BD athlete Sam Elias reports from Mount Everest basecamp
Black Diamond athlete and ski tech rep for the Rocky Mountains, Sam Elias has recently traveled to Nepal as part of a Mount Everest expedition. A 5.14 crusher and mixed climbing maestro, Elias is currently getting his first taste of life on a Himalayan expedition. Below is the email he sent us Everest basecamp late last month. Good luck up there, Sam!
From: Sam Elias
Subject: RE: Everest
Date: April 25, 2012 7:22:46 AM MDT
I have been at Everest basecamp for just over 3 weeks. I am here as part of a large, multi faceted expedition that includes history, science, art, and sport. Conrad Anker originally conceived of this expedition in association with The North Face and National Geographic to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1st American ascent of Mt Everest. It was built out from there to include Montana State University to conduct cutting edge geologic research on the mountain, as well as to develop an 8-lesson curriculum for grade school classrooms to learn about the Everest region and it’s relation to the Northern Rocky Mountains by following the expedition in real time. The Mayo Clinic is also involved to try to learn more about the physiology of humans at high altitude by monitoring our team with various tests and devices in order to help patients with heart conditions and other ailments.
Once everything was arranged and I was committed, I was approached by conceptual artist, Fabian Knecht who had an idea to connect the lowest and highest points on earth. His inquiry was if I would be willing to try to carry a small bottle of Dead Sea water to the summit, pour it out there, and refill it with snow, which he would return to the Dead Sea. I agreed.
Well, all the wheels are in motion now, and we have been up as high as Camp 2 on the mountain at about 6400 meters. Tomorrow morning at 4am, we are heading out for our 2nd rotation up high to acclimatize, which will include sleeping a night at Camp 3 at about 7000m, and hopefully touching Camp 4 at the South Col (~7900m) before returning to base camp to rest and wait for a summit window.
On behalf of our group and of this entire expedition, I’d like to offer the greatest appreciation to BD for donating such a SUBSTANTIAL amount of gear. With it, we are safe and will hopefully be successful.
Wish us luck,