Hard Days at the Top of the World

Mount Everest presents one of humanity's greatest challenges, in more ways than one. Sadly, three climbers lost their lives recently in the Death Zone, and a pair of others have not yet been located.

The climbing season, by virtue of its short length, presents climbers with a classic dilemma: push hard against the prevailing wisdom of the climbing community and the elements, or risk not ever getting to the top at all?

Many of these climbers take six months off from their jobs. They train like Olympic athletes for months and years, and they often spend tens of thousands of dollars for thirty minutes at the top of the world.

When weather conditions offer only brief glimpses of the brass ring, human nature leads individuals to create the conditions that led to these deaths. If somebody has sacrificed so much for a chance to reach the summit, common sense often takes a back seat to desire. 

Take a look at the story of David Sharp if you'd like more context on the type of atmosphere that exists at the top of the world. It's a completely different world up there, and not just in the obvious ways...  

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