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Everest No Filter Gallery of Adrian Ballinger and Cory Richards on their North Side Approach
Posted on May 13, 2016

With a delay in getting permission to enter Tibet, China the climbing team needed to get some altitude to acclimatize. Waiting in Kathmandu for 10 days was not an option. So the trek began in the Khumbu region of Nepal, one of the most traveled trekking circuits in the Himalaya. Adrian Ballinger crosses one of the many suspension bridges through out the valley on his way to Namche Bazzar.

As you may have heard via Instagram, the CBS Morning News or their live Snapchat coverage, Eddie Bauer climbers Adrian Ballinger and Cory Richards are currently attempting Everest via the north side route without supplemental oxygen. It’s a massive objective—with only 3 percent of attempts without Os resulting in a successful summit—yet Ballinger and Richards have brought a different more approachable vibe to the experience via their good humor, unfiltered perspectives and new social media outlook.

Climbers Adrian Ballinger and Cory Richards move out from ABC toward the North Col on their first rotation to 23,000 feet.

Images and Captions by Mark Stone

We’re—of course—cheering them on and consuming their feeds. From showering and tooth brushing at 21,000 feet and tracking their constantly evolving hairstyles to the importance of yoga pants on Everest, every little detail and response has been enthralling to see and hear. They’ve also utilized some of our best expedition gear, from our minus 30 sleeping bag and the Sandstone soft shell to this fall’s new Alpine Downlight parka and our Everest-proven Katabatic tent—putting our gear to test in one of the world’s harshest environments.

While there have been no shortage of video clips and still images published on new media from the climb, there was also another angle to just getting to their climb on the less traveled north side route. We sent photographer Mark Stone along with them on the first part of their journey to advanced base camp in Tibet to capture what it was like. Today, we’re posting a retroactive gallery from Mark on that first part of the journey and reposting Wednesday’s coverage from CBS below. —LYA Editor

With the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Boudhanath Stupa in the background, climbers Cory Richards and Adrian Ballinger take in some of the cultural antiquities. The Boudhanath was damaged in the 2015 earthquake and is currently under repair. The team's journey started in the capitol of Nepal and took them thousands of miles away to the northern reaches of the Himalaya in Tibet.

 

Top: With a delay in getting permission to enter Tibet, China the climbing team needed to get some altitude to acclimatize. Waiting in Kathmandu for 10 days was not an option. So the trek began in the Khumbu region of Nepal, one of the most traveled trekking circuits in the Himalaya. Adrian Ballinger crosses one of the many suspension bridges through out the valley on his way to Namche Bazzar.

Second Image: Climbers Adrian Ballinger and Cory Richards move out from ABC toward the North Col on their first rotation to 23,000 feet.

Above:  With the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Boudhanath Stupa in the background, climbers Cory Richards and Adrian Ballinger take in some of the cultural antiquities. The Boudhanath was damaged in the 2015 earthquake and is currently under repair. The team’s journey started in the capitol of Nepal and took them thousands of miles away to the northern reaches of the Himalaya in Tibet.

L to R: 1. Eddie Bauer climber Cory Richards, passes a beautiful boulder carved painstakingly with the Mani mantra “Om mani padre hum” or “Hail to the jewel in the lotus”, on his way for more altitude up the Khumbu valley, Nepal. 2. Eddie Bauer climber, Cory Richards gets in a leg-strengthening workout, with the iconic pyramid of Ama Dablam in the background, as he moves higher up the Khumbu Valley.  He and Adrian Ballinger moved from Lukla to the base of Island Peak in a mere three days, a walk that most guides recommend in nine to 10. 3. Ama Dablam with the Milky Way above and flowing glacial creek below.

Eddie Bauer climbers Cory Richards and Adrian Ballinger get a tag hike up to Chukhung Ri a col with spectacular 360 views of Ama as well as the Lhotse face.

 

Above: Eddie Bauer climbers Cory Richards and Adrian Ballinger get a tag hike up to Chukhung Ri a col with spectacular 360 views of Ama as well as the Lhotse face.

L to R: 1. A second flight from Kathmandu to Lhasa was aborted and redirected 2,000 kilometers away. Cory Richards waits to see where the Chinese government will decide to put he and his gear for the night. With technically only a visa for the area of Tibet, the team bets there will be government involvement. 2. After spending as much time at altitude as possible, to save legs and time, the summit team catches a lift from one of the new B-3 choppers that is helping move people, gear and save lives throughout the valley. The pilot, a Kiwi, picked up five passengers and all their gear as he lifted off said, “she’s got power to spare, should have picked up all the potatoes too”. 3. Eddie Bauer climber Cory Richards gets a move on in his push up to sleep above 20,000ft on Island Peak.  He and Adrian Ballinger in the first month of acclimatizing for their push to summit Mt Everest with out oxygen.

After multiple flights and finally reaching Lhasa, Tibet moving gear becomes second nature. Bryan Osoro on the Alpenglow Expeditions climbing team finds the elevators a bit small for the Maximus Duffle.

 

Above: After multiple flights and finally reaching Lhasa, Tibet moving gear becomes second nature. Bryan Osoro on the Alpenglow Expeditions climbing team finds the elevators a bit small for the Maximus Duffle.

L to R: 1. Cory Richards gets some time to explore the ancient streets of Lhasa. The narrow alleys are a sign of the ancient history of the city but are to be traversed carefully as the modern world of vehicles have taken over. 2. The trek to base camp on the north side through Tibet, China is much different from the valley walk of the Khumbu.It takes the form of bus rides and hotel stays.  With 10-hour days driving on winding roads the morning gear load starts early for Adrian Ballinger. 3. Cory Richards gets asked to checkout the merchandise at a short stop at one of the three16,000-foot passes on the way to Everest base camp. Bracelets, necklaces of varying qualities and prayer flags abound at these bathroom pit stops along the journey.

Cory Richards looks to settle into his Katabatic Tent for the night with a sea of stars as nightlights. Fierce winds on this glacier moraine plain daily whip down valley picking up dust and debris.

 

Above: Cory Richards looks to settle into his Katabatic Tent for the night with a sea of stars as nightlights. Fierce winds on this glacier moraine plain daily whip down valley picking up dust and debris.

L to R: 1. Yak herders hired by teams tighten down gear loads to move up to Advanced Base Camp at 21,500 feet by yak. Each load cost about $300 USD to move up. 2. North side base camp can now be accessed by vehicle and makes the scene a bit of a parking lot feel, but at over 17,000 feet some time is needed here for teams to acclimatize.  Cory Richards packs up his Alchemist with photo gear for the six-mile hike up valley to Interim Base Camp (IBC). 3. Base camp on the north side route in Tibet.

Cory Richards and Adrian Ballinger move up from ABC through the penitentes toward Crampon Point, where they will begin climbing toward the North Col.

 

Above: Cory Richards and Adrian Ballinger move up from ABC through the penitentes toward Crampon Point, where they will begin climbing toward the North Col. 

L to R: 1. Adrian Ballinger puts on crampons while Cory Richards pulls gear preparing for their first rotation up to North Col at 23,000 feet. 2. Adrian Ballinger and Cory Richards discuss with their Sherpa team weather and moving gear up to North Col camp and beyond. 3. Alpenglow team guide Zeb Blais gets some ice climbing practice in on the ice penitents at ABC. Team members spend four to five days here getting acclimatized to the new altitude.

The nighttime scene at 17,000 feet.

Above: The nighttime scene at 17,000 feet, Everest north side base camp.

Follow the climb via EverestNoFilter on Snapchat or via @CoryRichardsNG and @eddiebauer on Instagram and check back for updates on the LiveYourAdvenure blog and Eddie Bauer Facebook feed.

Author: - Friday, May 13th, 2016
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