Photos: Sunset on Himalayas / Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953
The Himalaya’s are a well-known mountain range that is located in Asia. Some of the world’s most famous, and toughest, mountains to climb are part of the range. A few of the best known include Everest, K2, Kangchenjunga, and Nanda Devi. Possibly the best known of all is Mount Everest that is thought to be the most difficult mountain to climb. Though the Himalayas are not the longest mountain range, they are the youngest, allowing for the highest mountain on earth to reside there.
The Himalaya’s, particularly Everest, is well known for being a highly difficult climb. The first two to ever ascend Everest were Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953. It took seven weeks of climbing and a great deal of energy to survive the lengthy trek. They were the first people to have ever even reached the summit, let alone the top. Prior to the famous climb, Everest had been considered unclimbable. This is due to something called mountain sickness.
At such high altitudes, people can often not get enough oxygen to the brain, causing hypoxia. Climbers can suffer from debilitating headaches, lack of sleep and appetite, exhaustion, and brain fog (cloudiness of thought). Some can even suffer from hallucinations, delusions, lack of coordination, and coma above 8,000 feet. In addition to the physical ability needed, since food and water sources are highly scarce, all supplies must be carried up the mountain with each climber. This is both dangerous and heavy.
In 1998, Francys Arsentiev was the first woman to reach the summit of Everest without bottled oxygen. Unfortunately, she did not live to celebrate. After several days spent in the Death Zone (above 8,000 feet) she became separated from her climbing partner and husband and was found frozen and barely alive by an Uzbek team who tried to save her. Her husband was never found.
In 2006, an extreme sports fanatic, Tomas Olsson and his partner Tormod Granheim, wanted to be the first to descend the North Face by ski. They reached the summit and begin skiing but a broken ski caused the mission to end prematurely. Tomas then attempted to repel down part of the mountain, but the anchor gave way and he fell to his death. His partner eventually made it down the mountain safely.
The Himalayas and Everest are beautiful and amazing wonders of the world, but they are also deadly for many who attempt to scale the overwhelming peaks. Would you ever attempt such a feat?