Everest 2011: Hiking For Incredible Views of World’s Tallest Mountains, Learning About High Altitude
Text by Dave Hahn, a guide for RMI Expeditions and First Ascent. In May 2010 Hahn reached the summit of Mount Everest for the 12th time, the most of any a non-Sherpa climber. This time, he is leading a Bill McGahan and his 16-year-old daughter, Sara, on a bid for the summit. Follow the team's Everest expedition in dispatches here.
Dispatch 4: Pheriche Rest Day
Bill and Sara sure don't seem much affected by the altitude. They both came in to breakfast cheerful, well-rested, and ready to get on with a fun "rest-day" schedule. It was a spotless blue sky morning, and so we took advantage by going for a hike out the back door. Back-door hikes in Pheriche can get one to incredible vistas in not very much time at all. We gained about 2,500 feet and marvled at the scenery. Cho Oyu (sixth highest mountain in the world), Makalu (fifth highest), and Lhotse (fourth highest) were expectedly grand, but so were Ama Dablam, Baruntse, Island Peak, Taowoche, Kang Tega, and Thamserku.
We bumped into a number of friendly trekkers, and we spied at least a half dozen hawk/eagle/vultures riding the thermals above us. All in all, it was a fine acclimatization hike and we were back down at the Himalayan Hotel for lunch. Our afternoon should be a relaxing one and an educational one as well. We will be attending the Himalayan Rescue Association's altitude lecture this afternoon … giving Sara good material for her high school science project and giving each of us a little more understanding of the challenges we'll face in the coming months. The HRA clinic here in Pheriche has always welcomed and enlightened our teams.
- Nat Geo Expeditions