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Questions and Responses
Set 3, posted May 4, 1999
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When you're on Everest, in addition to the physical challenges you confront daily, do you feel any sense that you are part of a very special tradition, especially as your present trip has as its goal to search of Mallory and Irvine, or what happened to them?

Good Luck!

Jim Sitrick
Washington DC

Response from Liesl Clark, NOVA Producer:

Yes, for us on Everest this year we often feel a part of the grander historical picture as every step we take is in the footsteps of George Leigh Mallory and Andrew Irvine. We have a full library of books that can take us back to the early reconnaissance expeditions of the 1920s.


I'm 25 years old and I've never tried to climb any mountain. I'm in a good physical situation, although not at my best. I'm very interested in engaging in the adventure and spiritual experience of climbing Mountain Everest. Do you believe it's possible? What are the first steps I should take to achieve this target?

Hope hearing soon from you,
Yours sincerely,

Emerson Leite
Sao Paulo, Brazil

Response from Liesl Clark, NOVA Producer:

You should start on small peaks near you and work your way up to higher peaks. To be prepared for an Everest climb, you should have climbed in the Himalayas before and preferably an 8,000 meter peak. It is important to have good technical experience climbing in glaciers with crampons and using fixed ropes.


If you find the body, are you going to return it to the family, or bring it back for a burial after all these years? What are the family's wishes?

Thanks, and have a safe climb!

Dale S. Dervin
Columbus, Ohio

Response from Liesl Clark, NOVA Producer:

At 27,000 feet, it would be impossible to bring the body down, as climbers at that elevation have a tough time even getting themselves down. The team plans to return to the family any important relics that might be found with the body (ice axe, harness, etc).

The families gave us their blessings to conduct this search.


This might be an unusual question but what is it like to look into the night sky on Mt. Everest? On a clear night do starts cover the sky? I am curious because I always hear that our atmosphere interferes with telescopes. Is this greatly reduced or unnoticeable on Everest?


Tom Paine
Ft Worth, TX

Response from Liesl Clark, NOVA Producer:

The stars are really bring up here in the clear air above Everest. But what is truly amazing is the full moon, which lights up the sky so well you could read under it.

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