There are 14 mountains in the world that are over 8000m high and they're all easy. At least that's what I'm led to believe if I read the blogs from the commercial expeditions. Seriously, have you read any of these expedition blogs?
"Tonight we all ate a great meal, the food really is great - healthy, tasty and lots of it".
"Yesterday all team members made it successfully to C2 and back to C1. We took loads of photos and even had time for a snowball fight at 23,000 feet."
What a load of crap. You, the reader, need to know the truth. Climbing 8000m mountains sucks and you have to be seriously deranged to try it. Here's why:
What The Heck is Going On
Reasons to never climb an 8000m peak:
I don't care what anyone says, the food on these expeditions is terrible. There's no getting around it. Firstly the food has been carried/transported for days to get to the remote mountain basecamp and there its cooked by locals who really want to be paid the higher wages of a climbing sherpa/porter and are only cooking to get their foot in the door. Secondly your appetite has up and left. The higher you go up the mountain the less you feel like eating. Sure, you know you've got to do it, so you keep forcing yourself to eat, but really how likely are you to be enjoying the food if you're forcing yourself at crampon-point to eat it?
There will come a time when you are sitting quietly in your tent at some ungodly altitude having a thoughtful moment when you will realize that you could have gone on 5 separate expeditions to the Andes for the cost of this one. Or perhaps 10 trips to the Cascades and paid for your friend to come along too. You'll think "how stupid is this? What a waste, just think of the fun adventures I could have had with this much money."
8000m mountains are cold. Now I know you think you've been cold before, but you're about to experience a new type of cold. Its called the "month-long-cold". You are going to be cold or really fricken cold for at least a month straight. Oh yes, it'll warm up a bit on sunny days, for a few hours and maybe you'll be able to take your down jacket off for a few minutes, but you're still going to wonder how many weeklong scuba-diving trips you could have had in Belize for the same cost of this trip (see 2 above)
4) Other People
Yes, you're going to be sharing the mountain with other expeditions and they're not always the nice, courteous climbers you know from home. On the contrary, some of these climbers will eat their own young to get to the summit and you'd better not get in their way. As crazy and dangerous as these people are, the worst people on the mountain are the ones in your own expedition! I'm assuming that you're climbing with a commercial company, because everybody does nowadays and your team mates are made up of a bunch of type A personalities who will get real annoying around week 6. Try not to push them down the mountain, its considered bad form.
I know people don't like to talk about such a sensitive and personal subject, but you need to know the truth - so I will keep it brief. You will experience pain, soreness, possibly bleeding. Things will run freely for days and then stop for a week and you know what that means at the end of the week. You will see the worst toilets in the world and you'll be happy to be in them. You will clean yourself with at least 3 different substances, including one thats completely new to you. Things will happen that you will never speak of. Am I clear?
The Dream is Over
There is more that I could tell you about, but frankly, if you still need more to convince you not to pursue this ridiculous dream, then additional stories aren't going to change your mind.
I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but someone had to do it. You were heading down a terrible road propelled by the propaganda and mis-information that's out there. Good luck with the scuba-diving, remember to raise a cocktail to me as you watch the sun set into the pacific after a great day on the reef.
For those idiots out there that read this and still want to climb to 8000m, I'll see you on the hill!
High Adventure Expeditions