Summit Date: May 23, 2016 Time: 2 Months
Summiting Mt. Everest is a two-month expedition. I was still in good shape from climbing Aconcagua, but I only had a few weeks to prepare, so it felt pretty unbelievable that I was given the opportunity to climb Everest so quickly.
It was also an opportunity to experience different cultures, learning from the Nepalese and Tibetan people was fascinating. We learned about their culture, and participated in dances and rituals.
I was confident going into the actual climb, I knew one of my group members from my previous climb, and he already knew and trusted our lead Sherpa. But it’s still a two month expedition. That’s a long time to be sleeping in a tent in the mountains, being cold, and eating food you’re not used to. It was tough…mentally, physically and emotionally. It was an extremely difficult and challenging 2 months.
The temperature was -40 Celsius, I had awful headaches, and got really sick, throwing up in my tent. I never really thought I wouldn’t make it to the summit but my senses were pushed to their limits!
That said, there’s no room for mistakes on Everest. It was freezing cold, and dangerous. You had to know what you were doing at all times. No one was there to hold your hand.
On summit day I chose to wear my MEC gloves because my massive “Everest” mitts did not give me enough dexterity while constantly clipping in and out of the ropes.
Reaching the summit, and standing at the top of the world was truly unforgettable, and a favourite memory from this entire experience.
But reaching the summit was only half the journey. Coming back down was treacherous and that’s where most deaths occur. I found descending was way more challenging than going up. I slipped on my way down, just short of the summit and crashed up against the rock face and I was really shook up. I needed to pull myself back together because I knew I had the rest of the mountain to go down, but I was very scared.
Through it all, having mental toughness was key to the whole climb.
Liz Rose is a 26-year-old mountain climber from West Vancouver, British Columbia who is poised to become the youngest Canadian to climb the Seven Summits of the world. For her seventh summit she is raising funds for Canuck Place Children’s Hospice. Donate to her fundraiser.