As the Everest climbing season ramps up I’m paying close attention to the different teams and their progress, if only to share somewhat in their excitement at reaching such an amazing place and hopefully achieving such an amazing goal. The best source for following this has been Alan Arnette’s blog, which has been an all around summary of everyone’s work towards their goal (whether it’s those summiting Everest, or Lhoste, or trekking to base camp).
Beyond Alan’s website, I’ve tried to follow the teams on their own websites, their Facebook pages, their Twitter feeds, etc. They all have slightly different methods for disseminating information to the masses about their efforts. This includes guided expeditions like those from HiMEX or IMG, team efforts like the USAF climbing team, or individuals like David Tait.
Tait is from the UK and has visited and summited Everest before. His climbing is done to raise money for a charity in the UK that works to prevent child abuse. This morning I received one of his dispatches (he posts to a website, and that notifies via email of new content). It’s an interesting read- at this point, most of the teams are doing small acclimatization climbs on the lower section of the mountain. But all the while, the Sherpas are climbing higher and higher, through the Khumbu ice fall, and helping build camps and fix rope and other logistical tasks. Tait is actually climbing with them (which is not common), seemingly for the experience. From his recent post:
“I detest these ladders. Each step is an act of supreme will power for me. My crampons scrape and occasionally grip the frozen rungs, inducing heart-stopping seconds of imbalance. Through rungs of the ladder one can almost view Hell; the darkest depths of the earth stare back and seemingly beckons.”
This is what he is referring to. The ladders are placed by the Sherpas to enable crossing of the giant crevasses throughout the Khumbu. Remember, you’re walking across this ladder while you’re laden down with 40 pounds of gear on your back, spiked boots (crampons), and clipped into a small nylon rope.
Check out David’s full post here.