Facing Up: A Remarkable Journey to the Summit of Mount Everest
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Contributore note: David Cooper (Foreword)
'No one could fail to be gripped by his heartfelt excitement and emotion over what was the adventure of a lifetime.' Independent
At the age of twenty-three, Bear Grylls became the youngest Briton to reach the summit of Mount Everest. At extreme altitude youth holds no advantage over experience, and it is generally acknowledged that younger climbers have more difficulty coping with the adverse effects of mountaineering. Nevertheless, only two years after breaking his back in a freefall parachuting accident, Bear Grylls overcame severe weather conditions, fatigue, dehydration and a last minute illness to stand on top of the world's highest mountain. Facing Up is the story of his adventure, his courage and humour, his friendship and faith.
'Bear's tale is by turns, hilarious and horrific.' Daily Telegraph 'Written with refreshing humility, this is a briskly told account not of conquering Everest, but of realising its power.' Daily Mail 'He writes convincingly of fear and doubt. This is an honest and compelling story.' Ranulph Fiennes
Allen, Nasu, Neil, Lo, Kami, Dowa, Pemba, Pas, Ang Yaks ferrying equipment up through the snows towards Base Camp. The imposing Lhotse Face Icewall at 24,000 ft. The blue ice shimmering in the moonlight. Crevasse-crossing in the Icefall at 18,500 ft. Slowly working our way through the icefall. The Western Cwm at dusk. One of the corpses on the mountain that serves as a sober reminder of Everest’s authority. Dusk at Camp 4. The highest camp in the world at 26,000 ft. The clouds are pouring
down the valley to about 14,000 feet, to train. We still had ten days before Neil, Geoffrey, and Henry’s team would arrive at Base Camp, and we hoped to do a last week of climbing before they got here. We decided to leave the next day. DIARY, 15 MARCH: Another very cold night here, but I’m slowly learning the tricks of the trade. The most fundamental one being that to fill a waterbottle with boiling water before going to bed keeps the toes warm for hours, and evokes all sorts of good emotions.
this one. We sat all together for a few minutes resting. From then on we were happy to follow, but at our insistence, their chanting stopped until we were out of the Icefall. Neil’s cough had been a persistent noise alongside me through the ice. Every five seconds he would hack this deep, dry cough. He now swore openly at it. It was slowing him down considerably and we were happy to go at the Iranians’ slower pace, to help Neil. The cough was obviously debilitating him. One of the strengths of
We had a rule – the more dire the situation the more relieved we would appear. It had a funny way of defusing the most stressful of situations. ‘You lucky thing, I wish I could have a sleeping bag full of piss!’ Mick retorted. He soon turned over, lying there quietly chuckling every five minutes until he eventually went silent. I had climbed into my bag wearing the minimum of clothes. I didn’t want everything to get wet. I didn’t sleep at all that night, and lay there, longing for the warmth
final preparatory leg. We could not afford to make a mistake now. If we were to be on the summit team, we had to show our capacity to work to the pressure, and climb with strength and, above all, kindness. Up high, there is no one more unpopular than the selfish man. We were all getting ready and focusing on Camp Three. We discussed the most effective way of climbing the blue ice, debating different crampon techniques. We all knew that at that height, with that sort of gradient, there would not