Meet the Guys Who Snapchatted Their Climb Up Everest

Nepal Backpacking
by Matt Hershberger Jun 9, 2016

CLIMBING MOUNT EVEREST IS NOT a simple feat. The full expedition takes around two months, and it involves an insane amount of physical effort. The environment on Everest is, at best, extremely dangerous, and for every 1000 climbers who make it to the summit, 36 die.

But most of the depictions we get of Everest aren’t either harrowing or overly dramatized. We don’t really get to see what the day-to-day of climbing the mountain looks like. Until now.

Cory Richards and Adrian Ballinger took the time during this year’s climb to document their trip on social media. The coolest part is undoubtedly their Snapchat #EverestNoFilter (the video clip above shows the “Best Of” reel), where they manage to capture the drama, the mundanity, and the goofy parts of climbing the world’s tallest mountain. The two also documented the trip on Instagram.

@adrianballinger dwarfed by the immensity of the Himalaya. Because of delays in border crossings, we acclimatized for eight days in the Khumbu before crossing to Tibet. In order to avoid the icefall and putting climbers and Sherpa through unnecessary risk, we’ve opted to attempt Everest without supplementary oxygen from the North this year. We are doing a live Snapchat story from Everest BC today on the north side. You can also follow our unfiltered 360 degree look at an Everest expedition at EverestNoFilter on snapchat (adrianjb and crichardsphoto personal snapchats) #everestnofilter @eddiebauer #liveyouradventure

A photo posted by Cory Richards (@coryrichards) on

Hey @adrianballinger What’s next? Sunrise at 28,800 ft on Everest. @eddiebauer #liveyouradventure

A photo posted by Cory Richards (@coryrichards) on

“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Aristotle I posted a similar image to this about two weeks and talked to the points of team work. That was the impersonal view…this one is about partnership. I’ve spent the past two months with @adrianballinger on the North side of Everest. That time Passed with a blink. His overwhelming and genuine psych, his deep level of respect and understanding of personal nuance and needs, and his true desire to act as a singular partnership are cornerstones of his personality…which has been one of the greatest experiences of partnership I can point to. Yesterday, AB made the incredibly hard decision to turn around before the summit. In some ways, I think he wanted this even more than me. But he knew that to keep going was to endanger himself and others. He also knew that as a partnership, splitting up was the best thing to do. It was a paradoxical decision that at once splinters conventional ideas of partnership, and in that moment, cemented ours forever. I couldn’t be more proud of him and the decisions he made with our Doctor, Monica. It’s sad to turn around after months of effort. It’s my job to know that and respect that. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t voice the idea that this was always a team effort and @adrianballinger is the stronger half of that team. EverestNoFilter #liveyouradventure @eddiebauer

A photo posted by Cory Richards (@coryrichards) on

In the end, Ballinger had to turn around before reaching the summit. It was a difficult decision, but one that he made to keep himself and others out of danger. Ballinger has summited Everest six times in the past. Richards, on the other hand, made it to the top. It was Richards’ first summit of Everest. He failed to make it to the top back in 2012.

It’s also interesting to note that both men were climbing without oxygen. Normally, climbers use oxygen tanks to get to the top of the mountain. It’s a much more elite club to go without oxygen, and it’s much more difficult to do.

Kudos to Richards and Ballinger: you put everyone else’s Snapchat game to shame.

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