I loved hearing about how Hari started climbing mountains, but I’m even more excited for tomorrow’s release of the second half of his interview, in which he talks about his experiences in the Himalaya this past spring. I remember very clearly the day that I learned Hari was planning on climbing Lhotse. It was back in the fall of last year when Mike, Hari, and I met up for lunch one day at a cafe on campus. Actually, Hari had already eaten, so he just sipped on a can of Coke as he explained to us that he wanted to make the summit bid without oxygen, and that he was spending a lot of time getting his gear together and figuring out how to finance his trip. I had never even heard of Lhotse before that, and as we sat there together at the outdoor cafe table, all of us sweating a bit in the sun, surrounded by students eating lunch, it was hard to imagine any experience that was remotely icy or physically strenuous or oxygen-thin. But this is the kind of landscape Hari was going to.
(Photo credit: Hari Mix. Everest/Lhotse base camp.)
(Photo credit: Hari Mix. This was his view looking up towards the peak of Lhotse from camp 2.)
If you were like me and didn’t know anything about Lhotse, here are a few basics to prep you for tomorrow’s episode. Lhotse is the 4th highest mountain in the world, and it happens to be neighbors with Mt. Everest. In fact, the route up Lhotse shares Everest base camp, and follows the standard Everest route until camp 3, after which the trail splits off onto the Lhotse face. Here’s an Everest route map, for reference.
And to give you an idea of the badassery to come, here’s some incredible tape that Hari shot at Lhotse using a helmet camera. The video really gives you a sense for how intense a climb it was, and I like how it also provides you with Hari’s point of view as he navigates huge crevasses, steep slopes, and the infamously tricky ice falls.
Be sure to check back in tomorrow to hear part 2 of Hari’s interview, in which he talks about his summit bid for Lhotse and his thoughts on where he might take his mountaineering in the future. Hari also posted over 200 beautiful photos from Lhotse at his blog here.
By Leslie Chang