Everest: Beyond the Limit (2006–…): Season 2, Episode 1 - Everest: Beyond the Limit - full transcript

Expedition leader Russell Brice is back on the North side of Everest for the 2007 climbing season with a team of new climbers - and some familiar faces. After the Sherpas summit for the first time of the season, fixing the safety ropes along the way, the team watch from Advanced Base Camp as two climbers summit hours after the Sherpas and begin a dangerous descent.

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>> Narrator: HURRICANE-FORCE

WINDS, SUBZERO TEMPERATURES,

MINIMAL OXYGEN.

IT'S NO WONDER EVEREST HAS

CLAIMED THE LIVES OF OVER

200 PEOPLE.

>> IT'S A PRIVILEGE TO SURVIVE

THIS LONG, I SUPPOSE.

>> Narrator: YET THE

DETERMINATION OF THE HUMAN

SPIRIT HAS DRIVEN A TEAM OF



AMATEUR CLIMBERS TO CHALLENGE

THE HIGHEST MOUNTAIN ON EARTH.

IN MAY OF THIS YEAR, THE

CONDITIONS ON EVEREST LOOKED

LIKE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL IN

HISTORY.

>> PERFECT. I'M READY TO CLIMB.

>> Narrator: SO WHY DID SEVEN

CLIMBERS DIE?

>> IF YOU CAN'T BREATHE, YOU

CAN'T WALK.

>> Narrator: STILL, THEY PUSH

ON, FINDING HOPE AND STRENGTH IN

THE WAKE OF TRAGEDY.



>> YOU LOSE ONE GLOVE, YOU LOSE

ONE HAND.

>> Narrator: AS THE MAN IN

CHARGE, RUSSELL HAS GUIDED OVER

140 CLIMBERS TO THE SUMMIT.

>> IT'S MY JOB TO TRY AND LET

THEM GO AS FAR AS THEY CAN

WITHOUT ACTUALLY KILLING

THEMSELVES.

>> THE BIGGEST, BADDEST MOUNTAIN

IN THE WORLD.

>> Narrator: DESPITE THE METAL

PLATES AND PINS THAT HOLD HIS

SPINE, ANKLE, AND SKULL

TOGETHER, TIM RETURNS FOR A

FINAL SHOWDOWN.

>> MY MAMA DIDN'T RAISE A

QUITTER.

>> I'M GONNA THROW UP.

>> Narrator: DRIVEN BY HER

STRONG WILL, BETSY IS NOT ABOUT

TO LET INEXPERIENCE STAND IN HER

WAY.

>> I DON'T REMEMBER WHICH ONE

DOES WHAT.

>> LEAVE THAT ALONE, BETSY.

>> Narrator: THE CHANCES...

>> I CAN'T SEE ANYTHING.

>> I'M GONNA PRAY THAT THAT ROPE

HOLDS YOU.

>> Narrator: THE DREAMERS...

>> DON'T DIG DEEP, AIN'T GONNA

MAKE IT.

>> [ GRUNTING ]

>> Narrator: THE DANGERS...

>> IF HE WALKS, HE'LL MAYBE LOSE

SOME TOES.

>> Narrator: IT'S THE ULTIMATE

ADVENTURE IN A PLACE THAT SHOWS

NO MERCY.

>> NO ONE SAID IT WAS GONNA BE

EASY.

>> Narrator: MONTHS OF

PREPARATION AND DREAMING ARE

OVER.

>> I CAN STRAP THINGS UNDER

HERE, AND I CAN STRAP A JACKET

UNDER THERE.

>> Narrator: BUT HAS THIS TEAM

OF AMATEUR CLIMBERS GOT WHAT IT

TAKES...

>> EVEREST, 2007, ROUND 2.

>> THAT'S OKAY, YEAH?

>> Narrator: ...TO TAKE ON THE

HIGHEST MOUNTAIN ON THE PLANET?

>> YOU GOT YOUR CLOTHES?

THE ONLY THING THAT'S IN THERE

IS LONG UNDERWEAR.

>> SUMMIT, BABY.

>> YOU BET.

>> ALL RIGHT. TO THE TOP.

>> Narrator: FROM HERE AT

EVEREST BASE CAMP THEIR FIRST

CHALLENGE IS A 14-MILE, 2-DAY

TREK TO REACH ADVANCED BASE

CAMP...

A FREEZING WAY STATION CLINGING

TO THE MOUNTAIN AT 21,000 FEET.

THEY MUST PROVE THEMSELVES HERE

BEFORE THEY CAN TAKE ON THE

TECHNICAL CLIMBS HIGHER UP.

>> AIN'T GONNA GET ANY EASIER.

IT'S ALL UPHILL FROM HERE.

>> Narrator: L.A. JOURNALIST

BETSY HUELSKAMP DECIDED TO CLIMB

EVEREST AFTER INTERVIEWING ONE

OF THE CLIMBERS FROM LAST YEAR.

>> SOMEHOW DURING THAT INTERVIEW

IT SORT OF CHANGED COURSES OF ME

WANTING TO INTERVIEW TIM TO ME

WANTING TO GO ON THE EXPEDITION.

>> Narrator: BUT BETSY HASN'T

CLIMBED A MOUNTAIN IN 10 YEARS.

>> ANNAPURNAS THAT I DID I ONLY

DID 20,000 FEET.

THIS IS ANOTHER 10,000 FEET

HIGHER.

>> Narrator: AND NOTHING QUITE

LIKE THIS.

>> IT'S THE HIGHEST MOUNTAIN IN

THE WORLD, AND WE'RE GOING

THERE.

>> Narrator: ON THE SUMMIT OF

EVEREST, THE CLIMBERS WILL BE AT

THE CRUISING ALTITUDE OF A

JETLINER.

AT MINUS 40 DEGREES, WITH TOO

LITTLE OXYGEN IN THE AIR TO

SUSTAIN LIFE, IT'S A DEADLY

CHALLENGE.

TIM MEDVETZ, A BIKER FROM

HOLLYWOOD, ALMOST DIED TRYING TO

SUMMIT EVEREST LAST YEAR.

>> OH, THIS IS MY SECOND TIME

COMING UP.

SO...

I CAME CLOSE LAST YEAR.

THIS CLIMBER DIED THE NIGHT I

WENT OUT THERE.

IT'S A GOOD REMINDER THAT ONE

SMALL MISTAKE -- IT'S DONE.

>> Narrator: TIM FAILED TO REACH

THE SUMMIT.

NOW HE'S BACK TO PROVE HE CAN

DO IT.

>> HOPEFULLY THE OUTCOME OF THIS

ONE WILL BE STANDING ON TOP

OF -- TOP OF THE WORLD.

>> Narrator: BUT THE FIRST

CHALLENGE OF REACHING ADVANCED

BASE CAMP, OR ABC, IS ESPECIALLY

DIFFICULT FOR THE BIG BIKER.

>> [ GRUNTS ]

FROM BASE CAMP TO ABC IT JUST

REALLY PUTS A BEATING ON MY FOOT

AND MY ANKLE, MY HEEL AND MY

KNEE.

>> Narrator: AFTER A NEAR-FATAL

BIKE CRASH, TIM'S BODY IS HELD

TOGETHER BY METAL PINS.

>> SO BOULDERS, AND ROCKS, IT

JUST THROWS MY FOOT TO THE LEFT

AND TO THE RIGHT, AND I DON'T

HAVE ANY LATERAL MOTION.

THIS 14 MILES JUST REALLY KILLS

ME.

>> Narrator: A TRUCKLOAD OF

DETERMINATION HAS GOTTEN HIM

THIS FAR.

BUT ONLY ONE IN THREE CLIMBERS

WILL MAKE THE SUMMIT.

THEY HAVE SIGNED UP WITH

EXPEDITION LEADER RUSSELL BRICE.

>> WE DON'T KNOW THE PSYCHOLOGY

OF THESE PEOPLE, HOW THEY'RE

GOING TO REACT UNDER STRESS.

OF COURSE, IT'S NOT SAFE, AND OF

COURSE IT'S DANGEROUS.

>> Narrator: A 20-YEAR EVEREST

VETERAN, RUSSELL'S TAKEN 166

CLIMBERS TO THE TOP.

HE DECIDES WHO IS FIT FOR THE

SUMMIT.

AT ANY POINT, HE CAN KICK ANY

CLIMBER OFF THE EXPEDITION.

>> WELL IT'S MY CHALLENGE AND MY

JOB TO TRY AND LET THEM GO AS

FAR AS THEY CAN WITHOUT ACTUALLY

KILLING THEMSELVES.

>> Narrator: EACH STEP THEY

TAKE, THE AIR GETS THINNER.

>> I'M JUST FOCUSED ON WALKING.

>> Narrator: ALTITUDE SICKNESS

IS A CONSTANT DANGER.

>> [ BREATHING HEAVILY ]

>> THE AMOUNT OF OXYGEN THAT WE

INHALE WITH EACH INHALATION IS

LESS THAN IT IS AT SEA LEVEL.

ESSENTIALLY WE ARE GETTING LESS

OXYGEN WITH EACH BREATH.

IF SOMEONE HAS A HEADACHE,

THEY'RE NAUSEATED, THEY'RE

VOMITING...

THEN YOU NEED TO SEND THEM DOWN

TO THE ALTITUDE AT WHICH THEY

WERE LAST WELL.

>> Narrator: NEARING ADVANCED

BASE CAMP, BETSY IS JUST ONE

SIXTH OF THE WAY TO THE SUMMIT.

>> THESE POOR THINGS.

I HOPE THAT I AM A GOOD ENOUGH

PERSON IN THIS LIFETIME TO NEVER

COME BACK AS A YAK.

BECAUSE IT LOOKS LIKE A [BLEEP]

LIFE.

>> [ WHISTLES ]

>> HELLO!

>> Narrator: AFTER TWO DAYS OF

TOUGH TREKKING, TIM HAS MADE IT

TO ADVANCED BASE CAMP.

>> HOW ARE YOU?

>> [ SPEAKING INDISTINCTLY ]

IT'S A NICE HAT.

GOT TO MAKE SURE MY TENT IS NEXT

TO THE TOILET.

[ CHUCKLES ]

AND THE KITCHEN.

>> Narrator: HEAD COOK TASHI

HASN'T FORGOTTEN HIS NICKNAME.

>> I HAD TO COME UP TO 6,400

METERS TO GET THE BEST POTATOES

AND EGGS IN TOWN.

TASHI, YOU NEED BIGGER CHAIRS.

[ CHUCKLES ]

YEAH!

SHERPAS DON'T KNOW HOW TO MAKE A

GRILLED-CHEESE SANDWICH.

THAT'S AN AMERICAN THING.

BUT HIS FRIED POTATOES AND

ONIONS WITH A FRIED EGG ON

TOP...

THE BEST.

>> Narrator: FOR THREE MONTHS A

YEAR, THIS IS THE WORLD'S

HIGHEST VILLAGE, WITH KITCHENS,

COMMUNICATIONS, AND ALL THE

SUPPLIES NEEDED FOR THE

EXPEDITION.

>> WHOO-HOO!

ABC, ONE STEP AT A TIME.

STILL FEELING OKAY. HERE WE GO.

FINDING MY TENT.

MY HOME AWAY FROM HOME.

>> IS IT HERE?

OKAY.

>> WE'RE GOING TO THE WRONG

TENTS.

>> Narrator: BRITISH TEAM

MEMBER ROD BABER DECIDED TO

CLIMB EVEREST TO IMPRESS HIS

FRIENDS AT THE LOCAL BAR.

>> HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE

FINALLY HERE?

>> Narrator: NOW HE IS

STRUGGLING WITH THE EXTREME

ALTITUDE.

>> IT'S LIKE A SLEDGEHAMMER

BANGING THE TOP OF MY HEAD.

BLEEDING NOSE ALL LAST NIGHT AS

WELL, BUT...

IT'S JUST A BOOM.

>> Narrator: HOME FOR THE NEXT

TWO WEEKS, THE CLIMBERS WILL

SUFFER HEADACHES, BLEEDING

NOSES, DIARRHEA, AND NAUSEA AS

THEY STRUGGLE TO ADJUST TO HALF

THE OXYGEN THEY'RE USED TO.

[ MONITOR BEEPING ]

>> [ COUGHS ]

>> THEY LOOK A LITTLE BIT

SHATTERED DON'T THEY?

>> YEAH, I BEAT YOU UP HERE THIS

YEAR.

>> YEAH, GOOD FOR YOU.

>> Narrator: EXPEDITION LEADER

RUSSELL TURNS HIS ATTENTION TO

HIS CLIMBING SHERPAS.

ALREADY HIGH ON THE MOUNTAIN,

THEY'RE BREAKING TRAIL AND

SETTING THE ROUTE THE CLIMBERS

WILL FOLLOW.

IT'S THE SHERPAS' JOB TO FIX

3 MILES OF SAFETY ROPES ALL THE

WAY TO THE SUMMIT.

>> EVERY 100 YARDS, THE ROPE

MUST BE TIED TO THE MOUNTAIN.

IT'S THE FIRST AND MOST

DANGEROUS CLIMB OF THE SEASON.

AT ADVANCED BASE CAMP, RUSSELL

WATCHES THEIR BACK, KEEPING A

CLOSE EYE ON THE TREACHEROUS

WEATHER PATTERNS.

>> IT'S VICIOUS HERE.

IT'S TERRIBLE.

YEAH, IT'S A TENSE TIME.

YOU'RE WONDERING WHETHER

EVERYTHING IS IN THE RIGHT

PLACE, EVERYTHING'S GONNA

HAPPEN CORRECTLY.

THIS IS NOT A PLACE THAT YOU CAN

MAKE A MISTAKE WITH DECISIONS

TOO MANY TIMES.

>> Narrator: AFTER ADJUSTING

TO THE HIGH ALTITUDE, THE

CLIMBERS FACE THEIR NEXT BIG

CHALLENGE -- PROVING THEY CAN

CLIMB ON ICE.

>> BIG BOSS WANTS TO SEE

EVERYBODY WITH THEIR EQUIPMENT

ON, WHICH IS A GOOD THING.

BECAUSE I'M SURE WE GOT SOME

INEXPERIENCED PEOPLE WITH US

THIS YEAR.

>> LEAVE THAT ALONE, BETSY.

>> COME ON!

>> IT'S NOT WORKING FOR ME.

>> Narrator: ON EVEREST, THE

CLIMBING TEAM ARE BEING TESTED

ON A 30-FOOT ICE WALL.

THEY MUST PROVE THEY'VE GOT

THE SKILL AND TECHNIQUE TO TAKE

ON THE TOUGH CLIMBS HIGHER UP...

>> STAND UP.

>> Narrator: ...OR RUSSELL WILL

KICK THEM OFF THE SUMMIT TEAM.

>> THE FIRST THING YOU NEED TO

MOVE IS THAT.

SO YOU ARE STILL CLIPPED IN.

THEN YOU CAN RELEASE THIS AND

MOVE THAT ONE AGAIN.

>> Narrator: AT EXTREME

ALTITUDE, THE BRAIN IS SLOWED BY

THE LACK OF OXYGEN.

USING THEIR CLIMBING EQUIPMENT

MUST BE SECOND NATURE.

>> ESSENCE ON THE MOUNTAIN IS

SPEED.

[BLEEP]

TODAY'S PRACTICE CLIMB IS A MERE

30 FEET OF VERTICAL ICE.

>> GET IT ON, TIM.

>> Narrator: BUT STANDING

BETWEEN THE CLIMBERS AND THE

SUMMIT OF THEIR DREAMS IS 1,000

FEET OF ICE TO THE NORTH COL...

AND IF THEY SURVIVE THAT, AT

28,300 FEET, THE NOTORIOUS

CLIFFS OF THE SECOND STEP.

STRENGTH, ENDURANCE, AND GOOD

TECHNIQUE WITH ICE-CLIMBING GEAR

AND ROPES IS ESSENTIAL.

BUT BETSY HAS FORGOTTEN HOW TO

USE HER EQUIPMENT.

>> COME ON!

>> YOU WATCH EVERYBODY ELSE GO

STRAIGHT UP THAT ICE CUBE, AND

YOU GO, "OKAY, I CAN DO THAT.

I CAN DO THAT.

IT'S NOT A PROBLEM.

>> LEAVE THAT ALONE, BETSY.

>> Narrator: IT'S THE GUIDE'S

JOB TO MAKE SURE EVERYONE ON

RUSSELL'S TEAM KNOWS EXACTLY

WHAT THEY'RE DOING.

>> GO UP THE OTHER ROPE, PLEASE,

BETSY.

GET SET. CLIP ON.

>> OKAY, BETSY, STOP RIGHT

THERE.

TAKE YOUR LEFT HAND -- TAKE IT

OFF THE ROPE SO I CAN SEE THAT

YOU ARE NOT HANGING ON WITH

IT, OKAY?

>> KEEP LEANING BACK.

>> KEEP YOUR OTHER HAND ON THE

ROPE FOR BALANCE.

THAT'S FINE.

NOW COME DOWN. WALK YOUR FEET.

LEAN BACK.

KEEP LEANING BACK.

>> I AM LEANING BACK.

KEEP YOUR FEET FLAT.

YOU DON'T NEED TO BE TIPTOEING

IT.

>> TRUST ME, I CAN DO IT.

I KNOW I CAN DO IT.

I HAVE MORE FAITH AND CONFIDENCE

IN MYSELF THAN 100 MEN.

I REALLY DO.

>> GRAB YOUR LEFT HAND.

YOU WAIT THIS MUCH ON THE

MOUNTAIN, YOU WON'T SUMMIT.

>> I HAVE AS GOOD OF A CHANCE AS

ANYBODY.

I MIGHT BE A LITTLE BIT SLOWER.

BUT, YOU KNOW -- HERE IT IS.

I AM GIVING IT MY BEST SHOT.

>> Narrator: ON EVEREST, BETSY'S

BEST SHOT MAY NOT BE GOOD

ENOUGH.

>> DO YOU HAVE A FEW MOMENTS,

BETSY?

>> YEAH.

>> I WAS A LITTLE BIT SURPRISED

HOW LITTLE MOUNTAINEERING YOU

HAVE.

BECAUSE YOU SORT OF TOLD ME THAT

YOU HAD MORE MOUNTAIN

EXPERIENCE.

IT IS NOT EASY FOR US INSIDE

MT. EVEREST TO TEACH YOU HOW

TO CLIMB.

I EXPECT PEOPLE TO BE ABLE TO

CLIMB BY THEMSELVES, AND YOU

CLEARLY DON'T HAVE THAT ABILITY.

I WILL GIVE YOU ONE DAY'S

INSTRUCTION ON HOW TO USE

CRAMPONS, AND THEN WE'RE GOING

TO SEE HOW YOU PERFORM.

LEARNING TO CLIMB ON

MT. EVEREST, THIS IS NOT THE

RIGHT PLACE TO BE.

SO LET'S HOPE YOU PROGRESS AND

LEARN QUICKLY.

OKAY? CHEERS.

>> I DO FEEL LIKE I AM A REALLY

FAST LEARNER.

AND I UNDERSTAND WHY PEOPLE

THINK THIS IS THE WRONG PLACE TO

LEARN.

I DO UNDERSTAND THAT.

I CERTAINLY DON'T WANT TO PUT

OTHER PEOPLE AT RISK.

SO THAT'S THE PART THAT -- YOU

KNOW, I DON'T WANT ANYBODY TO

FEEL LIKE I'M ENDANGERING THEM

OR MYSELF.

I DON'T WANT TO GET HURT.

>> COME ON. LET'S GET IT ON.

[ WHISTLING ]

>> Narrator: BIG TIM MEDVETZ HAS

PLENTY OF STRENGTH.

>> YEAH!

>> Narrator: BUT THE GUIDES ARE

CONCERNED ABOUT HIS TECHNIQUE.

>> YOU'LL KILL YOURSELF IF

YOU'RE PULLING YOURSELF UP ON

IT, OKAY?

>> I UNDERSTAND THAT, BUT

BECAUSE OF MY FOOT, MY BACK AND

MY KNEE, I ACTUALLY USE THE

FIXED LINE TO BALANCE A LITTLE

BIT WHEN I GET ONTO SOME NARROW

TRAVERSES.

>> TIM, IT'S A SAFETY LINE.

IT'S NOT A HAULING LINE.

>> YOU KNOW, WANT TO BORROW MY

BODY FOR A COUPLE DAYS?

>> [ CHUCKLES ]

>> TIM IS A LIKABLE GUY, BUT HE

IS A BIT FULL OF HIMSELF.

HE'S A BIG MAN WITH A BIG EGO.

HE'S BEEN 90% OF THE WAY.

LAST YEAR, IF HE'D LEFT ON TIME,

I SUSPECT THAT HE WOULD HAVE

REACHED THE SUMMIT ALONG WITH

EVERYONE ELSE.

>> Narrator: TIM KNOWS MORE THAN

MOST HOW DANGEROUS EVEREST CAN

BE.

LAST YEAR, HE FOUGHT HIS WAY TO

WITHIN YARDS OF THE SUMMIT.

BUT CLIMBING TOO SLOWLY AND

RUNNING LOW ON OXYGEN, RUSSELL

ORDERED HIM TO TURN AROUND.

>> PLEASE TURN AROUND NOW.

STOP ARGUING WITH ME.

TURN AROUND NOW AND USE THIS

VALUABLE TIME TO GET BACK DOWN

SAFELY.

PEOPLE SIGN A CONTRACT WITH ME.

THEY AGREE THAT IF I TELL THEM

BY RADIO TO TURN AROUND THAT

THEY AGREE TO DO IT.

>> Narrator: JUST 400 FEET FROM

THE SUMMIT OF HIS DREAMS, TIM

DID NOT AGREE.

>> HEY, RUSSELL, IT'S TIM.

>> YOU ARE STANDING RIGHT BESIDE

A DEAD BODY FOR A MAN WHO DIDN'T

TURN AROUND.

PLEASE, TURN AROUND AND COME

BACK.

>> Narrator: SUFFERING FROM

SUMMIT FEVER, TIM REFUSED TO

TURN AROUND.

>> YOU CAN'T CLIMB A MOUNTAIN ON

YOUR HAND AND KNEES.

NOW TURN AROUND.

>> OKAY, TIM, I AM GOING TO TAKE

MY SHERPAS HOME.

YOU CAN BE BY YOURSELF.

>> Narrator: EVENTUALLY,

300 FEET FROM THE SUMMIT, TIM

TURNED AROUND.

>> [ COUGHING ]

>> Narrator: THIS YEAR, HE'S

PROMISED RUSSELL HE'LL OBEY

ORDERS.

>> YEAH, I LET HIM BACK AND HOPE

THAT HE'S LEARNED SOMETHING FROM

LAST YEAR.

BUT I'M NOT SURE HE HAS.

WE'LL SEE.

>> ROUND TWO!

>> Narrator: 25,000 FEET UP, THE

EXPEDITION SHERPAS ARE FORGING

THE NEW ROUTE THE CLIMBERS WILL

FOLLOW TO THE SUMMIT.

THEIR ABILITY AND SKILLS AT HIGH

ALTITUDE ARE UNSURPASSED.

EACH OF THESE GUIDES HAS

GRADUATED FROM KITCHEN BOY TO

PORTER TO CLIMBING SHERPA, AND

ROPING THE MOUNTAIN IS THE

TOUGHEST TASK THEY TAKE ON.

>> THE ROPES HAVE BEEN LEFT

THERE FROM ONE YEAR TO ANOTHER.

THEY'RE BEATEN AROUND BY THE

WIND AND BASHED AGAINST THE

ROCKS.

WE DON'T KNOW WHAT SORT OF

STRENGTH IT HAS THE FOLLOWING

YEAR.

WE'RE TRYING TO CHOP AWAY THE

OLD ROPE AND CHANGE THE TAPES

TO THE PITONS AND SO ON.

ANYONE THAT'S CLIMBING AT THIS

ALTITUDE AND WORKING AT THIS

ALTITUDE IS IN DANGER, AND I'M

VERY, VERY WORRIED THESE DAYS

THAT THE SHERPAS ARE THERE.

>> Narrator: RUSSELL HAS

CALCULATED IF THE WEATHER HOLDS

THE SHERPAS COULD BE ON THEIR

WAY TO THE EARLIEST SUMMIT ON

RECORD.

>> Narrator: 4 VERTICAL MILES

ABOVE SEA LEVEL, THE TEAM HANG

IN SUSPENSE AS THEIR BODIES

ADJUST TO THE THIN AIR.

THEY'RE FORCING THEIR HEARTS AND

LUNGS TO COPE WITH JUST HALF THE

OXYGEN THEY'RE USED TO.

>> [ COUGHS ]

>> [ SPEAKING INDISTINCTLY ]

>> Narrator: IF ALL GOES WELL,

THEIR BODIES WILL PRODUCE EXTRA

RED BLOOD CELLS TO ABSORB MORE

OXYGEN PER BREATH.

BUT BEFORE THEY CAN CLIMB

HIGHER, THEY MUST GET PAST

EXPEDITION DOCTOR MONICA PIRIS.

>> OUR ABC IS AT 6,400 METERS.

IT IS A HARSH ENVIRONMENT.

>> Narrator: A SPECIALIST IN

HIGH-ALTITUDE MEDICINE, SHE

KNOWS THE DANGERS OF GOING

FURTHER WITHOUT ACCLIMATING

PROPERLY.

>> GOOD.

YOU'D INITIALLY FEEL SHORT OF

BREATH, AND THEN YOUR BRAIN

WOULD START TO SWELL.

YOUR LUNGS WOULD PROBABLY START

TO FILL WITH FLUID.

YOU WOULD LOSE CONSCIOUSNESS,

AND YOU'D DIE.

>> Narrator: L.A. JOURNALIST

BETSY IS ALSO A FITNESS

INSTRUCTOR AND BLACK BELT IN

KARATE.

>> YOU DON'T TAKE ANY REGULAR

MEDICATION?

SO YOURS IS 115 OVER 85 WHICH IS

GOOD.

AND YOU MIGHT -- MIGHT BE A WEE

BIT LOWER AT SEA LEVEL, 'CAUSE

YOU'RE QUITE FIT, AND YOU'RE

SLIM AND STUFF, BUT THAT'S FINE.

>> GOOD.

>> IT'S GREAT. OKAY.

>> I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO BE A

FLUNKY.

>> NO, NO.

YOU'RE DOING REALLY WELL,

DARLING.

GOOD STUFF.

>> Narrator: DANISH TRIATHLETE

MOGENS JENSEN IS A FITNESS

OBSESSIVE.

>> I'M NOT WEIGHING MYSELF.

I CAN TELL YOU THAT I WEIGH 74

KILOS.

>> WHEN DID YOU LAST WEIGH

YOURSELF?

>> THAT WAS 12 YEARS AGO.

>> WHY DON'T YOU WANT TO WEIGH

YOURSELF?

>> I NEVER DO IT BECAUSE IT'S

TOO RELATIVE.

I ALWAYS USE THE MIRROR.

>> Narrator: BUT MOGENS SUFFERS

FROM EXERCISE-INDUCED ASTHMA.

DR. MONICA IS CONCERNED.

HE HAS ALREADY FAILED TO SUMMIT

THREE TIMES.

>> HOW HAVE YOU FELT YOUR

ASTHMA ON THE MOUNTAIN?

IF IT'S COLD, IS IT WORSE?

>> I DON'T KNOW.

>> HAVE YOU EVER BEEN ADMITTED

TO HOSPITAL FOR YOUR ASTHMA?

NEVER BEEN IN INTENSIVE-CARE

UNIT?

>> NO, NO, NO.

>> AND HOW BAD IS YOUR ASTHMA

WHEN YOU'RE AT HOME?

>> WHEN I TAKE MY MEDICINE, YOU

KNOW, THAT'S --

>> WHAT DO YOU TAKE?

>> I TAKE SERETIDE.

>> YOU DON'T USE A STEROID?

>> NO.

>> 'CAUSE YOU'VE BEEN HERE

BEFORE AND YOU'VE DONE THIS

BEFORE, I'M TRYING TO GET A FEEL

FOR WHETHER YOU THINK THAT YOUR

ASTHMA PLAYS A PART IN YOUR

PERFORMANCE.

>> Narrator: NOT ONLY DOES HE

WANT TO PROVE AN ASTHMATIC CAN

CLIMB EVEREST, MOGENS WANTS TO

DO IT WITHOUT BOTTLED OXYGEN.

>> YOU'RE PLANNING ON SUMMITING

WITHOUT ANYTHING?

>> YES.

>> OKAY.

OUR BODY NEEDS OXYGEN TO

SURVIVE.

IF THERE'S NOT ENOUGH OXYGEN,

CELLS DIE.

WE DIE.

AND YOU'VE CLIMBED 8,000-ERS

BEFORE HAVEN'T YOU?

>> YEAH.

I'VE BEEN TO JUST UNDER 8,500

HERE.

>> Narrator: TRYING TO SUMMIT

LAST YEAR, MOGENS PUSHED HIMSELF

TO THE LIMIT.

>> ONE HOUR OUT OF CAMP, BANG,

I'M HIT BY WHAT FELT LIKE

LIGHTNING, YOU KNOW.

FROM ONE MINUTE I FEEL STRONG.

THE OTHER MINUTE I WAS FEARING

FOR MY LIFE.

YOU KNOW, ALMOST FAINTING.

FEELING ATAXIC...

VOMITING, AND HAVING BLURRY

VISION.

>> Narrator: MOGENS MANAGED TO

CLIMB DOWN AND REACH LIFE-SAVING

OXYGEN.

>> FROM THE FIRST MINUTE, IT'S

LIKE [BLEEP] I'M GOING TO DIE

HERE.

I WAS SO SCARED UP THERE.

>> Narrator: BUT BEFORE HE LEFT

THE MOUNTAIN LAST YEAR, HE MADE

A VOW.

>> I AM STRONG ENOUGH TO DO IT

WITHOUT OXYGEN.

I KNOW THAT MENTALLY AND

PHYSICALLY, FOR SURE.

>> PEOPLE CAN DO IT, YOU KNOW.

PEOPLE HAVE DONE IT.

AND I RESPECT IT IMMENSELY.

BUT IT'S DANGEROUS.

IT'S ABSOLUTELY CRAZY.

YOU ARE MUCH MORE LIKELY TO DIE.

[ MONITOR BEEPING ]

GOOD STUFF.

>> Narrator: HAVING ACED HIS

MEDICAL, HE HAS ONE MORE CHANCE

AT HIS CRAZY DREAM.

LIKE MOGENS, BIG TIM'S BODY

COULD HOLD HIM BACK.

AND HE IS NO LIGHTWEIGHT.

>> YOU'RE GONNA BREAK MY SCALES,

AREN'T YOU?

[ CHUCKLES ]

>> 120 KILOS.

>> YEAH.

>> CAN'T BE RIGHT.

>> YEAH, IT CAN.

>> 120 KILOS.

>> YOU'VE GOT MUCH MORE MUSCLE

THAN YOU HAD LAST YEAR.

MUSCLE WEIGHS A HELL OF A LOT

MORE THAN FAT.

>> I'M JUST GONNA GO FOR THE

RECORD -- BIGGEST GUY TO SUMMIT

EVEREST.

RIGHT?

HE'S GOT MORE BULK TO MOVE UP

THAT MOUNTAIN.

THAT'S A LOT OF BULK.

SO HE'S PROBABLY NOT A VERY

EFFICIENT MACHINE AT HIGH

ALTITUDE, AND AT HIGH ALTITUDE,

EFFICIENCY IS A BIG THING.

IF YOU LOOK AT THE LOCAL

HIGH-ALTITUDE PEOPLE, SHERPAS

AND TIBETANS, THEY'RE SMALL,

THEY'RE WIRY.

THEY DON'T WEIGH A LOT.

>> Narrator: ON EVEREST, ONLY

THE FITTEST CAN SURVIVE.

BORN AND BRED AT EXTREME

ALTITUDE, THE SHERPAS HAVE

LARGER HEARTS AND LUNGS TO

ABSORB MORE OXYGEN PER BREATH.

THICKER BLOOD AND WIDER ARTERIES

TRANSPORTS THE OXYGEN TO THEIR

MUSCLES AND BRAINS.

THEY ARE DESIGNED FOR HIGH

ALTITUDE.

>> DIFFERENT BREED.

>> THEY ARE.

>> Narrator: AT 26,000 FEET, THE

SHERPAS ARE BLAZING THE TRAIL TO

THE SUMMIT.

FIRST ON THE MOUNTAIN, IT'S A

DEADLY JOB.

BUT IN JUST FOUR MONTHS, THEY

CAN MAKE MORE THAN THE AVERAGE

NEPALI EARNS IN A LIFETIME.

>> [ SPEAKING INDISTINCTLY ]

>> AND THEN AROUND?

BUT UP HIGH FIRST.

>> YES.

>> THE TOP SHERPAS ARE EARNING

GOOD MONEY.

SOMEONE LIKE PHURBA IS PROBABLY

EARNING UP TO $18,000.

>> Narrator: IF RUSSELL'S HEAD

SHERPA, PHURBA, MAKES IT TO THE

TOP THIS TIME, IT WILL BE HIS

10th SUMMIT.

>> Narrator: THE EXPEDITION

SHERPAS ARE ON TARGET FOR THE

EARLIEST EVER SUMMIT OF EVEREST.

PASSING 26,000 FEET, THEY'RE

ENTERING WHAT IS KNOWN AS THE

DEATH ZONE.

UP HERE, THE AIR HAS SO LITTLE

OXYGEN, THE BODY BURNS ITS OWN

MUSCLE TO SURVIVE, AND THE BRAIN

STARTS TO CRASH.

AT THE SUMMIT, THEY FACE

TEMPERATURES OF MINUS 40

DEGREES, FREEZING EXPOSED FLESH

IN LESS THAN A MINUTE.

IF THEY USE UP THEIR BOTTLED

OXYGEN TOO SOON, THEY MAY NOT

MAKE IT DOWN ALIVE.

>> HOW MANY OF YOU AT 8,400?

>> [ SPEAKING INDISTINCTLY ON

RADIO ]

>> IT SEEMS LIKE A GOOD DAY.

ALTHOUGH THEY'RE IN THE SHADE,

THEY'RE STILL WARM.

SO, THEY HAVE A GOOD CHANCE TO

TRY TO GET TO THE SUMMIT.

>> Narrator: THE SHERPAS ARE AT

THE CRUISING ALTITUDE OF A

JETLINER AND ARE AWAITING THE

ORDER TO PUSH FOR THE SUMMIT.

1 1/2 VERTICAL MILES BELOW, LIFE

IS VERY DIFFERENT.

>> OH, MY GOD!

MY HEAD IS SO COLD.

IT'S, LIKE, FROZEN ON THE TIP OF

EVERY END OF MY HAIR.

[ INDISTINCT CONVERSATIONS ]

>> Narrator: THE CLIMBERS HAVE

BEEN ORDERED TO REST WHILE THEIR

BODIES GET USED TO THE EXTREME

ALTITUDE.

>> YOU ARE EXPENDING THE SAME

AMOUNT OF CALORIES JUST SITTING

HERE AS YOU WOULD DOWN HOME,

SPINNING AROUND ALL DAY.

>> SUCK IT UP.

YOU'RE ON MT. EVEREST, BOYS.

>> Narrator: THEY MUST EAT AS

MUCH AS THEY CAN.

UP HERE, FROZEN FOOD COMES OUT

OF THE GROUND.

>> THERE AIN'T NOTHING WRONG

WITH THEM NOODLES!

>> Narrator: GOOD FOOD IS

CRUCIAL TO THE SUCCESS OF THE

CLIMB.

>> I LEARNED OVER THE YEARS, A

LOT OF THE TEAMS THAT ARE

SITTING AROUND NOT EATING

VERY WELL, THEY GO OFF AND THEY

EXPEND A HUGE AMOUNT OF ENERGY,

AND THEN THEY CAN'T GET DOWN,

AND THEY DIE.

>> Narrator: IT'S VITAL THE

CLIMBERS LOAD THEIR BODIES WITH

ENERGY.

ON SUMMIT DAY, THEY WILL BURN

15,000 CALORIES.

EVEN RESTING IN CAMP, THEY'LL

LOSE UP TO 30 POUNDS IN WEIGHT.

>> IT'S A FUNCTION OF NOT EATING

BECAUSE YOU DON'T FEEL LIKE IT,

NOT DIGESTING WHAT YOU DO EAT,

AND ULTIMATELY BURNING UP YOUR

OWN STORES TO KEEP FUNCTIONING.

>> Narrator: 1 1/2 MILES ABOVE

ADVANCED BASE CAMP, THE

EXPEDITION SHERPAS ARE JUST

YARDS FROM THE SUMMIT AND RACING

BAD WEATHER.

>> FIVE MINUTES FROM THE SUMMIT.

>> THEY'RE ACTUALLY ON THE

SUMMIT RIDGE NOW?

>> MUST BE.

>> Narrator: RUSSELL CAN ONLY

HOPE HIS WEATHER PREDICTIONS ARE

RIGHT.

>> WELL, YOU JUST CAN'T COMPETE

WITH THE SHERPS, ESPECIALLY NOT

OURS.

>> AND THE SHERPAS ARE ON

OXYGEN, TOO, SO THAT'S LIKE

GIVING A FORMULA ONE CAR JET

FUEL.

>> YEAH.

>> Narrator: ON THE FINAL RIDGE,

THE SHERPAS ARE OUT OF VIEW FROM

ADVANCED BASE CAMP.

THE TEAM WAIT WITH BATED BREATH

FOR NEWS OF THE SEASON'S FIRST

SUMMIT.

[ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]

>> WHOO!

>> THEY'RE THE TOUGHEST S.O.B.s

ON THE PLANET.

>> THESE ARE THE REAL HEROES.

THEY SUMMITED ON THE 30th LAST

YEAR, SO IT'S A MATTER OF

MINUTES AND HOURS.

I ACTUALLY THINK THEY MAY HAVE

SUMMITED A BIT EARLIER TODAY.

>> Narrator: PHURBA AND THE

SHERPAS HAVE SUMMITED THEIR

EARLIEST FOR THE SECOND SEASON

RUNNING.

THE CELEBRATION IS BRIEF.

AND WITH THEIR WORK DONE, THEY

MUST GET DOWN OUT OF THE DEATH

ZONE FAST.

>> AND I'LL BET YOU WILL THEY BE

DOWN AT ABC TONIGHT WITH A BIG

SMILE ON THEIR FACES.

>> Narrator: BUT RUSSELL KNOWS

PHURBA AND THE SHERPA TEAM ARE

FAR FROM SAFETY YET.

EXHAUSTED AND BREATHING MINIMAL

LEVELS OF OXYGEN, 80% OF

FATALITIES HAPPEN ON DESCENT.

>> Narrator: DAY 19 ON EVEREST.

RUSSELL'S ADVANCE TEAM OF

SHERPAS HAVE SUMMITED IN GOOD

TIME AND GOOD WEATHER.

AT ADVANCED BASE CAMP, ALL EYES

ARE ON THE SUMMIT RIDGE NEARLY

9,000 FEET ABOVE THEM.

PHURBA AND THE SHERPAS MUST GET

DOWN OUT OF THE DEATH ZONE AND

BEFORE NIGHTFALL.

>> HERE THEY COME, MAN.

YEAH, BUDDY.

YEAH, LOOK AT THIS.

THE SHERPAS ARE COMING DOWN

RIGHT NOW.

>> Narrator: WORKING ON MINIMAL

LEVELS OF OXYGEN AND EXHAUSTED

FROM THE CLIMB, IT IS A LONG AND

DEADLY DESCENT.

80% OF FATALITIES HAPPEN ON THE

WAY DOWN.

>> AND AT QUITE A RATE, REALLY.

THEY'RE NOT MESSING AROUND.

THEY'RE RUNNING.

[ CHUCKLES ]

>> THE SHERPAS ARE DESCENDING

FAST.

BUT MOGENS HAS SPOTTED TWO MORE

CLIMBERS HEADING FOR THE SUMMIT.

>> I RECKON THEY'RE ON THE

RIDGE BELOW.

IT'S ACTUALLY TWO CLIMBERS.

IT'S NOT THE SHERPAS.

>> MOVING REAL SLOW.

>> Narrator: THIS LATE IN THE

DAY, THE TWO MYSTERY CLIMBERS

HAVE NO CHANCE OF MAKING IT TO

THE SUMMIT AND BACK TO CAMP

BEFORE DARK.

>> JUST WONDERING IF THEY'VE GOT

ANY SUPPORT.

>> IT'S GETTING A BIT LATE.

WHERE THEY ARE, THE BOTTOM OF

THE SNOW SLOPE AT THE SUMMIT

PYRAMID, WHICH MEANS AT THE PACE

THEY'RE WALKING AT, THEY HAVE AT

LEAST, I WOULD IMAGINE, TWO

HOURS TO THE SUMMIT.

AND THEN THEY'RE HALFWAY.

>> Narrator: FROM THE TOP DOWN

TO THE HIGHEST CAMP CAN TAKE UP

TO EIGHT HOURS.

>> NO HELICOPTER IS GOING TO

COME FOR THEM.

THERE IS NO ELEVATOR BUILT IN.

THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE TO GO DOWN

BY THEMSELVES, AND THEY MAY HAVE

2 1/2 HOURS OF DAYLIGHT TO GO

DOWN.

SO FOR SURE THEY'LL BE GOING

DOWN IN THE DARK.

>> Narrator: VERY FEW PEOPLE

HAVE SURVIVED A NIGHT OUT IN THE

DEATH ZONE.

THE TWO CLIMBERS HAVE NO SUPPORT

TEAM.

BUT THEY HAD REVEALED THEIR

DARING PLAN TO OTHER CLIMBERS AT

ADVANCED BASE CAMP.

>> WELL, THIS IS MAXUT.

I THINK HE IS 30 OR 31.

AND THIS HERE IS VASSILY.

>> THE TWO OF THEM HAVE CLIMBED

TOGETHER FOR MANY YEARS, SO THEY

KNOW EACH OTHER WELL.

THEY'RE BRIGHT GUYS.

MAXUT'S GOT TWO DEGREES.

HE'S A LAWYER, AND HE'S A VET,

VETERINARIAN.

VASSILY IS A PROFESSIONAL

SPORTSMAN.

THEY CLIMB EVERY SINGLE WEEK

BACK HOME.

THEY DO AT LEAST A 5,000-METER

PEAK EVERY WEEKEND.

>> I WOULD SAY THEY WERE

EXPERTS.

>> YOU SAID THEY'RE WEARING RED?

>> YEAH.

THEY'RE WEARING RED-ORANGE

PACKS, RED JACKETS, RED FOX.

>> Narrator: THE TWO YOUNG

CLIMBERS ARE FROM KAZAKHSTAN,

AND THEY'RE SLOW BECAUSE, LIKE

MOGENS, THEY'RE TRYING TO CLIMB

THE MOUNTAIN WITHOUT BOTTLED

OXYGEN.

>> WE ARE ON THE 30th OF APRIL,

AND THESE GUYS ARE TWO HOURS

FROM THE SUMMIT WITHOUT O's.

>> Narrator: NO ONE EXPECTED

ANYONE BUT THE SHERPAS TO

ATTEMPT THE SUMMIT IN THE COLD,

EARLY DAYS OF THE SEASON,

ESPECIALLY WITHOUT OXYGEN.

>> PROBABLY GONNA BE IN A LITTLE

BIT OF A SURPRISE WHEN THEY COME

DOWN THE SNOW SLOPE AND SEE

COMING UP THAT FRESH ROPE THEY

JUST FIXED ABOUT TWO HOURS AGO.

THOSE TWO KAZAKHSTAN GUYS MUST

HAVE BEEN JUST NIPPING ON THEIR

BUTTS.

>> YEAH.

[ INDISTINCT TALKING ON RADIO ]

>> Narrator: AS THEY PASS THE

SHERPAS, THE KAZAKHS SHOW NO

SIGN OF GIVING UP.

>> THERE'S A BIT OF A PAT ON THE

BACK OR A HANDSHAKE AS THEY PASS

EACH OTHER.

WE CAN SEE THREE SHERPAS COMING

DOWN, AND THERE'S THESE TWO

KAZAKHSTAN GUYS STILL GOING UP

THE SNOW SLOPE, CLOUDS ROLLING

IN.

>> Narrator: THE SHERPAS KNOW IT

IS TIME TO GET OFF THE MOUNTAIN.

THE WEATHER IS CLOSING IN.

BUT THE KAZAKHS ARE STILL

CLIMBING.

>> THE PRESSURE HAS DROPPED 15

POINTS IN THE LAST HOUR, WHICH

MEANS SNOW IS COMING.

>> IT'S COMING IN THIS

DIRECTION.

IT'S THICK AND HEAVY.

>> THREE MINUTES AGO WE COULD

SEE THE SUMMIT, AND IT'S GONE.

IT'S JUST THAT QUICK.

>> THERE IS NO DOUBT THERE IS

GOING TO BE A LOT OF PAIN THIS

AFTERNOON.

>> Narrator: AFTER PASSING

RUSSELL'S SHERPA TEAM, THEY ARE

NOW COMPLETELY ALONE ON THE

MOUNTAIN WITH NO OXYGEN, NO

SUPPORT, AND RUNNING OUT OF

TIME.

>> WHEN YOU'RE NOT GONNA HAVE

INSTALLED WITH O's, YOU KNOW,

YOU GO RIGHT TO WHAT'S HUMANLY

POSSIBLE.

I KNOW THAT EVERY BREATH AND

EVERY STEP IS PURE AGONY.

THEY HAVE ABOUT 33%, 34% OXYGEN

TO THEIR BRAINS.

SO THEY'RE STRETCHED TO THE

LIMIT NOW FOR SURE.

MAYBE EVEN BEYOND THE LIMIT.

>> Narrator: THEY'RE BEYOND

REACH AND WAY BEYOND THE LIMIT.

>> Narrator: WHEN THE SUN FALLS

ON EVEREST, SO DOES THE MERCURY.

NIGHTTIME IN THE DEATH ZONE SEES

TEMPERATURES PLUMMET.

THIS EARLY IN THE SEASON, IT CAN

HIT 40 BELOW.

AT ADVANCED BASE CAMP, THE TEAM

WAIT FOR THE SHERPAS' RETURN.

[ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]

>> [ CHUCKLES ]

[ SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE ]

[ LAUGHS ]

SUMMIT. CONGRATULATIONS.

>> THESE GUYS SUMMITED AT 2:00

THIS AFTERNOON, HAVING WORKED

ALL DAY FIXING ROPES AT THAT

ALTITUDE.

>> CAN'T BELIEVE I SAW THEM ON

THE TELESCOPE THIS AFTERNOON AND

DOWN HERE FOR DINNER TONIGHT.

IT IS JUST TRULY, TRULY, TRULY

AMAZING.

>> INSPIRATION.

YOU CAN'T EVEN FATHOM WHAT THE

BOYS HAVE JUST DONE, AND LOOK AT

THEM.

THEY'RE NOT EVEN, YOU KNOW,

CRAWLING AROUND.

THEY JUST LOOK LIKE THEY JUST

HAD A WALK IN THE PARK.

>> MY HERO.

[ LAUGHTER ]

>> THAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN

THEM AND US.

INCREDIBLE STAMINA, STRENGTH,

STOIC.

>> AMAZING.

>> Narrator: FOR LEAD SHERPA

PHURBA, THIS IS HIS 10th

SUCCESSFUL SUMMIT.

BUT EVEN HE ALMOST DIDN'T MAKE

IT THIS TIME.

>> YEAH? TOO COLD?

>> Narrator: PHURBA LAST SAW THE

YOUNG KAZAKH CLIMBERS JUST BELOW

THE SUMMIT.

>> DID THE KAZAKHSTAN MEMBERS,

SUMMIT?

>> SUMMIT?

WHERE NOW?

OXYGEN?

>> OH, BIG BOYS.

[ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]

>> Narrator: FOR THE SHERPAS,

IT'S FINALLY TIME FOR SOME

R&R.

>> IT IS GOOD TO SEE THEM BACK

AND SEE THEM IN GOOD SPIRITS.

>> I HANG OUT WITH SOME TOUGH

GUYS, BUT THESE GUYS ARE THE

TOPS.

ABSOLUTELY.

NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE IN THE

WORLD, EVERYBODY CELEBRATES,

WITH A LITTLE BIT OF WHISKEY.

[ INDISTINCT CONVERSATIONS ]

WHISKEY AND CHICKEN IS A GOOD

CELEBRATION.

>> IN THE OLD DAYS, I USED TO

WORK WITH THEM, DO THE RUNNING

AROUND AND CARRYING LOADS AND

THINGS LIKE THAT.

AND NOW, OF COURSE, I'M WHAT

THEY CALL "BAAJI."

BAAJI IS THE OLD MAN.

SO BAAJI SITS DOWN AND TALKS

ABOUT IT.

UH, YEAH, IT'S OKAY, BUT NOW I'D

LOVE TO STILL BE UP ON THE

MOUNTAIN WITH THESE GUYS BECAUSE

IT IS A GREAT SPIRIT TO BE

CLIMBING WITH THEM AND WORKING

WITH THEM AND BEING IN THEIR

RHYTHM.

IT'S A FANTASTIC EXPERIENCE TO

DO THAT, BUT I'M MUCH, MUCH TOO

OLD FOR THAT NOW.

>> THANK YOU.

>> TOUGHEST GUYS ON THE PLANET.

[ LAUGHTER ]

>> THAT'S FINE.

SUMMIT AND SAFE RETURN.

>> SUMMIT AND SAFE RETURN.

ALL RIGHT, HOPEFULLY WE'LL BE

STANDING ON THE SUMMIT, TOP OF

WORLD TOGETHER, MY FRIEND.

>> YEAH.

>> WELL, IT'S GREAT THAT WE JUST

GOT OUR SHERPAS BACK IN CAMP,

AND THEY'RE ALL SAFE AND SOUND,

BUT I KEEP THINKING OF THE TWO

KAZAKH CLIMBERS, WHO THE LAST

TIME WE SAW THEM WAS 4:48 IN THE

AFTERNOON, AND THEY WERE AT THE

THIRD STEP.

>> Narrator: LAST SEEN ON THE

THIRD STEP, THEY WERE STILL

HIGHER THAN ANY OTHER MOUNTAIN

ON EARTH WITH JUST ONE HOUR OF

DAYLIGHT LEFT.

>> THEY WERE PUSHING IT VERY

LATE.

YOU KNOW, THEY HAD THIS ONE SHOT

TO DO IT.

THEY WEREN'T GOING TO GO BACK.

>> I ASKED PHURBA ABOUT THEM,

AND THEY PASSED HIM.

THEY DON'T KNOW WHERE THEY'RE

AT.

SO -- IT'S A BIG QUESTION MARK.

I MEAN, PHURBA AND THE BOYS

DON'T KNOW WHERE THEY'RE AT.

HOW COULD WE KNOW?

SO DEFINITELY GOT MY CONCERNS

ABOUT THEM.

I MEAN, IT'S COLD DOWN HERE.

I MEAN, WE'RE REAL COLD.

[ INDISTINCT TALKING ON RADIO ]

>> Narrator: AT 3:00 A.M., THE

KAZAKHS CALL MAYDAY FROM HIGH ON

THE MOUNTAIN.

A SHERPA RESCUE TEAM ARE

SCRAMBLED TO BEGIN THE ASCENT TO

28,000 FEET...

NORMALLY, A THREE-DAY CLIMB.

BUT THE KAZAKHS MAY HAVE ONLY

HOURS BEFORE THE ONSET OF

FROSTBITE AND ACUTE MOUNTAIN

SICKNESS.

NEXT TIME ON "EVEREST"...

THE CLIMBERS FACE RUSSELL'S

FIRST TEST.

>> EACH STEP, YOU FEEL LIKE

YOU'RE GOING TO DIE.

>> Narrator: MAKE CAMP ONE IN

FIVE HOURS OR GET KICKED OFF THE

TEAM.

>> [ Panting ] REALLY HARD.

WHAT TIME IS IT?

>> Narrator: BETSY'S DREAM HANGS

BY A THREAD.

>> SHE'S BEEN LYING IN THE SNOW

FOR THE LAST, 10, 15 MINUTES.

>> Narrator: AND THE KAZAKH

CLIMBERS ARE STILL MISSING.

>> THESE GUYS WERE PLAYING

RUSSIAN ROULETTE.