Saturday, June 16, 2007

My colleague Bill Tyler summits Mount Everest May 20th 2007

I have a very couarages colleague (Bill Tyler); he attempted to summit Mount Everest in 2006 and had to turn back due to health complications. Bill came back to make his second attempt via the North Ridge Route in 2007. I was one of his sponsors and I believed in him. With that I was privilaged to have my name printed on a banner he planned on taking to the summit. As a photographer I am fascinated by these adventures and I know I would not be able to make it to the top of the worrld myself. Bill let me see this trek thru his eyes. A lot of his co-workers including myself eagerly followed all the updates he posted.

Bill Tyler made the summit of Mount Everest on Sunday May 20th 2007 at 7:40am! He stood on top of the world (actually he sat down). I got a call from his manager about 10 minutes after his summit. I was so happy for Bill and tears of joy filled my eyes. He made it YEAHHHHHH! I feel so honored to know someone who climbed to the top of the world. Thanks to Bill I also own a piece (my name) of the banner that he took to the top of Mount Everest, how cool is that?

Bill has written up-dates that were posted on the 7summits forum here:

Mount Everest is the highest mountain on Earth, as measured by the height of its summit above sea level at 8,848 meters (29,029 ft). The mountain, which is part of the Himalaya range in High Asia, is located on the border between Nepal and Tibet (People's Republic of China). Climbing this mountain means you are entering the Death zone. This term refers to high altitudes, encountered by mountain climbers, where the amount of oxygen present cannot sustain human life. Specifically, it refers to altitudes above 8000 meters (26,250 feet).

As humans go higher, the air pressure drops and so does the amount of available oxygen. At 5,666 meters (17,000 feet, height of Mount Everest North Ridge base camp), the amount of oxygen is only half that at sea level. At 8,848 meters (29,028 feet, summit of Mount Everest), only one third is available. When the partial pressure of oxygen drops, the human body tries to compensate by a process known as altitude acclimatization. Additional red blood cells are manufactured, the heart beats faster, non-essential body functions are temporarily shut down, and one breathes more deeply and more frequently. However, acclimatization cannot take place immediately – in fact, it takes place over a period of days or even weeks. Failure to acclimatize may result in altitude sickness, including high-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) or cerebral edema (HACE).
At extreme altitudes (above 7,500 meters, 24,600 feet), sleeping becomes very difficult, digesting food is impossible (as the body shuts the digestive system down), and the risk of HAPE or HACE increases greatly.
Finally, in the "death zone" at 8,000 meters (26,250 feet) and higher, no human body can acclimatize. Staying longer than necessary will result in deterioration of body functions, loss of consciousness and ultimately, death.


Bill Tyler Summits Mount Everest, Himalaya Range Tibet, May 20, 2007. © Copyright Bill Tyler.

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