It’s mid-April, which means it’s Everest climbing season!
Last year, Adrian Ballinger and Cory Richards made headlines for their attempt to scale Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen. Although a commendable accomplishment, climbing without oxygen isn’t what made their quest so notable. What was truly unique was their use of Snapchat, the new social media platform which recently went public in a huge Wall Street IPO.
They dubbed their attempt #EverestNoFilter
Ballinger and Richards used Snapchat to show a glimpse into the rarefied world of high-altitude expedition climbing. Going far beyond the summit shot, the pair took us on every step of their journey, from flying into Kathmandu, to trekking up the Khumbu Valley, the the Sherpa ceremonies and the friendly faces that helped support every attempt on the summit.
Last year, Cory Richards reached the summit, but Adrian Ballinger was forced to turn back, just a few hundred meters from the summit, due to cold. A smart and experienced mountaineer, Ballinger knew bagging the summit wasn’t worth risking his fingers, toes, or his life. His decision to turn back even as his partner forged on must have been incredibly difficult — but it was the right one. He lived to try again.
So, of course, the pair had to go back to try and bag the summit for Adrian. And they’re bringing Snapchat along again. Here’s a video from last year’s attempt:
The big difference? This time, they’re attempting to climb the mountain from the Tibetan side. Mount Everest straddles the border between Nepal and Tibet, and achievable routes adorn both sides. The Tibetan side is generally less-traveled, due to the difficulties involved in obtaining a Chinese visa for the region. But after deadly disasters on the Nepali side in two of the last three years, more mountaineers and guiding companies are looking seriously at climbing the mountain from the Tibetan side.
Right now, Ballinger and Richards have just arrived at Base Camp, which means the fun is just about to begin. I highly recommend you download snapchat and check out their story: @EverestNoFilter
It provides a really cool, unmatched insight into the daily lives and efforts of people who do these superhuman things. As a storyteller, that’s really all I care about.
I’ll be rooting for them.