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The Summit Day
part 3 | back to part 2

Moving Up the Mountain
IMAX shoot The team has been up to Camp 3 and back to Base Camp four times now, a total of 24,000 vertical feet of climbing at high altitudes. It's been a long season for them, having been among the first to arrive at Base Camp nearly 8 weeks ago and now among the very last to leave. But with an IMAX/IWERKS large format film to shoot, in addition to reaching the summit of Everest, they know the task they set out to accomplish was never going to be easy. Most of their time has been spent filming and waiting for ideal weather conditions to make their summit attempt. Sumiyo(Click here to hear David talk about why he's here.) After being on the mountain for what seems like an eternity, Sumiyo comments: "When I finish my climbing I wish to have a hot bath and fresh bed sheets, just a blanket on my body. I wish to run away from this small tent and this narrow sleeping bag. That is my wish I think."

Where mountains are concerned, it's best to err on the side of safety, and both David and Ed, the veteran climbers of the group, are cautious about the summit day. Ed For Ed, conditions have to be perfect for a team to reach the top: "It's weather conditions, the snow conditions, your attitude, your will, your health, and still how strong you are. All that has to come together on that one summit day. If one of those things is not there, you're not going to make it. Everything has to be perfect and everything has to click on that one day." If focus is what it takes to make it to the top, Ed Viesturs is the most likely to get there: "For me everything is now pointed to the summit day. Getting myself prepared mentally and physically for that one day. All the days in between I know I can handle. It's that summit day which I know is going to be super taxing physically and mentally. So it's like I'm preparing for a test, I'm studying now for the final exam." Click here to hear Ed talk about what happens if you don't make the summit and want to try again.

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Photos: (1) courtesy Robert Schauer; (2-3) Liesl Clark.

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