The people of the death zone are a small bunch, their game unique in the thin air above 8000+ meters. Image of Ed Viesturs on Annapurna summit (click to enlarge).
To survive the death zone over and over again is only for the strongest and the boldest - and the lucky ones. If you want to play here, you need to know the odds: Only twelve men have stood on the summit of the tallest mountains in the world - the 14, 8000ers. The quest takes a lifetime, if not life altogether. Statistics speak a silent message: Out of the 23 aspiring climbers (currently on the 10-13 summits list), 6 have died - 2 only in the past spring. Image of Ed Viesturs on one of his 800..
"We did not use any of the Italians supplies. Veikka and I had all of our own supplies at the high camp. We each carried our own supplies with us in 20kg packs during a 2 day push. We set up our tent below theirs which were already in place from their previous journeys." Image of Veikka in a high camp. All images courtesy of Edviesturs.com.
"Teaming up with the Italians was the most pleasant gift of all and I cannot thank them enough for their friendship and efforts - they really helped to pave the way," says Ed. Image of Silvio 'Gnaro' Mondinelli, enjoying sun and success shortly after his defeat on Anna. Nanga Parbat became Gnaro's 10th 8000er. Image courtesy of El Correo Digital.
Posted: Dec 01, 2005 02:00 pm EST SUBSCRIBER CONTENT PREVIEW FOR FULL STORY: LOGIN OR SUBSCRIBE NOW - UP TO 3 MONTHS FREE
(MountEverest.net) "Climbing all 14, 8000ers is nothing," some climbers argue. An argument almost always made by those with few, if any, actual 8000+ summits under their belt. The people of the death zone are a small bunch, their game unique in the thin air above 8000+ meters. Techniques, new routes and solos are all great challenges, but when it comes to the death zone - forget elegant climbing stunts: This game is about survival and you'll be alone in a crowd of men if worse comes to worst. The effect of altitude is...