August 26, 2013
I am absolutely fascinated by the human drive to climb Mount Everest and the utterly ridiculous differences in the world up there from the world down here, what it does to the human body, and all the science involved.
I find the initial efforts to summit Everest brilliant and horrific at the same time. Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay - as well as the first oxygen-less summitting from Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler - are heroic and stunning and deserve every bit of the historical notoriety that they have received.
I'm also horrified by the current adventure tourism that is leading to more and more people summitting Everest without anywhere near the proper preparation and skills and doing so on the back of the sherpas, far too many of them are dying because of the job. There is a great article over on Outside Online about that last part. (Thanks to Fresh Air for covering the story.)
It's not something that most of us are ever going to remotely consider, but DO NOT climb Everest.
You will die - or you will pay someone to die for you.