Oregon native Chad Gaston successfully made it to the highest spot on Earth May 22 and has now descended back down to the real world.
Gaston, 39, is one of a team of eight that reached the summit of Mt. Everest, 29,035 feet above sea level. He made it back to Base Camp 4.
“I’m back at basecamp with the whole team, beat up a bit but safe,” he wrote in his blog May 25. “What an adventure, what a dream come true, and what a nightmare!”
The climb took Gaston far from his home in the tropics.
The 1998 Oregon High School graduate owns the Iguana Surf Shop surf shop in Tamarindo, Costa Rica, with his sister, Lindsey Gaston, 37.
The temperature on Mt. Everest, which straddles the border of Nepal and China in the Himalayan Mountains, never rises above freezing, and this time of year, hovers around 0.
Gaston, the son of Lamont Gaston and White Pines Resort President Elizabeth George has chronicled his two-month adventure on his Facebook page, and a blog.
An experienced climber, he has chronicled his journey climbing glaciers, dodging avalanches, riding out ice storms and just generally thumbing his nose at death.
Read all about his expedition “including the joys of snoring, peeing, and battling a sinus infection at high altitudes” and to view some stunning photos on his Facebook page and at frostyoneverest.home.blog.
So far this year, 11 people have died in the effort to climb Mt. Everest.
During the week of May 20, crowds of climbers became delayed in a long line headed to the summit, above the mountain’s highest camp at 26,247 feet.
Experts say most people can only spend a matter of minutes at the summit without extra oxygen supplies, and the area where climbers have been stuck is sometimes called the “death zone.”
Mountaineers have suggested that difficult weather conditions, the climbers’ lack of experience, and the growing commercialization of expeditions have contributed to the queue of climbers waiting to get to the peak.