Historian Walt Unsworth once said, "Had Mount Everest been climbed at the first attempt, the achievement would have been hailed as notable and then quickly forgotten. It was, ironically, repeated failures which gave the mountain real stature."
A climber uses a ladder to cross a crevasse at Everest's Khumbu Icefall, not far above base camp. Shifting ice exposes new crevasses with little warning, making the Khumbu Icefall the most dangerous section of a southern Everest ascent.
"Universally terrifying, it is the most dangerous part of the southern route on Everest. The constantly shifting Khumbu Icefall is like a bunch of ice cubes continually tumbling down the icy mountain wall," said photographer Bobby Model about this image.
Stark against blue-white ice, a mountaineer ascends a ladder on Mount Everest's upper Khumbu glacier. Occasional pops and groans remind climbers that the glacier is constantly shifting beneath them, a treacherous surface not to be trusted.
Yaks still play a vital role in the Khumbu region of Nepal near Mount Everest, too remote for many modern conveniences. When a Sherpa family builds a home here, all the materials must be carried up from the valley on the backs of people and yaks.
A cairn and stone marker memorialize climber Scott Fisher, who died on Everest in 1996. A dangerous tourist spot, the mountain has claimed many adventurers' lives—from falls, lack of oxygen, exposure, and other deadly pitfalls.
Every step is critical on Mount Everest. The treacherous Khumbu Icefall has taken the lives of many climbers on their first day as they head to their first camp.
Every Mount Everest ascent begins with a Puja ceremony, in which Sherpa pay homage to the mountain deity. The Sherpa have played crucial roles as guides, porters, and climbing partners on nearly every Everest climb in history.
Heidi Howkins makes a radio call from Camp Two on the south face of Mount Everest. Howkins went on to become the first woman to successfully climb K2, the second highest peak behind Everest and a much more difficult mountain to climb.(NGC)
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