National Geographic : 2003 May
"ISHOULD TAKE SOME MORE PICTURES BUT I CANNOT.... IMUST GET BACK DOWN. HALF AN HOUR TOO LATE MEANS THE END OF ME."-EI,,,,,oNH,,NE 146 Junko Tabei exults on the shoulders of Sherpa Ang Tshering after climbing Everest. Earlier inthe all women expedition an avalanche had swallowed this Japanese mother of a three-year-old girl. Sherpas had spotted her ankle above the snow and rescued her. Twelve days later she sum mits, her broken glasses held fast with rubber bands. "There are many beautiful and mysterious places," she says. "I have been lucky to have visited mountains throughout my life." PEAK TRAFFIC Life and death on Everest Since 1975, Mount Everest has been climbed more than 1,600 times by some 1,200 individuals, ages 16 to 65, including 75 women. A record 89 climbers sum mited on one day: May 23, 2001. Everest has claimed the lives of 175 people. * Summits * Fatalities 1980 August 18-21: First Everest solo ascent without oxygen Italian Reinhold Messner scores an unprecedented feat He climbs alone to the summit, without supplemen tal oxygen or a radio, from an advanced base camp on the north side. Early on, he had fallen into a crevasse but miraculously had landed on a snow platform. On his third day, ina fog of exhaus tion, he reaches the summit and returns, utterly spent (above). 252 18 17 154 5 4 2102631113874410842585315944253 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 NGMART;DATACOMPILEDBYEVERESTNEWS.TOPLEFTPHOTO:JOHNCLEARE,MOUNTAINCAMERAARCHIVE.CENTER:NENAHOLGUIN.RIGHT:GEORGELOWE.