"Because It’s There"

May 11, 2017

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Photographer: Konstantinos Vasilakakos
Summary Author: Konstantinos Vasilakakos

Shown above is the crown of the Himalayas, Mount Everest, Nepal. Standing  29,029 ft (8,848 m) above the level of the sea, it's the highest point on Earth. After two failed attempts for the summit of Everest, also known as Qomolangma, George Mallory traveled to America in 1923 to tell about his adventures at the Explorers Club of New York. There, he told them about the biting wind, the lack of appetite, the furious cold. A New York Times journalist asked the question: Why climb Everest? Mallory gave his legendary reply, ''Because it's there."

To get this picture I traveled with a dedicated group of people who like me longed to see the top of the world. We left Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, covering a tiring journey of about 250 mi (400 km) to New Tingri. After going through Gyatso la Pass, we were finally able to see Qomolangma. It was a beautiful and but eerie scene, the pinnacle of our planet, bathed with light just before nightfall. I remember turning my head back to see the rest of the group. Some people were left with their mouth's open, others were weeping and some furiously setting up cameras.

Featured here is the North Face of Everest; the same face where Mallory made his three attempts to reach the top of the world. Powerful winds, likely in excess of 80 mph (70 knots) are blasting the peak. For anyone daring dreams, make the journey to Qomolangma. Photo taken on April 11, 2015.