Discovery Channel aired the sixth episode of Everest: Beyond The Limit tonight, and the episode began right where we left off last week. The first summit team is moving up from Camp 1 to Camp 2, while the second summit team departs ABC for Camp 1, the first step in their summit bid.
We’re presented with footage of big Tm Medvetz, the biker who turned back last year just a few hundred feet from the summit. He’s already struggling this season, and last week we saw footage of team leader Russell Brice threatening to pull him off the mountain if Tim didn’t get his ass in gear.
Trying to maintain the pace takes it’s toll on him however, and he’s clearly having a tough time. Footage from last year demonstrates how he struggled back then, and it seems not much has changed this season. In the end however, he makes Camp 2 before the deadline, gaining the opportunity to move up the next day to Camp 3.
I’ve mentioned that one of the highlights for this season has been the team doctor Monica. After being absent last week, she re-appears this week, in time to help an Irish climber who had summitted and then suffered from snow blindness on the descent.
She treats him expertly and we get to watch as she applies medicine to his eyes, and then wraps them up. It’s a scary sight, seeing a man who lost his vision on the mountain. But she assures him he’ll be fine and that in time his sight will return.
As the episode moves along, another team approaches Russell for help. Several of their climbers, all Italian, have gone missing, and they ask for help from the HimEx squad. The team communicates over the radios, but no one has seen the missing climbers. The Sherpas begin to spread out on the mountain, looking for missing men, and eventually two of them show up, 3000 feet lower on the mountain than expected.
One of the other men is later found in his tent at high camp, suffering from exhaustion and exposure. He’s brought down the mountain safely, but the fourth team member is never found, a grim reminder of how dangerous things can be on Everest.
Meanwhile, team one continues up to Camp 3, with Tim moving well thanks to the fact that he decided to start using oxygen at Camp 2, and it made all the difference for him, but for Mogens, his asthma catches up with him, and he begins to suffer from the early signs of altitude sickness.
Much like last year, he is having a tough time breathing, and he refuses to use oxygen. He’s a strong climber, but his insistence on climbing with out supplemental O2 caused him to not summit last year, and is already putting his current climb in jeopardy.
As the episode winds down we see Mogens finally decide to put on the oxygen tanks. He was facing the real possibility that he would go home and never return to the mountain, so it was in his best interest to use the oxygen, and finally give the summit a real shot.
Team 1 moves up, out of Camp 3, and into the “Death Zone”. They’ll make one more stop at C4 before Summit Day and their eventual assault on the summit itself. They’re all on oxygen at this point, and combating dehydration along with all the other problems that come with being above 26,000 feet on Everest.
When they come across a dead body near C4, they all get a bit contemplative about their own mortality. The show ends with team 1 grabbing some rest before they’ll make their summit bid in next week’s show.
Aside from this summary, there isn’t much else to say about the episode. We’re fully into the climb now, and this is when the show is at it’s best. We’ve put all the drama from the earlier episodes behind us and now it’s all about the natural drama that comes with the climb.
At this point, you just want to sit back and watch, and soak in the whole experience. That’s even esier to do while watching in HD. The footage is so amazing, I think I may have caught some frostbite.
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