The second half of Discovery Channel’s Everest double feature began tonight as well. The show entitled After The Climb is hosted by Phil Keoghan of Amazing Race fame. Phil hosted a round table discussion about the climb that included Russell Brice, David Tait, Tim Medvetz, Betsy Huelskamp , and Mogens Jensen. There were also joined by a couple of high altitude doctors, as well as Peter Hillary, son of Sir Edmund Hillary. Late in the show Pete Athans makes an appearance as well.
The discussion was fairly straight forward, with out too many surprises, although they did give away a bit of what is yet to come on Beyond The Limit. When speaking to Tim and Mogens, the questions stayed pretty basic, talking about their experiences and why they wanted to climb the mountain.
When Betsy joined the crew, she admitted that she never felt like she was going to make the summit. She bought her gear just a few days before leaving, didn’t have the skills she needed, but wanted to go anyway. Her moment on the show was very brief, and her attitude was very different than the on that portrayed in her blog upon her return this past Summer. After seeing her on this show, I can’t help but wonder what all the ruckus was just a few months ago, as she certainly didn’t confront Brice about her purported mistreatment while on the mountain, nor did she make any attempt to disagree with Brice’s decision to keep her off the team. It all seems like a non-story now, several months later.
For me, the best part of the show was listening to David Tait talk about his attempt at the Double Traverse. He once again explained why he abandoned his efforts, and you can’t help but respect the guy for giving up on his goal because he personally knew it would be a tarnished record, if only in his own mind, because Phurba was so obviously a much stronger climber. It was an honorable thing that he did and it’s amazing that he passed on the attempt in deference to Phurba. Everest, and mountaineering in general, could use more men like David Tait.
Part of the show focused on the Sherpas and their role in the climb, and it’s great that they have taken such efforts to highlight the efforts of these amazing men and women. Listening to Peter Hillary talk about how climbing has changed since his father first topped out on Everest, along with Tenzing Norgay, was also very cool.
All in all, the show made for an interesting hour, although I have a hard time seeing how they’re going to stretch this discussion out over the next several weeks. It seems like it should have been a two hour special after the original show is finally done. I wasn’t completely pulled into the conversation, although it was interesting. Personally, they could have left Tim, Betsy, and Mogens out of the roundtable all together and had more discussion with Brice, Peter Hilary, and Pete Athans. Maybe through Ed Veisturs into the mix and you’ve got some compelling stuff.
I’ll continue to watch just to see how it relates back to Beyond The Limit, but for the most part, I wasn’t overly impressed with this first episode.
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