Friday, January 26, 2007

The Rest of Everest

A couple of weeks ago a show on the Discovery Channel was brought to my attention. Everest: Beyond the Limit. Luckily that weekend there was a marathon of the shows and I was able to catch them all on the DVR (the greatest advance in television since color). This show was fascinating to me. It gave an interesting glance as to what is involved to reach the summit. To me it looked to be more akin to a lunar mission than a trip your typical high alpine lake in the Cascades. Humans weren't built to be at 29,000 feet, they sure hammered that home.

After finishing the series, it left me wanting for more. I got on the Internet and read a bunch of stuff about the content of the show (I'll get into that at in a future post) and other expeditions. There is quite a bit of interesting stuff out there. In my travels I came across this site, The Rest Of Everest. Jackpot, I have hit the mother lode!

Here is a summary...

An Almost Unabridged Expedition Experience.

The Rest of Everest is a video podcast conceived and created by documentary filmmaker Jon Miller of TreeLine Productions in Colorado. It is "the rest" of the footage from the groundbreaking expedition documentary "Everest: The Other Side" which engrossed thousands of viewers when it premiered on Dish Network™ Pay-Per-View in May of 2005. The film, and therefore this video podcast, documents the 2003 expedition to the Northeast Ridge route in Tibet, and coincides with the 50th anniversary climbing season. The story revolves around 23-year old climber Ben Clark and the fulfillment of his dream to become one of the youngest climbers to ever summit Everest.
As of today there are 36 episodes all around 20 minutes in length, with, I'm guessing (I've only made it to episode 14 so far) many more to come. He (Jon Miller) puts up a new episode just about every week.

While not a polished product, it is even more fascinating than the "Beyond the Limit" series to me. Why? Because it seems as if very little was left out, starting with shopping for supplies at Wal-Mart in Colorado. It is about as close as you will get to experiencing an Everest expedition without taking a month or two off work and dropping some decent coin.

As far as I am into the series, they have only been at the base camp for a couple of days. The geography that they traveled across to get there blew me away. From the city of Kathmandu and its temples through steep green valleys to the city of Zangmu on a mountain side. From there they travel on crazy roads scratched into mountains to the desert of the high Himalayans and the village of Tingri. The altitude there was as high as the peak of Mt Rainier... And they were in a valley! The road from there to the base of Everest was absolutely surreal to me, A moonscape. I don't think that trees exist there at all. All of this is shown in great detail.

Here is a link to someones pictures from this area in reverse.

Someday I hope I have the time/money to make a trip to Everest. I realize that climbing it is out of the question as I can't justify the risk and effort to make that happen. If you check out this series you will see that just the drive to base camp can be physically brutal on your body. You will never see giant tour buses just whipping westerners fresh off the airplane up there like they do to Paradise on Rainier.

Now the series is getting into the really interesting stuff. The trip to the advanced base camp (ABC) and more of the logistics of making the summit attempt happen. Expect more out of me on this as I am hooked on it like it was crack!

I highly recommend you check this out. You can either get it off the website or get it through iTunes as a podcast. And yes, it is free you cheapskates. You can give a donation to help with his costs.


Unknown 1/27/2007 5:12 PM  

Mike, thanks for writing about my podcast. Shoot me an email and I'll give you access to all of the bonus materials from the podcast.

Another fix of Everest crack...

Thanks again,

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