Mount Everest

Michael Arnstein, My Experience

My numbers on Mt. Everest:

28

Days

+ 3485

meters

Altitude gain (from basecamp)

8849

meters

Highest Point (Summit)

A preface

I was born with a unique nature for risk and adversity; I have also lived a life with influences that have hardened my personality and ambition.

In this writing I will share some of my most personal perspectives as they relate to me. Many readers will not identify with my ideas or characterizations of how I experience life. I myself will likely re-read my writing in future years and not agree or identify so much with some of the things that I will say.

Not all of my feelings and emotions are constant; I have experienced many seasons of change at different times in my life. I am writing about my experience leading up to climbing Mt. Everest and emotions post experience. I have concerns of how some friends, family, colleagues and the public may view me as a person after reading some of the intensities of my thoughts and feelings.

Please keep in mind that while you read my story, I had a very very intense life experience which has created some extreme responses, I do feel some genuine post traumatic stress from the experience.

My name is Michael Arnstein.
This is my story of climbing Mt. Everest.

My steps to climb Mt. Everest started when I was just 13 years old.

December 1990

Heavenly Valley California 10,000ft elevation

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Fast Forward 34 years: The Boston Marathon.

April 2024

Hopkinton Massachusetts

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The day after my 25th finish of the Boston Marathon I boarded a flight for Kathmandu. It is time for me to revisit the Sierra Nevada Mountains of fear and terror, I long for the kindling that keeps willing, the fire of survival burning hot.

I arrived in Kathmandu with a steadied mind, I am calloused in foot and hand. This is my time. I feel genuinely prepared. I am excited.

Within an hour of landing I am literally moving to a helicopter that will fly 1 hour to the portal village to the Himalayan mountains Lukla; the Tenzing Hillary helipad at the footsteps to the largest mountains on planet earth.

BASECAMP

Arriving in Basecamp for the 2nd time in my life (first time was the previous year when I hiked there on my initial exploratory efforts to seriously consider an attempt to climb Mt. Everest.)

I would have thought being back at Basecamp for the 2nd time would be a bit less exciting, but nope, I was possibly more excited this time. The scene for a mountain guy like myself was disney world x 10, everything. Everything was simply ‘wow’ to be around.

KHUMBU
ICE FALL

Basecamp to Camp 1

God damn it, everyone just wants easy, pass the buck, white glove service, 1 click. Done.

When the robots and Ai take over we shouldn’t be worried about anything other than suicide. The robots won’t have to kill us, they know we’ll all self implode automatically from total void of self enlightenment which I believe is only found through the locker of pain.

When everything is done for us we will concede defeat and end our existence voluntarily.

But not me. No.

I would rather die freezing on the mountain alone with my dignity rather then surrendering to the lore of luxury and excess. Never do I bow to the gods of social media and plastic surgery. I would rather dine with rats than have a butler or nurse wash my sanity and self worth away.

And so I decide I will go. I will enter the abyss, the unknown risks ahead in the icefalls. I sign my name on the line to a duel with the angel of death.

I imagine God watching from the sidelines as I sign the papers for my test ahead. And God said Ok.

At 4am I step off into the darkness of the khumbu icefalls. The cold air and ice under foot create an unmistakable sound as the steel crampons pierce the ground. It’s not a soothing noise. My breath blows into view from my headlamp as if I’m smoking a pipe, the dry air mixes with the humidity of my breath and twirls in circles fading into the darkness.

This continues for hours. I keep my primal Balangoda caveman mind set clicking away. It is working as good today as it was 38,000 years ago. I don’t think about time, it does not matter here. We are in the place of primal survival. Fear is the enemy. I will not die today.

With each step, I step over the remote controls and lazy boy chairs of my life. I want more weight in my bag, more wind in my face, more ice and rock, searing sun and biting cold; where is the harder road to travel, damn it, I hate everything and anything that is easy, I want suffering and agony to feel that I am alive, that I want to strive to survive; I need to relive and revive that beast of 20,000 old DNA within me.
Dear god let me find peace in my suffering here on Mt. Everest.

Camp 2 to Camp 3

HIGH ALTITUDE BREATHING

This is a clip going On a moderate incline it feels easier to take faster steps, but it doesn’t take very long before you are breathing as if in a 1 mile running race. Here’s natural respiration as I was heading from Camp 2 to Camp 3 at about 22,000ft elevation on a moderate incline:

Camp 3 to Camp 4

SOUTH COL,
SOUTH SHOLDER,
THE DEATH ZONE

This is a clip going On a moderate incline it feels easier to take faster steps, but it doesn’t take very long before you are breathing as if in a 1 mile running race. Here’s natural respiration as I was heading from Camp 2 to Camp 3 at about 22,000ft elevation on a moderate incline:

Camp 4 South Col to Mt. Everest Summit

SUMMIT PUSH!

Then it happened: The Summit of Mt. Everest.

The visibility was very bad, maybe there was 200ft of view when you looked up from your footing. Head down, step. Step. very carefully. Many places it was hands and knees crawling up small rock faces and looking at snow cornices for solid footing. Cliffs on both sides, jagged rock; wind, snow and of course the highest level of anxiety that my mask might freeze up any moment.

I didn’t see the summit coming, it snuck up on me.

I looked up and suddenly it was there, Right there, like out of nowhere, out of the clouds I was practically standing on top of the mountain before I even realized it. I made an audible ‘oh my god there it is’. The adrenaline was through the roof, my respiration as if I was finishing a marathon, every sense and moment was heightened beyond what I can explain in words; all along with a mountain of panic and fear mixed in. I have never felt so terrified and excited in the same moment. My God was this an experience of a lifetime.

EVEREST
SUMMIT

8,849mts.

Picture

Arrived at Kathmandu, Nepal

Watch Video April 17 2024
Movie

Khumb Ice Fall

Basecamp to Camp 1

At 4am I step off into the darkness of the khumbu icefalls. The cold air and ice under foot create an unmistakable sound as the steel crampons pierce the ground. It’s not a soothing noise. My breath blows into view from my headlamp as if I’m smoking a pipe, the dry air mixes with the humidity of my breath and twirls in circles fading into the darkness.

Ver Video April 17 2024
Picture

Camp 1 to Camp 2

Técnico ambiental de los demandantes confirma la remediación de Texaco.

Ver Documento April 17 2024
Location

Camp 2 to Camp 3

High Altitude Breathing.

This is a clip going On a moderate incline it feels easier to take faster steps, but it doesn’t take very long before you are breathing as if in a 1 mile running race. Here’s natural respiration as I was heading from Camp 2 to Camp 3 at about 22,000ft elevation on a moderate incline.

Watch Video
Location

Camp 3 to Camp 4

South Col. South Sholder. The Death Zone.

Steven Donziger confirma que no tiene pruebas para sustentar las acusaciones contra Chevron.

Ver Documento April 17 2024
Movie

Summit Push

Camp 4 (South Col.) to Mt. Everest summit.

Ver Video

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