Watch out for avalanches, which sound like bombs bursting. Beware of 100-foot crevasses – seemingly bottomless holes that are covered with a light dusting of snow, so you can’t tell they are there. Imagine being surrounded by below-freezing temperatures, winds that can flatten you in an instant, and infinite vistas of ice.
Mount Everest – which is located in the Himalayan mountain range, on the Tibet-Nepal border – is the highest mountain peak in the world. Explorers view climbing Mount Everest as the ultimate challenge. Many people have attempted to climb Mount Everest … only to die trying. Often their bodies aren’t even found. There isn’t much oxygen that high above sea level, which makes it difficult even to catch your breath. It’s easy to become buried under miles of snow and ice and rock.
But some people live for a challenge.
In 1924 an explorer named George Mallory was asked why he wanted to climb Mount Everest. He answered: “Because it is there.”
Now you can learn everything you ever wanted to know about climbing Mount Everest. You can find out what explorers at Everest’s base camp have for dinner: Spam, potatoes, and Tibetan bread. You’ll see what a person’s fingers look like after they’ve suffered frostbite, and are in danger of falling off. You’ll get a list of the gear you’ll need for your climb. And you’ll find out how to go to the bathroom while wearing a one-piece Gore-Tex oversuit with no holes.
Just check out The Young Adventurer’s Guide to EVEREST: From Avalanche to Zopkio by Jonathan Chester, just published by Berkeley’s Tricycle Press. Chester is a Berkeley author who’s spent years mountain-climbing, and he’s the author of several other books for adults and children about the varied subjects of penguins, Antartica, and climbing. Chester’s writing is clear, gracefully informative, and flat out exciting. And the photographs which fill this beautiful book are glorious … lush and sparkling sharp as a winter morning at 40 below.