Diary of a Mount Everest Ascent
Andy, an Assistant Professor of Management at University of Northern Iowa, reached the summit of Mount Everest via the Northeast Ridge in Tibet, China on 22 May 2017. The expedition took a total of 52 days. Follows is an account of his trip.
Our summit push started on May 17. My climbing partner and I covered over 11 miles from base camp (17,000 ft) to advanced base camp (21,000 ft) with an elevation gain of 4865 ft. This 6.5 hour hike felt relatively easy. A good start to a long journey.
May 18 was a rest day at ABC. May 19 we climbed from ABC to the North Col (23,000 ft). We felt great throughout this relatively steep climb. May 20 we pushed to camp 2 (25,200 ft); a climb up a 45 degree (and greater) snow field.
May 21 we moved to the death zone - camp 3 (27,200 ft). True to the name of the area of earth where human life cannot be sustained, we were forced to cross the first dead body on the trail about 100 meters below camp. The climber died, I later found out, just hours before on his way down. Reports indicate either he died from his brain swelling due to the altitude (HACE) or a heart attack. As we were set to leave for the final leg of the summit push in mere hours, this shook me to my core.
May 21 evening at 9:45 PM Nepal time we started our climb to the summit. This segment of the climb was surprisingly technical in areas. May 22 early morning we climbed through the night moving better than expected. Climbing in nearly perfect weather conditions we were strong and moved confidently along the narrow, exposed path. In fact, we moved a little too well - we summited before the sun rise. We waited in the dark for the sun to make its way over the surrounding mountains overjoyed at where we were - the top of the world.