For the first time in two years, climbers have reached the summit of Mount Everest, the world’s tallest mountain.
On Thursday, “9 Sherpa using supplemental oxygen became the first to summit on the South Side of Everest in the past 3 years [sic],” climber Adrian Balinger posted on Instagram.
Professional climbers Adrian Ballinger and Cory Richards are documenting their journey using the #EverestNoFilter hashtag on Instagram and Snapchat.
Fatal avalanches forced the closure of the two previous climbing seasons on the 29,028-foot-tall mountain.
The duo is climbing without supplemental oxygen, although their Sherpa support team is using it.
Ballinger has summited Everest six times.
“Lots of friends in the fixing team, and they called us from the summit at 5pm, exhilarated. Congratulations!”
Richards, a National Geographic photography fellow, has never reached the Everest summit.
He did survive an avalanche during a 2012 climb in Pakistan.
He still carries memories of surviving that day.
“Today, we climbed through snow and cloud,” he posted on Instagram. “The heat caused by the convection cycle triggered repeated small avalanches that would rumble over seracs obscured by a thick fog on either side.
“This day, and the mood that I was brining [sic] to it was reminiscent of a not so good day I had in the mountains several years ago when one of the distant rumbles became not so distant and engulfed my partners and I.”
“the truth is the mountains are indiscriminate. They don’t care.
“They shine when it is sunny and they fall when it is snowy.
“It’s what we bring to them that defines our experience…and maybe even more important, its how we are changed by them and what we bring home and share that matters most.”