The human body was never designed for high altitude – once you climb beyond 26,000 feet (8,000 metres) above sea level, your body starts shutting down. That is why they call it “The Death Zone” – you are already dying, it’s just a matter of how long until it happens.
And that is without bearing in mind the exposure to blistering cold, winds which are so fierce they can almost strip flesh of bone, and ground so treacherous that a step an inch out of place can result in a fall of thousands of feet to your end.
Most people who die in this place remain there forever. It is too dangerous for rescuers to spend time in this place to try and recover the bodies – all they would do is add to the body count.
This year, Anthony Gordon of Nothin’ But Shorts, is working as part of an international team on a world first – the formation of an Everest rescue team specifically focused on the climbers who try and make it to the highest point on the planet. Drawing on the expertise of Nepalese sherpas who have spent their whole lives working on and around these mountains, this specialist team will perform rescues and recoveries in one of the most inaccessible areas on the surface of the Earth.
They will battle the cold, the wind, the terrain, fear, frustration, themselves and each other to bring injured adventurers home.
In the Death Zone of Everest, you are already dead. It is only the miracle of specialists like this team who can bring you back.