Skip to main content

For the Enormous Extremes and Effects of Mount Everest

I am always up for a good true story. There aren’t many that don’t get my attention. I can have my interest peaked in a number of ways: history, medicinal miracles, but especially stories of unlikely survival. The bravery, brawn, and brains that are beyond what seems humanly possible, these are the kinds of true stories that fascinate me. What made those people survive that disaster and come out swinging? I simultaneously want to admire, sit back in amazement, and take notes in case God forbid I am ever in that situation. Luckily for me the chances of falling into the trouble my latest obsession has is not likely.

Mount Everest is known the world over as the highest point on Earth. Saying that simple fact isn’t enough to entice me to see it in person but I know there are MANY who do not share this sentiment. The desire to seek out Everest and climb to it’s submit, which is 29,029 feet above sea level, astounds me. I was already terrified and I had yet to learn how many more dangers there were than what is obvious. The history of Everest’s geography, exploration, disasters, and accomplishments will never get old for me. In fact a recent movie has created an obsession leading me to want to learn everything I can about this Mecca for mountaineers.

While I have always found Everest fascinating it was the recent release of “Everest” this past September that brought it fully to my attention. The commercials had my total focus and I knew I had to go to see it. I grabbed a girlfriend and some popcorn and I sat in anticipation. I know there have been mixed reviews, especially by Jon Krakauer who was on the particular mission featured in the film.

For the first time I was able to follow this story, which takes place in 1996, step by step. Also the layout of the mountain has phrases commonly used like the Hillary Step, Base Camp, etc. and now I have actual images to go along with those words. I was able to learn quickly how many issues become deadly so fast in that environment.

When it was over I was stunned. I was still absorbing all of this new information and at the same time asking my counterpart a long series of questions. I needed more information, much more.

That led me on a quest first through Netflix. I watched “The Wildest Dream”, “Everest” (2007 version has a different story than in the one from 2015), and “Into Thin Air”. Then I decided to read “Into Thin Air” by Jon Krakauer being as he was there on that infamous 1996 trip. This book is a first hand account of what happened, through his eyes. It is a riveting book; one you don’t want to put down despite how hard some of it is to read.

I felt like I was there but grateful that I wasn’t every time I got to a part too upsetting to think about. I utterly cannot believe anyone would put their bodies through that even if they are ‘successful”. The SEVERE altitude sickness and essential brain death sound too horrific to imagine. It is completely incomprehensible. On top of that there is the extremely dangerous terrain into the mix. I had no words when the whole scenario was laid out in front of me.

I also had no clue that to begin the climb to Everest you had to walk to the mountain for days to weeks. That seems like an adventure all in itself. Apparently you also had to plan to be away from home for at least two months or longer. Between trekking back and forth, taking the time to acclimatize to the attitude, and go to the summit back down to base camp, the days fly by. I am sure that time ticks by slowly when you are one the living through it.

The time, dedication, and enormous expense (anywhere from around $65,000 and higher per person) is mind-blowing especially when you consider the high probability of death. I have a pit in my stomach as I type those words.

Krakauer says:
“Everest is not real climbing. It’s rich people climbing. It’s a trophy on the wall and they’re done,” he says. “When I say I wish I’d never gone, I really mean that.”
After most of the literature I have read I still can’t quite get my head around Mount Everest as a bucket list item. There were even some positive stories, miracles actually (I wont ruin it in case you haven’t seen the current “Everest” movie yet) but sadly they are few and far between.
Mount Everest is called “The Goddess of the Sky” and the Sherpas from Nepal that provide the crucial aid for climbers believe very strongly in the power of this Goddess. Mother nature is central to their religion. To pay their respects before any expedition there is a special ceremony all must participate in to ask for permission and show respect to this high holy mountain. I wonder what the statistics are when you compare the negative warnings after this ceremony to timing of the natural disasters. With something so dangerous I would heed every single warning that appeared even if it came from a carrier pigeon.
So after discovering all of this, why would anyone even attempt to climb Mount Everest?  

I think the quote below, from “Big Magic”, is the best way to answer this question. (

“If you can’t see what I’m already getting out of this, then I’ll never be able to explain it to you………When you do it for love, you will always do it anyhow.”

 And that is something I certainly can relate to.

For More Information:

For Other Moving True Stories:


Popular posts from this blog

For Find Out Friday - Why Do Emery Boards Make My Skin Crawl?

You know that sound a fingernail makes when it scratches against a chalkboard?  You know that feeling the sound of that action gives you? I, like most people, hate that sound.  I instantly feel like scrunching my shoulders up to my neck and closing my eyes.  I feel the exact same way when I am using an emery board to file my nails. This annoying sensation has a name: “grima” which is Spanish for disgust or uneasiness. This term basically describes any feeling of being displeased, annoyed, or dissatisfied someone or something.  It is a feeling that psychologists are starting to pay more attention to as it relates to our other emotions.  Emery boards are traditionally made with cardboard that has small grains of sand adhered to them. It is the sandpaper that I believe makes me filled with grima.  According to studies that are being done around the world, it is not just the feeling that we associate with certain things like nails on a chalkboard or by using emery boards

For My Madness During Migraine Awareness Month

Last weekend as I sat staring at the blank page in front of me, I was still surprised and elated that I had an entire day to myself and unlike past experiences it was filled with what I wanted when I wanted it. There were a few rough moments but when I consider the previous twelve hours (and the days to come) have been better than the last week. Especially this last week even though I had braced myself ahead of time, I just didn’t know I should have braced for a more serious episode. I am a chronic migraine sufferer for so many years I don’t quite remember when they started exactly which is ironic because I can remember every special event they have ruined. I remember plays or dinners I was at where I don’t remember what happened but I could tell you what I felt minute by minute. It amazing how the mind works, especially when it’s operated by a migraine brain. In the last few years, specifically the last few years since I have been going to the Montefiore Headac

For Find Out Friday - Why is One Foot More Ticklish Than the Other?

As I sit here typing I can’t seem to stop thinking about my nails. Mainly that they REALLY need to get done. They are starting to chip and become unruly. As soon I as think about making an appointment my mind immediately returns to this question: “which of my feet will be ticklish this time?” Because I am a girl that needs her fingernails and toenails to match, I always get a pedicure whenever I get my nails done. And while this should be an activity I enjoy, it often feels like a chore, despite my going only once every three to four weeks. I know; #firstworldproblems.  Anyway, each and every time I get my toes done, as soon as they are done soaking in the bubbly water I wonder, which of my feet will be ticklish today?  Without fail one of them always seems to get the brunt of it and suddenly what was supposed to be a relaxing activity has made me all tense. So, is there a scientific reason for this?  According to most research, yes. While the answer doesn’t