A Victoria man took to Facebook with an update after his ascent to the top of Mount Everest, a journey he thought he could die from.
Chris Dare says it took 11-and-a-half hours to reach the Everest summit, held up by traffic jams with other climbers that has contributed to the deaths of 11 people since last week.
Colorado climber Christopher Kulish died yesterday shortly after getting to the top of Mount Everest and his brother said he had just reached the summit with a group after hundreds of climbers congested the peak last week.
Dare posted Monday he was 100 per cent safe and just arrived back at the base camp, posting pictures of the climb and his frost-bitten feet upon arriving back to camp.
Dare said he and his sherpa, Nuru, took more than 17 hours to go from Camp 3 to the summit and back down again, saying the original plan was to descend as far as they could go.
“Personally, I truly believe I was in danger of dying up there. I barely made it back, but a combination of Nuru’s encouragement, thinking about friends and family at home and my repeating the words “I’m not dying here today”, I stumbled back into Camp 3,” Dare posted.
Dare said because the window was so small on Summit Day, he and his sherpa tried to leave early, but other teams had gone hours earlier creating traffic jams on single-file vertical climbs, adding hours to both the ascent and descent.
“The north side is extremely exposed to the elements with much of the route consisting of a ledge 20 centimetres wide with sheer drops of hundreds of meters down,” Dare said.
“Yes, there is fixed rope, but all that means is you’re standing on a balance beam and if you fall, you drop about 20 meters before the rope catches then you slam your body/head against the rock below the ledge. There is no room for mistakes and at least two had died that night falling, despite the rope.”
Dare had been with the 360 expedition team over the last six weeks, consisting of five clients and a guide.
One member of the team died, and Dare said “it could have been a lot worse.”
“At the summit the winds were already starting to pick up, so Nuru and I left within 10 minutes, sacrificing the “perfect summit photo” for safety,” Dare added.
“It was already too late though and we were getting hammered by the winds and cold all the way down.”