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
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The First Step

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
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
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The Third Step
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The Third Step
near summit
Nearing the Summit
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
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

 


Comments

16 thoughts on “The North Col & the Northeast Ridge

  1. Bill, the pictures take my breath away (no pun intended)!! These photographs are like no other–they expose the supreme challenge you face on the Tibetan climb of Mt. Everest. Eric Simonson’s quote and your thoughts are summed up well–abject fear. Each picture brings out another expletive!!!

    Father’s Day blessings,

    Rockman

  2. Bill….so thankful you can celebrate Father’s Day today with your family….just seeing these photos combined with your narrative of the summit climb give me the heebie jeebies..and an inkling of the tremendous courage to undertake this monumental climb…..thanking God that He held you securely throughout this challenge.

  3. Hi Bill,

    Brilliant pictures, thanks so much for posting them!

    It looks so very dangerous, and yet SO inviting at the same time… Very glad you made it back alive!

    Happy Father’s Day to you as well. 🙂

  4. BILL:
    Now, we finally get to see your picture of the three steps!
    I have always wondered what they would look like. It shows very clearly what your were up against: DANGER.
    The next thing that I still wonder about is how far it between CBS, to IBC to ABC to NORTH COL to Camp 1, 2, 3 and then up each step to the top? Is the distance your walking back and forth about 50 miles or is shorter or longer than that.
    THANKS

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *