8 secrets from climbers who showed the conquest of Mount Everest liveBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/article/8-secrets-from-climbers-who-showed-the-conquest-of-mount-everest-live.html
Seven years ago, climbers Cory Richards and Adrian Ballinger met in the Himalayas and became friends. In 2016, they went to Mount Everest together and decided to document their hike in the Snapchat photo app. Back on earth, the guys told what devices and programs they needed to climb, how much the Internet costs in the mountains, why keep a bottle of urine in a sleeping bag, and in general what it's like to climb the greatest peak in the world.
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In May 2016, Richards and Ballinger began climbing Mount Everest without additional oxygen. At an altitude of 8,500 meters above sea level, almost at the goal, Ballinger was advised to return to base camp due to health problems - although he had climbed Mount Everest six times with oxygen. Richards stormed the summit for the first time and continued climbing without a friend — so he became one of two hundred people who conquered this mountain without additional oxygen. Unfortunately, at the top, due to technical difficulties, he could not post a magnificent view on Snapchat.
This year, Ballinger announced that their new goal is to conquer Mount Everest together without additional oxygen, have fun and still capture the view from the top, which Richards failed to do last time. Their campaign began on April 8.
Publishing stories from Everest is not cheap. Ballinger admits that last year he and Richards spent $23,000 on the Internet as a couple. When you exceed the traffic limit, you pay another $50 — but it doesn't sound so scary anymore.
While Snapchat serves as entertainment that allows you to share moments and save memories, the Strava app monitors the safety of climbers by notifying them of their health status — not counting, of course, doctors and instructors who monitored this before climbing. Strava tracks heartbeat, distance traveled and other health-related parameters.
Bellinger explains, "These two platforms—Strava and Snapchat — complement each other perfectly because they show two sides of what we do." Without geospatial data from Strava, friends would hardly be able to know exactly how much they are moving.
Ballinger: "We walk 1.5 kilometers, and it takes us 4.5 hours. But if you look at the heart rate and the angle of inclination and do some calculations, you understand: the experienced load is equivalent to running four hours at a speed of a kilometer in 5.8 minutes."
Richards continues: "In fact, it's Instagram or Snapchat for athletes, but apart from pictures and videos, you have all kinds of duplicated data at your disposal to understand what is really going on. It is a more reliable and scientific social network."
According to Richards, the fate of your ascent to Everest is decided by the gloves you choose. "Some people don't think about such details, but gloves are very important to me. When it's -25 degrees outside and the wind is blowing at a speed of 8 meters per second, the last thing you want is to take off your gloves. Therefore, to use a smartphone, you will need special reinforced gloves."
Those who are scared to death of warnings about the remaining 10% of charging, external batteries are constantly saved in everyday life. But on Everest they are really needed — ask Corey Richards.
Ballinger: "Cory climbed Mount Everest last year without supplemental oxygen. But when he reached the top, his phone completely drained. Cory didn't record the story from above: he took out his phone, pressed a button, and the screen immediately went out." Ballinger always carries external batteries with him, but by that time he had gone down to the camp, taking the power sources with him.
Richards admits that when the phone turned off, he wanted to throw the gadget off the mountain. But he coped with his anger, deciding that it was more important to save the content from the device.
It may seem that climbing mountains for 2.5 months at extremely low temperatures is a task for solitary hermits, but, according to Ballinger, it is not necessary not to communicate with anyone. Of course, you will spend a lot of time alone with yourself, but the climber compared the base station to a summer camp.
"Things get serious closer to the top, but at the bottom people just want to relax and let off steam." When climbers are not busy brushing their teeth, dancing parties or arguing about who has dirtier hair, they study the surrounding parking lots.
The bases are located at a distance of 25-30 minutes walk from each other, so climbers can do whatever they want: have a national meal in the Korean camp, drink vodka in the Russian camp or, for example, steal prosciutto with mozzarella from the Italians.
Bad news for future conquerors of Everest: sleeping accessories in the mountains are far from ideal. Let's face it, they are completely uncomfortable. The word to Ballinger:
"It's so cold upstairs that any liquids or electronics need to be stored inside a sleeping bag. So, you're lying like a mummy in a sleeping bag, and it's full of different things. Your shoes are lying there, because otherwise they will freeze. There's also your water and all the chargers, and sometimes there were 4-5 kilograms of them: access to satellite Internet, phones, cameras. Sometimes there are also bottles of urine in the sleeping bag, because it's too cold outside to go to the toilet."
The prospect of hugging a bottle of urine at night does not sound very tempting, but Richards, as a seasoned professional, is not against such a practice: "When the urine is on the outside of you, it's a great source of heat." The climber extracted the maximum benefit from this bottle: he put it in the bottom of the sleeping bag so that his feet would not freeze.
Ballinger described his feelings from the thin air in the mountains as "pure suffering." Both men admit that the level of discomfort is difficult to imagine, but Ballinger picked up a comparison: it's like breathing carefully through a straw. "I think the best way to experience the same thing without climbing the mountains is this: just running up the stairs of a multi-storey building is equivalent to a load at sea level. If you run up the stairs several times, while breathing through three straws, you can get sensations from 3000-3600 meters, and leaving one straw — from 6000 meters."
In several videos with Richards, he can be heard saying with difficulty: "It's shallow, labored breathing. The easiest way to understand these feelings is to think about the worst hangover you can imagine, in which you still have to get out of bed and go to work out." Ballinger added: "The symptoms are the same: confused consciousness, dry mouth, headache."
Welcome back to adolescence — oh, that is, to Everest! The climbers' diet is not as healthy as you might think. At an altitude of more than 3000 meters, fats and proteins are poorly absorbed, so that sucrose remains. "Some foods that you normally eat calmly, you can't consume at altitude," Richards explains. His favorite lunch is "lots of ramen noodles." Climbers have also been seen eating Pop-tarts cookies, so hiking in the mountains is delicious.
If you, despite all the difficulties, wanted to climb Mount Everest — remember that this requires good preparation and experience. Even trained climbers face difficulties that can be fatal. During the 2016 climbing season, six people died on Everest, and in 2015, 18 people became victims of the earthquake. In addition, there are many other dangers in the mountains. You can follow the expedition of Richards and Ballinger from April 8 on Snapchat in the EverestNoFilter group.