As he so often does, Alan Arnette has managed to once again put things into perspective when it comes to Mt. Everest. In his latest update, entitled Tweeting From Everest, Alan talks about how far we’ve come in terms of being able to communicate to and from the mountain, and how it has changed the way the mountaineers approach their expeditions, and how we follow along back home.
Alan notest that when he first went to Everest, he was able to send brief messages back to the world at $1 per character. His “Hi, I’m back safely” note set him back $19 just to be able to tell friends and family that he was down and in one piece. He also says that without his satellite phone, he’d be lost on his major expeditions, and that underscores how vital a connection back to the “real world” is to today’s climbers. In the old days, it was practically a media blackout while climbing for two months. Now, with the Internet virtually everywhere, it is another good way to pass the time while in BC.
Social media, such as Facebook and Twitter have certainly changed the way we can stay in touch while we travel or follow along with teams as they climb. Alan also points out that nearly every climber and/or team has a blog that posts regular updates from Everest to keep those back at home informed and in touch. A far cry from years passed when climbers literally disappeared off the grid for two months.
The article is really an interesting one, discussing how communications and the Internet have had an impact on everything revolves around everest, including how First Ascent used the whole expedition to promote their new gear. Alan goes on to talk about the top places on the web for information on the expeditions (Thanks for the shout out Alan!) and how that has effected our perceptions of what is happening at any given time on the mountain.
Another nice article, and further sets the stage for the season ahead. It’s going to be an exciting one.