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Everest: Beyond the Limit


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#1261

Quilt Fairy

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Posted Jan 8, 2010 @ 10:54 PM

Are you guys talking about the new season? I can't find it on DIscovery's website.
When does it air? I'm so confused!

brightman73, Discovery aired the entire season (it was only 5 episodes) on 2 nights the week between Christmas and New Years, 3 episodes on Sunday and the final 2 on Wednesday. We don't know why they did this.

#1262

gingerella 000

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Posted Jan 9, 2010 @ 5:22 PM

What the hell happened to our beloved show?!? Man, that was a shitty (pun intended) way to dishonor what was a terrific series that so many people looked forward to seeing every season. I'm really bummed that:

1. My beloved Phurba was barely shown. Okay, sure, after sherpa-napping him two seasons ago, I don't let him out of our house much but still, they could have thrown all the viewers a few more bones with the sherpas, including Phurba's "okay big boss" witicisms. I too love when Phurba tells offs - either in words or with great sign language - stupid climbers who are doing stupid things while on the mountain. That was always fun viewing in the past. In fact there was hardly any Sherpa cam interaction other than seeing a brief glimpse on Russells monitors.

2. There was zero viewer investment for me in watching this because there was no long term "getting to know the climbers and teams" phase. Just super fast forwarded episodes for the attention impaired crowd. I find it hard to believe, after hanging out here over the past seasons, that the majority of viewers out there in TVland preferred this shortened speed reading version. It's more like cheap TV execs making good on an already-approved show. I'd almost rather not see it at all than see this ridiculous version bastardizing what was a fantastic show, with a fantastic forum here to follow along with.

3. I have to give props to the dude (on one of the two last epis) who realized that he was in no shape to go higher and he decided to stop his Everest push. Hey Tim, you asshat, that's how it's done with class...just say'in...and yes, if you sat around here watching this show with Tim during that season, he very much does deserve all the negative press he's gotten here, IMO. It seems like Russell never pulls anyone from a climb though, no matter how lame they are. Is it him being non confrontational or is it just stupid manufactured drama for TV? Or was that an oxy moronic question which I already answered just by asking it?!?

4. I personally am with ProfCrash in that I have no problems with the mentioning of shitting in one's snowsuit whilst attempting to climb the highest mountain on the planet. In fact, I'd like to know the details about how one actually takes a shit when they're in the middle of a climb and they have to go.right.now! I assume there are no latrines except in base camps, yes? Anyone? But if you're actively on the trail, what do you do if you have to go? Heh...But seriously, not everyone shits in their pants, right? I assume that was only because of severe diarrhea (I lived in developing countries for years so talk of this is like cocktail chit chat for me, sorry if it's grossing anyone else out). And is there TP up there? Do you bury it or burn it or what? I give props to the two guys who admitted they crapped their pants on the mountain because it IS a reality wake up for people watching that you cant just stop off at the next Denny's to take a quick shit. Nor can you pull down your pants in the Death Zone with 50 people lined up behind you...Well, maybe you can and I just don't know about it...I think I did see a pee stain on the snow as someone summited in the last epi...

5. I did not enjoy going back and forth between the two outfits. Perhaps if it was a longer season in the old format, we would have had the opportunity to get to know the new team and thus it would have meant something as a viewer but to shove new people down our throats was just more annoying than anything.

6. I wonder why Russell seemed so emotional when he sent the last team up, and when they ended the season...Did something else happen off camera that we don't know about? I seem to have a lot of questions after this mini season, and that's why I'm so unhappy with the format. We didn't learn much. We didn't get to know anyone enough to love them or hate them either way. It was just a very "meh" viewing experience for a show I once loved very much. Damn you TV execs...

#1263

gaPeach

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Posted Jan 9, 2010 @ 6:36 PM

I have only caught the first 3 episodes and was very excited when I saw all 3 the same night. But do not like the format and have not seen the last 2 but will not be disappointed if I do miss them.

Hey TPTB please give us back the old format and more episodes please.

#1264

honeysdead

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Posted Jan 9, 2010 @ 7:54 PM

In fact, I'd like to know the details about how one actually takes a shit when they're in the middle of a climb and they have to go.right.now! I assume there are no latrines except in base camps, yes? Anyone? But if you're actively on the trail, what do you do if you have to go? Heh...But seriously, not everyone shits in their pants, right? Do you bury it or burn it or what? I give props to the two guys who admitted they crapped their pants on the mountain because it IS a reality wake up for people watching that you cant just stop off at the next Denny's to take a quick shit.


I don't think any of us are so naive as to think it doesn't happen, just that it was humiliating for the people it happened to, to have it featured on national television. Just because crapping yourself is cocktail hour chit-chat for you doesn't mean it is for everyone else.

Anyway, from reading Ed Veisturs autobiography most of the time climbers on 8000m peaks will pull off the trail a bit when they can and squat in the snow. Ideally they'll go before leaving camp, but not many people crap on a schedule, you know? Cover it up with a bit of snow and get on your way. I think Everest is a bit different in that climbers have to bring little baggies with them to carry their waste back down to base camp to be disposed of.

#1265

Quilt Fairy

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Posted Jan 9, 2010 @ 9:04 PM

Ideally they'll go before leaving camp, but not many people crap on a schedule, you know?

Isn't there an additional problem that at altitude in those high camps you don't eat properly because your body is going haywire? If you're eating nothing but energy bars and tea, I don't think that would go through your system that smoothly.

#1266

gingerella 000

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Posted Jan 9, 2010 @ 10:19 PM

Isn't there an additional problem that at altitude in those high camps you don't eat properly because your body is going haywire? If you're eating nothing but energy bars and tea, I don't think that would go through your system that smoothly.

QF, I know that for me, when I'm in a situation where I know I'm in a remote place and facilities are non existent at best, it does seem possible to shut one's system down, so to speak. I don't know why, but whenever I happen to be a situation like that, I seem to be able to maintain with having to go...maybe it's luck, or maybe mind over body? I wouldn't be surprised if these guys are operating like that as well because let's be real, it's damn cold out there to be dropping trow outside.

As for being humiliated on TV by admitting what happened? I guess it depends on how one looks at that. I certainly don't think less of either of those guys for being honest about what happened and in fact, found it rather endearing that they could be so honest about something like that knowing camera's were rolling. I think that's what makes it more real for me, knowing that there is a lot of unpleasantness that happens that we didn't really hear much about in previous seasons...I still prefer the old format heads and tails over this new one, but the one thing I did like better on this season was the more candid moments...though that's really more about the people who they showcased, not the format.

The other thing I forgot to ask was this - is the South Col easier to navigate overall and is that why we saw a never ending line of climbers lined up on the mountain this season? I don't seem to remember the traffic jams be as bad as what I saw this season, so I started wondering if the North Col is more technically difficult and thus, less people there?

#1267

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Posted Jan 10, 2010 @ 12:46 PM

3. I have to give props to the dude (on one of the two last epis) who realized that he was in no shape to go higher and he decided to stop his Everest push.


I completely agree. Having and using common sense in a place where you can die and/or cause others to die or be seriously hurt is more admirable to me than focusing dogmatically on reaching a self-serving goal.

6. I wonder why Russell seemed so emotional when he sent the last team up, and when they ended the season..


I think he's a softy underneath the crusty exterior.

#1268

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Posted Jan 11, 2010 @ 11:49 AM

I didn't see those interviews as humiliating. I saw them as honest. They were sick and their body reacted to their illness in a specific way. We like to think as adults that we can control these things and normally we can. But Everest is not normal and the rules that we live by don't always apply to life in a place like Everest. In this case two grown men who were sick had a normal body function in a not so normal manner. Big whoop.

(shrugs)

#1269

Everest Climber

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Posted Jan 11, 2010 @ 12:30 PM

Isn't there an additional problem that at altitude in those high camps you don't eat properly because your body is going haywire? If you're eating nothing but energy bars and tea, I don't think that would go through your system that smoothly.

Exactly right. At altitude you totally loose your appetite. On the final summit push I probably didn't eat more than a few hundred calories during the three days I spent above camp two. Dehydration is also a problem so I found constipation to be more of an issue for me. As far as how one uses the bathroom at altitude, I only needed to do my thing once above camp two due to the low food intake so I just crawled into the vestibule of the tent and used a plastic bag. My tent mate didn't seem to mind too much because this was at camp four where the wind was blowing like crazy so odor wasn't too much problem. He returned the favor a few minutes later by doing the same thing. At base camp and at camp two there was a barrel set up in a toilet tent that we used. At camp three and at camp one where it wasn't so windy you would just step out of camp and use a bag.

I was happy for the three gys who summited.

Himex put 28 people on the summit on the day that episode five covered. That is the trouble with this format. It doesn't let the audience see even remotely what is really going on during the trek to base camp, during the acclimatization period, the summit push, etc. I saw myself for a few seconds maybe five or six times but it almost seemed like they deliberately tried to avoid showing anyone other than the featured climbers. I felt like the show will make a good souvenir for my family but as far as being a decent documentary it sucked.

I wonder why Russell seemed so emotional when he sent the last team up, and when they ended the season...Did something else happen off camera that we don't know about?

No nothing else happened off camera. That's just the way Russell is. Tough exterior, soft interior. He would frequently get emotional when talking to us as a group. His wife says heís the kind of guy that cries at the movies. Iím not criticizing him for that at all Ė I think it makes him much more human. Iím exactly the same way.

#1270

gingerella 000

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Posted Jan 11, 2010 @ 3:43 PM

Well I'm glad I'm not the only one who wasn't put off by the mention of bodily functions going awry on Everest. And I thank you, EC, for explaining how one takes "a meeting" on the mountain. I'm always interested in things that we don't even consider in our daily life, but that I know from experience out in more extreme/remote situations are no longer taken for granted.

I too, wish we had the old format so we would have gotten to know the teams better. Been able to see their trials, successes and failures along the way to the summit. I think the old format allowed us to really feel how difficult the climb is, not only on summit day, but also at every stage of the acclimatization stages too. I really missed that this year. Seeing people I am not invested in, summiting each episode doesn't make me feel much at all other than, "neat, he summited". I remember high-fiving Mr. Gingerella last season when someone finally summited because we knew how much they'd been through.

Producers, if you're reading here, this format blows.

#1271

Quilt Fairy

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Posted Jan 11, 2010 @ 4:11 PM

Producers, if you're reading here, this format blows.

Everest Climber, since you asked a few pages back, I wanted to give you my input on the format. I don't think we (the TWoPers on this thread) had a problem with the format of the first 2 seasons as much as who it focused on. Which is to say, Tim. Whether intentional/true-to-life/edited or not, watching 2 seasons of Tim, his antics and his x-rays was too much. He did not come across well on the show, mostly just as a stupid American. This is not a show that needs a 'villain'. I could easily watch a whole season that focused on climbers like Mojens.

Not to mention, Phurba! The production company doesn't think the Sherpas are interesting to us? To the people who have created the official Phurba fan club? Who would love to watch him in his own show, titled 'Phurba!'? Fools.

I think the production company compensated this season by giving us 5 1-hour documentaries that covered so many people that we didn't care about any of them, and it didn't really give as much information about the logistics and the actual climb as we got when they were on the North side. Maybe the South side doesn't lend itself as visually as the North side did. I would have liked more graphics. Any of the long shots of the Khumbu Ice Falls, for example, could have been shot anywhere from Antarctica to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The same could be said of the shots of long lines of climbers in the dark.

My 2 cents.

#1272

gingerella 000

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Posted Jan 11, 2010 @ 5:08 PM

QF, may I Word! your homage to the Sherpas and to my beloved Phurba?! Word! Seriously, I'd love to see a series on what these guys do during their off time, and I'd love to see a series on them alone, setting the ropes and ladders and setting up/taking down camps, etc. To me all of it is interesting. And I have to agree that any negative feedback, at least from the fine viewing folks that posted here in past seasons, was directly related to showcasing an asshat like Tim, who is the ultimate "ugly American" and we were cringing and bitching about that, not about the format. The past format rocks! I would happily watch week after week about people like Mojens, et all. Hell, we wouldn't still be posting about how much it rocked right now if that old format hadn't gotten us so invested in this show in the first place.

Now, I want to know when Phuba's going to have his own show, "Flying Sherpa, Hidden Hottie"...I'm just say'in...I'd watch it.

#1273

ProfCrash

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Posted Jan 12, 2010 @ 11:37 AM

I think we were pushing for an entire show on the Sherpas after the first season. We were competing to carry off Phuba....

The format for the first two season was so much better. It gave a feel for the pace of the expedition and what everyone had to do to prepare themselves. You saw the training climbs and the people who were struggling with the training climbs. You saw people bored at the base camp. You saw some of the silly antics. You got to know the people. It made their success or failure that much more real.

This format prevented us from getting to know the participants and made it seem like you arrive at Everest, you climb the mountain a few times, and then you summit. It felt like a week to two week long endeavor. In reality is a lot longer and more difficult.

I want my old Everst back. I want it shown over the course of two months with a real story and not some silly watered down version.

Well Russell's worry on the last day made sense. He had 28 people on the mountain. I don't know that he had 28 people on the entire expedition two years ago.

Edited by ProfCrash, Jan 12, 2010 @ 11:38 AM.


#1274

gingerella 000

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Posted Jan 12, 2010 @ 1:39 PM

I want my old Everst back. I want it shown over the course of two months with a real story and not some silly watered down version.

Big ditto here ProfCrash! And with extra Phurba-laden footage to boot! I also like to see what they eat, the antics between the basecamp staff and the climbers, the interaction between the expedition leaders like Woody, and the climbing teams, etc. It all made for great television programming. Methinks some TV exec made a really stupid decision on changing formats.

ProfCrash, remember that woman that used to post here, Morticia I think she called herself? Wasn't she a rep of either the production company or the channel? Cant remember. Anyone have her contact info? If so, perhaps we could all email her with our "thoughts" (more like a flogging) on this year's format...

#1275

ProfCrash

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Posted Jan 12, 2010 @ 3:44 PM

Mortisha (I think) ran Discoveries website for the show. She was on earlier this year to let us know about the blogs and the Sherpa footage that was available at the website. I think she confirmed that two expeditions were covered. I thought she would be back for the season the way that she had been for the two previous season. I have to admit to being surprised that she was not here.

She was not a representative of the production company. I seriously doubt that she had any say in the development of the series or what ended up airing. She did send questions to the film crew from us. I know one of mine was addressed. I managed to ask something more intelligent then "Was Tim really that much of an asshat."

I have appreciated the input from Everest Climber. I wish you had seen yourself on TV a bit more frequently. At least you can check out the first two seasons and tell people that this is similar to what you lived.

#1276

Everest Climber

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Posted Jan 14, 2010 @ 1:56 PM

Now, I want to know when Phuba's going to have his own show, "Flying Sherpa, Hidden Hottie"...I'm just say'in...I'd watch it.

Here's a few links to photos of Phurba if your're interested.

Phurba with his father and children (sorry gingerella 000, he's married)
http://i838.photobuc...al/DSC_4248.jpg

At the puja at the start of the expedition.
http://i838.photobuc...al/DSC_5189.jpg

With Russell after the climb.
http://i838.photobuc...al/DSCN2517.jpg

With me after the climb. (Billi Bierling in back)
http://i838.photobuc...al/IMG_0802.jpg

#1277

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Posted Jan 14, 2010 @ 4:01 PM

brightman73, Discovery aired the entire season (it was only 5 episodes) on 2 nights the week between Christmas and New Years, 3 episodes on Sunday and the final 2 on Wednesday. We don't know why they did this.


That sucks that they did it that way. I was away between Christmas and New Years, no Discovery. I wonder if they'll show it again.

#1278

gingerella 000

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Posted Jan 14, 2010 @ 4:48 PM

Everest Climber, thanks for the pics, that's an awesome and unexpected treat for sure! Especially after such a shitty excuse of a show this season...THANK YOU!

Yeah, we had quite a tussle over Phurba last season and the one before, but damn, dude has too many kids for me. I'll take the hottie Sherpa with the nice teeth throwing back a San Miguel beer next to him...BTW, how on earth do they get San Miguel beer up there?!

It's nice to see the more relaxed shots of Russell and also of you and Phurba. Was he your guide on your climb? I noted that we didn't get to see much of him at all so I wondered who he was climbing with this season. I assume those photos were taken in that trippy geodesic dome that Russell's got up now, yes? I don't remember that dome from seasons past. It seemed like in the past he was operating out of a makeshift tent. That geo dome thingy was pretty cool looking. See, I'd watch a series that started out with showing how in the hell they get that stuff up to base camp and set it all up. To me that's interesting stuff. That and setting all the ropes, ladders, upper camps, etc. Too bad TPTB think we're all ADD adults with zero attention span...*sniff*

more photos please....

Edited by gingerella 000, Jan 14, 2010 @ 4:49 PM.


#1279

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Posted Jan 16, 2010 @ 2:17 AM

Yeah, we had quite a tussle over Phurba last season and the one before, but damn, dude has too many kids for me. I'll take the hottie Sherpa with the nice teeth throwing back a San Miguel beer next to him...BTW, how on earth do they get San Miguel beer up there?!


So much word. You get me San Miguel in Everest and I will climb it.

I also missed the episodes. I had a Season Pass with the name of the original series, but the Tivo didn't recognize the new title.

#1280

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Posted Jan 17, 2010 @ 5:30 PM

Anyone else read that article in the Sunday NYT's travel section re: K2? Man, I think I would prefer to see a new season shift to the K2 instead because of its technical difficulty, as well as less asshats there. I wonder if Russell's ever considered running expeditions on K2...I'd watch that for sure. I imagine the political instability and the potential lack of local teams that would have the same level of skill as Russell's Sherpa team is a huge reason we don't see a show on K2. But still, the photos were unbelievable!

#1281

izabella

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Posted Jan 17, 2010 @ 10:41 PM

Everest Climber - thank you so much for all your input and pictures! I really appreciates your posts here, and hope your experience was as rewarding as you'd hoped.

#1282

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Posted Feb 1, 2010 @ 8:39 PM

This season's episodes are now available On FIOS Demand--check thoroughly because Discovery has several different On Demand locations through the FIOS menu, each with different show listings. Go to "Free" then "Info and Education" then "Discovery Channel" then "Special Features".

I just read a bunch of Everest books and seeing the Hillary Step and Khumbu Icefall up close really help me to understand the climbs.

#1283

rottylover

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Posted Apr 6, 2010 @ 9:44 AM

A 13 year old wants to be the youngest climber.

http://www.google.co...r5zT9QD9ETEL4G2

#1284

addicted_aardvark

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Posted Apr 6, 2010 @ 10:58 PM

A 13 year old wants to be the youngest climber.

Interesting link.

The successive series of Everest: BTL have shown the commercialized and zoo-like situation on Everest, and we've seen how the extreme altitude can effect adults in many different ways. Together, I think that puts a lot of weight on the observation in the link that the long-term effects of extreme high altitude on growing children are not yet known. Most of the lasting effects of the Everest experience on adults in books/articles I've read have been physical, like loss of appendages to frostbite. I didn't read with attentiveness to the health effects, so can't recall if psychological or long-term effects of oxygen deprivation on climbers' bodies were discussed - even in discussions of the survivors of the tragic 1996 climbs. It sounds as if this young man has climbing experience and family support, which is critical, but at the same time I wonder at parents who would encourage and support their child into an environment that kills adults in a blink of an eye.

#1285

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Posted Apr 19, 2010 @ 1:29 PM

Now this is an event/process that I would fucking LOVE to see documented by the folks that brought us Everest in the first place! Anyone know how to get in touch with Morticia to see if this would be viable? I'd watch this in a NY minute...but I'd want dubbing of what the Sherpas were really saying as they went about their business...
Sherpas Clean Up Everest

#1286

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Posted Apr 19, 2010 @ 4:23 PM

Now this is an event/process that I would fucking LOVE to see documented by the folks that brought us Everest in the first place! ...
Sherpas Clean Up Everest

Wow! Thanks, gingerella 000. That's fascinating. And yes, I'd sure love to see the effort covered by some video/documentary crew. Or at least tracked by one of the blogs or Everest news sites.

Given the Sherpas' respect for the mountain, their desire to remove the trash is very understandable - and I have to admit that I'd certainly rather see them devote their expertise and amazing skill to that than assisting all the commercial expeditions of "people who climb because it's trendy". Although I would imagine that the removal of dead climbers will be very difficult for them; iaren't there religious or cultural issues for them with handling the dead?

On a related vein: given the fiasco of the coverage of the 2009 climb on Discovery Channel, I have no idea if there will be any televised coverage this year. But Himex has begun their assault on the mountain, and the expedition members are at base camp and have held their blessing Puja. They will be again doing acclimatization climbing on nearby Lobuje East. There is a tremendous amount of climbing experience among the clients this year, including quite a few trying for (and already partway through) the Seven Summits. I'm particularly fascinated by one 60 year old Chinese climber who has already climbed Everest, and hopes to climb it 3 times in his life. (Imagine that for an "Elder Hostel" holiday!) The status newsletters on Himex's site have details on progress and also bios of several clients or guides/issue: starting here. (Note that as of today, links to some of the newsletters are broken - but if you just paste %20Everest.htm after the broken URL in your browser, you'll get to the right page).

#1287

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Posted Apr 22, 2010 @ 10:46 AM

Attempts are being made to start bringing down bodies from Everest. It sounds a bit dangerous and unlikely that they will succeed but it is an interesting prospect.

#1288

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Posted Apr 25, 2010 @ 8:08 PM

Honestly, I'd rather see the Sherpas bring down all the trash and then enforce that all climbers had to trek out what they trek in. I can't imagine bringing down all that trash AND bodies too. That said, how many bodies are there up there, does anyone know?

#1289

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Posted May 13, 2010 @ 3:22 PM

I was belatedly reading Alan Arnette's site, and discovered this disappointing bit of info:

Everest Potpourri
For those looking for the Discovery Channelís Everest: Beyond the Limit Season 3. It is now available for pre-order on DVD from the Discovery store. They are not filming on Everest in 2010.

(I had been searching for information about filming after reading Billi's blog on the Himex site, where mentioned something about a Chinese film crew in an entry about the solar panels and power; haven't found anything else.)

As far as Russell's expedition, they finished their acclimatizing both on the nearby mountain and on Everest, and are relaxing back in the White Pod at Base Camp. Phurba made his 16th summit on the 7th, leading the Sherpas setting the final rope. If you go through Billi's blogs backwards from the most recent, there are a couple of small photos of Phurba (May 7th entry).

#1290

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Posted May 13, 2010 @ 5:47 PM

Honestly, I'd rather see the Sherpas bring down all the trash and then enforce that all climbers had to trek out what they trek in. I can't imagine bringing down all that trash AND bodies too. That said, how many bodies are there up there, does anyone know?

I agree and according to article ProCrash posted above, Rob Hall's widow Jan Arnold agrees with us. I'm surprised the clean up is to include dead bodies above 8,000 ft. Besides the inherent danger involved, I always thought Sherpas felt touching a dead body on the moutain was an invitation to bad luck and were wary of going near them. Maybe there are just too many now?

As far as a body count gingerella as of 2006 212 people had died on Everest, 192 of those above base camp but that's not a "body" count. I read a few years ago that about 60 people have perished high on the north side with about 20 of those being swept away by avalanches, which would leave about 40 bodies. Those who have fallen into the crevasses are lost.

They are not filming on Everest in 2010.

That's too bad.