The North Col & the Northeast Ridge

Dear Family & Friends:

The North Col headwall and the traverse along the Northeast Ridge are two of the most challenging sections in a North side climb of Mt. Everest. The Northeast Ridge is particularly difficult because of altitude (over 28,000 feet), fatigue, weather, distance, dehydration, the 3 major rock buttresses that guard the summit (the First Step, the Second Step and the Third Step) and, most of all, abject fear.

It has been said that successfully navigating the ridge ranks as one of the most formidable accomplishments in the annals of human endurance. More than once while on the ridge, I wondered if I would make it back alive. Eric Simonson once said “I never feel euphoric or elated when I’m up there. Just anxious. It’s like swimming as far out into the ocean as you can, then turning around and wondering if you can make it back.”

Here are some photos of the North Col headwall and the Northeast Ridge:

The North Col Headwall

1

2

3

5

4

6

The Northeast Ridge

1st photo

moving up

ridgeline 2

The Knife-Edge Ridgeline

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The First Step

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The Second Step

2nd Step 3

The Second Step

ridge

close trail

Sorry, no passing lane here

near summit 4

Looking up at the Triangular Face

 

3rd Step 3

The Third Step

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The Third Step

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The Third Step

near summit

Nearing the Summit

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Looking Down from the Summit

Happy Fathers’ Day to all you great Dads out there. Hug your children and tell them how much you love them.

Bill