Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Talking about Everest

This continues to be a strange experience. Everywhere I go people want to talk about Everest. They all lean in when asking about it too. Maybe I talk too quietly. The conversation seems to follow the business at hand, before returning again to climbing Mt. Everest. It feels like I have talked about it so many times.

The look on people's faces show they are mesmerized and stunned to even think about it. I have spent so much time thinking about it, and the corresponding death and danger, both before and after the accident that to me it basically seems business as usual. It is not business as usual, 16 people died in one minute. Plus, I guess most people don't try to go climb Mt. Everest.
April 16th on the hike to Pumori C1
I mean what is there to say? Oh there is a lot to say I suppose. The details of returning, in other words, will I return and under what conditions would there have to be? The only reason I went after Everest is the reason everyone goes after it, it's the tallest. There is only one.
April 24th Press Conference
Yet my experience is so tainted by tragedy, how do I reconcile myself with all of the negatives of this experience?

Tonight on the Heritage trail as I finished my run for the day, a man said, "Keep it up Mr. Everest!" I don't know who he is. I told him to keep it up too. Last night I went out to eat on a business dinner with some colleagues from another company, and country, after hearing I just went to Everest, they would turn the conversation around back to Everest every 25 minutes. I'm happy to share. It is just a little painful to talk about. Many of the positive parts are hard to talk about, like running with snow balls in my hands in freezing weather to train, the Gorak Shep mile, an easy 21,000 foot mountain. My perspective on what is easy and what constitutes effective training is often so far beyond what almost anyone else will do that even admitting these basic simple things they stare at me in disbelief. 

Here is a nice article written by Ang Tshering Sherpa, Dawa Steven's dad, who owns Asian Trekking, who yes I did meet at Dawa's restaurant and saw again at the April 24th EBC press conference. 

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