When most people hit the Everest summit they keep it short and sweet, hanging out just long enough to take a few photos sufficient for lifelong bragging rights. Three Sherpa brothers are defying the pattern this spring as they strive to stay on the peak for a bit longer--a whopping 24 hours straight.
No strangers to the mountain, Pemba Dorje, Nima Gyalzen, and Phurba Tenzing have collectively summitted Everest 16 times. Dorje even set the record for fastest ascent at eight hours and 10 minutes. Together, they hope to cinch another record by surpassing Babu Chhiri who was at the summit for 21 hours.
More than just stunning views await the three brothers--temperatures on Everest in May usually hit -25 degrees Fahrenheit with winds gusts up to 100 mph. Chhiri said after his record breaking stay that he didn't sleep for fear he wouldn't wake up.
Call me crazy, but I tend to avoid hanging out in places named "the death zone" any longer than necessary. Dorje told The New York Times, however, that he felt right at home at the highest point in the world, saying, "It is going to be difficult but I know we can do it. I feel safer on the mountain trail than on the city streets."
There must be something in the air because this spring sure feels like record breaking season on Everest--on Monday we heard about a Sherpa guide named Appa who is going for his 19th summit this May and BACKPACKER recently spoke to Everest guide Lakpa Rita Sherpa who became the first Sherpa to climb the Seven Summits this year.
We hope nothing but the best for the three brothers but can't help wondering what they're going to do other than pray. I suggest a friendly game of I spy from the top of the world.