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Bear Grylls Survives the Death Zone and Conquers Everest

Bear Grylls Survives the Death Zone and Conquers Everest

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Published by CiscoWebEx
Bear Grylls Conquers Mt. Everest.
Bear Grylls Conquers Mt. Everest.

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Published by: CiscoWebEx on Aug 06, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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 Published August 06, 2010 | ©Cisco WebEx 2010
Bear Grylls Survives
Death Zone
and ConquersEverest - At Last!
On July 29th, Bear Grylls talked with fansduring a live, personal chat via WebEx. Thisis part of our on-going event series promoting our new beta ,WebEx Meet  - which you can get and use absolutely free.  The recording from the event is here.Below, you can read part two from the transcript of his talk (read   part one and   part two
 ). Wehave lightly edited it to make it an easy read.
Bear Grylls:
We'd been climbing for over 12 hours in a hike above Camp Four, which is thehighest camp in the world at the South Pole at 26,000 feet. They say at above 26,000 feet youenter into what's called The Death Zone.The Brits would have never called it The Death Zone. The Brits would have called it somethinglike the
Oops, Not Particularly Pleasant Zone
, I reckon. But the reason it's called The Death Zoneis the simple fact that the human body can't survive up here and your body begins to eatmuscle and its own bone in the struggle for precious energy.To give you an idea, we haven't had a pee up here at this stage properly for over 24 hours. Yourbody's just not working and everything just gets reduced now to base level of what feeds you.The only real strength you get comes from these two oxygen scuba-style tanks on your backthat come around to this mask in front of your face. That really is your lifeblood out there.
Published August 06, 2010 | ©Cisco WebEx 2010
Air. I Just Need Air.
 I remember lying on the South Summit with thiswind screaming about 40-50 miles an hour aboveus, feeling myself desperately hyperventilating,needing more oxygen, but all you have is whatyou carry. I remember reaching out and grabbingeach other's hands and helping each other standup, and then helping each other move just a stepat a time along this famous final ridge, andmoving probably like three or four paces aminute.It really is kind of crazy - crazy slow where it feelslike you're trying to climb a mountain in waist-deep tree roots whilst giving somebody a piggyback on your back who then for good measure istrying to stick a couple of socks in your mouth as well.
Finding the Body of Rob Hall
 You're sucking this stuff, but nothing's filling your lungs and I remember about a quarter of theway along this ridge coming across the body of Rob Hall, who died up here. Robert was involvedvery bravely in this high altitude rescue but he'd made a fatal mistake - he ran out of oxygen,sat down and just collapsed, and from where he sat he just didn't have the strength to stand upagain.He managed to get on his radio, radio back to base camp, but from base camp all they could dowas patch him through on a satellite phone to his wife, Jan, in New Zealand. Jan was pregnantwith their first child at the time and people on the mountain just listened to this extraordinarypleading and pleading of Jan to Rob to stand up and to move.Unfortunately, in those sort of conditions and during that storm, Rob couldn't do that. SlowlyJan (a climber herself) realized this and then I guess began this love story of her saying goodbye.They named their unborn child together and Rob managed to hold on for over 12 hours intemperatures as low as -60 degrees (read more on Rob's story here). By the next day, he'd frozen to death and I just remember coming near to Rob still nearlyperfect
hair blowing. It seemed, if you could just nudge him, he'd stand and he'd climb withyou.It sounds strange, but I desperately needed something that would give me strength up thereand he'd been such a hero of mine - I just remember this panic coming over me in a way I'dnever really felt before. There are a lot of bodies on Everest; there are over 180 up there now,but this was different.
Published August 06, 2010 | ©Cisco WebEx 2010
9,000 Feet of Air Below Me
We were so close but also so far away - fromanybody or anything. I had no real way tounderstand all this. I just remember myhands and my knees wanting to move awayfrom Rob and crawling along the last part of this ridge. It's an extraordinary ridge whereyou can kind of see in the shadow there, itdrops straight down pretty vertically forabout 9,000 feet down to the plains of Tibetbelow.It's the highest, most exposed ridge in the world. You're climbing on top of this frozen waterwith nothing under your feet, no
at one point I was resting an ice axe between my boots and it just went
[makes ripping sound]
and pulling it out and seeing this hole of air - 9,000 feetbetween my toes and thinking, "This is a bad place to be climbing right now."Eventually, the end of this ridge coming down the bottom edge of what they call the HillaryStep is a 35-, 40-foot almost vertical ice wall that leads on to the final gentle summit slope. It'sone of those obstacles that if you can get over, nothing's gonna stop you from the top. You'd doit on your belly if you have to, it has that feel about it.
The Top of the World
 I remember starting out this thing having this real fear that I'd get so close but this would bethe one thing that would stop me. It was like things I had climbed so many times at sea level,but at this height there's nothing working and just having no strength.Eventually after about 40 minutes of seeing the lip above me, throwing an ice axe over andover, wriggling and lying in this deep powder snow and clearing it away from in front of mymask, and then just looking out and not being able to comprehend the gentle, gentle slope thatfor the first time, indicated the roof of the world.I remember this adrenaline beginning to fire in and feeling it very busily pumping around mybody - it's like filling your veins and your muscles and it gives you this sudden strength. But thenalso that weakness that it leaves you with. You just can't sustain that sort of intensity. Iremember crying inside my mask. Crying because for me that little, well not entirely little, partof me ever since the hospital I'd never really believed that I could actually be here right now.That part of me was slowly being silenced.At 7:22 that morning, two of us from our team arrived on the summit of Everest.

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