Jake Norton is 25 years old and lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He guided on
Mt. Rainier for five years. His mountaineering career has taken him to Cho Oyu in the Himalayas,
Mt McKinley in Alaska, the Alps, and the Andes. This is Norton's first trip to Everest.
NOVA: How do you think you'll perform on Everest, and are you hoping to do more than
just climb the mountain on this trip?
NORTON: Now that we're partway through the trip I definitely feel better about my own
abilities. Having been up to the Col and up to 25,000 feet I feel strong enough to do the
mountain. I know the Second Step will scare me pretty well. I'm definitely excited that
this isn't just your 'run of the mill' Everest trip—that 's what drew me in the first
place. And I think we have a good chance of accomplishing some of our goals on this expedition.
NOVA: What are your fears up there?
NORTON: I think my biggest fears—I've only once been above 26,400 feet—is that it's still a relatively new game for me. The big fears are the little errors you can make at altitude,
like forgetting to put on warm gloves or being less sure-footed. The terrain is steep, slabby, there's loose
junk rock, and my fear is whether I'll be able to keep my mind up to par, with the component of altitude thrown in.