HD footage from “ivegivenallican” (I’ve given all I can). Shows the the three most memorable parts of summit day, those being Hillary Step, South Summit and Everest Summit. I wish it showed the balcony — I have a pretty foggy memory of this spot and it would have been nice to see it again with a fully oxygenated mind.
Everest is a different climb than any other mountain climb. As the video shows, it is a climb on army-like scale. Larger in duration (73 days in my case) and in the size of the average team (my team was 25 people). Most people on my team were support crew who stayed lower on the mountain. More than half never left base camp. 5 of us were from North America, the rest were Sherpa. Only 6 of us ever intended to reach the summit, 3 North Americans and 3 Sherpa. The altitude is what makes Everest take so long, require such a huge army-life support organization, and it’s why Everest has captured the imagination of so many. I have climbed many mountains that are more technically challenging than Everest, but there is no mountain higher than Everest and that is exactly why Everest is such a formidable goal. The air is 25% as thick at the summit as it is at sea level. Even with oxygen the body is coping with a fraction of the oxygen it needs to perform. Each step requires multiple breaths. Each step is an opportunity to quit. Each misstep off the ridgeline carries enormous consequences.