Climbers Winding Through Mt. Everest's Deadly Icefall

Caudwell Everest Extreme:

In 2007, David traveled to Nepal with BBC Horizon as the high altitude cameraman documentingDavid filming doctors on Mt. Everest the Caudwell Xtreme Everest Expedition, a group of nearly 50 doctors from the UK researching the effects of a low oxygen environment on the human body. Though hired to climb and shoot from Base Camp to Everest Summit, David’s focus was not on climbing, but science. Motivated by the desire to help critically-ill hospital patients, many of whom suffer from hypoxia, the Caudwell physicians considered Everest’s thin atmosphere a perfect natural laboratory for carrying out extensive medical research. From March to June, the Caudwell team tested over 200 British trekkers as they progressed through temporary lab stations from Kathmandu to Everest Base Camp. In addition, the team collected blood and tissue samples from a select team of doctors as they progressed to Everest’s summit. As part of their successful summit attempt, the Caudwell team took the highest ever arterial blood sample at 27,500 feet on the Balcony and conducted multiple tests on a stationary exercise bicycle at 26,000 feet at the South Col.

David On the Summit of Mt. EverestDoctors Performing Medical Research at Camp 2, Mt. Everest

Army on Everest:

Two Climbers Traverse the West Ridge, Mt. Everest

In March 2006, British Ad Agency PCI Fitch selected David as high altitude cameraman for the British Army's assault on Everest. Rather than climbing a standard Everest route, the 21-member Everest West Ridge Expedition spent three years training and planning for their challenge on Everest's demanding West Ridge, first climbed by Americans Willi Unsoeld and Thomas Hornbein in 1963. Only 16 of the nearly 2500 climbers who've stood on Everest's summit have climbed via the West Ridge, and of those, only two followed the exact route plotted by the EWR 2006 team. The Expedition set up a solitary base camp at 18,000 feet on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau. Using siege tactics, the expedition began fixing ropes and setting camps up the near-vertical rock and ice of the French Spur. The climbers battled frequent heavy snows, requiring advance teams to repeatedly break trail and clear ropes. More than once, David and other EWR team members descended in white-out conditions. After a month on the French Spur, the team reached the tip of the West Ridge at 24,000 feet. However, on May 21, the summit team was forced to abandon the climb when they encountered deadly windslab avalanche conditions at 26,500 near the base of the Hornbein Couloir. In the process of acclimatizing and filming the EWR Main Team's Everest ascent, David spent 25 days above Base Camp and ascended over 30,000 vertical feet, reaching a high point of Camp IV at 25,300 feet.

David Filming at Tillman's Base Camp, Mt. EverestA Climber on the West Ridge

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