But, I’m glad that there are people out there crazy enough to go and do it! I’ll be on the sidelines, cheering them on :)
Me too, Sharon. hahaha. I’d like to think I’m a risk-taker but this is just too much for me.
I loved reading Into Thin Air, it was such a great book!
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I am endlessly fascinated by Everest and its climbers. And the sherpas!! The sherpas are astonishing to me, the entire culture there and around climbing is so incredible.
I’m the same way except its with K2.. You have to be a real mountaineer to get to her summit and not just to be able to pay someone and get it done. Read every book about that mountain including ones by Ed Viesturs and my favorite “Savage Summit”.
Funny you should write this. My 14-year-old recently announced he wants to climb Mt. Everest some day. I wish I could say I was supportive, but what popped out of my mouth was, “Haven’t you seen all the photos of bodies just left along the path!?!” “Yeah,” he said, “But I still want to climb it.”
Maybe I’ll get him “Into Thin Air” to make up for my freak-out. :)
Ha ha! Sounds like he has guts!
I think this is what separates us from other species…our willingness to explore, to indulge our curiosity, to push to the extreme simply for the experience of it. I think mountaineering is undoubtedly taking it to an extreme, but it’s this kind of risk taking that pushes humanity towards bold invention and discovery.
Great comment. I think you’re right.
I am exactly the same about Everest! And sort of all extreme exploration stories, including ones about deep sea diving and such. So fascinating!
I just went to the Museum of Natural History and honestly, there are few things in nature more fascinating then the deep sea. We know so little yet the oceans literally sustain the Earth and its habitants. It’s fascinating. That being said, that’s another I couldn’t stomach. But I LOVE watching NATURE or other documentaries about the subject.
LOVE the museum of Natural History. You know I could spend all day in there-nature is fascinating and amazing. I do not understand why people would do crazy things like climb Mt. Everest but I have a theory… Maybe they’re searching for purpose in life and/or it just helps them to feel alive-also, it’s a major challenge competing against their own will. And some people are just adrenaline junkies and just want to say they did it. Either way it’s fascinating and I love reading books about this stuff too!
I’m the same way! I have wanted to climb it myself from time to time. In junior high my teacher read us the young adult Everest series, and I have several more on my Everest book list. Some of those descriptions of bodies and extreme conditions are turning me away from actually doing it. I have a friend who got a helicopter ride to base camp. I’m terrifed of heights, actually, and hiking isn’t my preffered activity, but the idea of conquering is enticing. It’s the same reason I want to climb a 14er in Colorado.
I’m scared of heights too, Kelli. I don’t think there’s any way I could do it. But I do love the idea of hiking another large mountain. I like training and prepping for races or other physically demanding end goals.
I am simultaneously fascinated and horrified by Everest. I recently read this article about how the past year was the deadliest in history: http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/25/travel/everest-2012-anniversary. I can’t completely wrap my head around people risking their lives and spending so much money to climb Everest, especially if they have little to no training. My crazy climbing experience was summiting Mr. Whitney (14, 505′) in a day, which was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done (over 14 hours of hiking). I can’t imagine summiting Mt. Everest, which is TWICE the height of Mt. Whitney!
Oh Lauren, you just threw me over the top with my fear of Everest. Climbing Mt. Whitney sounds super intense. You’re a toughie!
Before my husband and I were married we did a Himalayan trek in Nepal. I had never been on a trek in my life (I grew up in India), and my hubby who was a seasoned trekker didn’t seem to think that was a problem so I was happy to jump into the adventure. It was not Everest, but Annapoorna, another mountain in the Himalayan range, which was a pilgrimage route for 2000 years. Well, it turned out to be the most grueling thing I’ve ever done for sure, but looking back I am so glad we went for it, because it made the best memories ever, the best pictures, and just the chance to be in the Himalayas and feel the majesty of the mountains is magical. So I would never attempt Everest, but I would encourage anyone to trek the Himalayas!
When I read ‘Into Thin Air’ my boyfriend and I got so obsessed with Nepal we went there for a month and did medical aid work. We didn’t even get close to Everest on our trekking excursions but the whole trip was a truly phenomenal experience. The Nepali people hike the mountainous terrain around their villages in flip flops which is always a humorous juxtapose to the international trekkers who are geared up in crazy expensive hiking boots!
I’m fairly squeamish, and I read this a while back. That sealed the deal for me (not that I ever truly considered hiking Everest).
But seriously, DEAD bodies as landmarks on your trek up the mountain? I salute the endurance and courage climbers have, but I don’t feel inclined myself. I’d rather “hike” up the stairs to Sacre Coeur in Paris and traipse back down again to find a sweet little bistro for dinner.
My cousin recently summited Everest, and we anxiously followed his journey:
But one super crazy part about his adventure was that he had proposed to his girlfriend the night before he flew out (leaving her behind in Boston), so they were planning a wedding using internet access in Nepalese base camps…
Loved the video. Thanks.
I totally get what you are saying….What’s up with that anyway?
I came up with the following definition: “vicariously self-absorbed,” : the rush one gets from reading about another person actually acting out their crazy extreme self-absorption.