Top of the World

Kim Clark says Everest's air is thinner than Denver's. She should know -- she's up there right now.

Clark: It happened during the first time we were crossing the Khumbu Icefall. You have to cross all these crevasses on ladders, and the ladders caused me a lot of anxiety at first, because you have to get the hang of looking where you are placing your feet, not at the bottom of the crevasse. If you look to the bottom, you are more likely to "bobble." Anyway, our first day in the icefall, we were all on edge about the terrain, and I had just crossed a three-ladder crossing when a huge avalanche ripped loose from a headwall above us. It was so loud, and at first we did not know if it was close enough that we needed to run for our lives or what. Eventually, we realized we were not at risk, but the whole event really scared me and sent home the message that climbing Everest is really dangerous and that we are at the mercy of the mountain.

WW: What's been the most positive moment of the expedition up to now?

Kim Clark hopes to reach the top of Everest.
Discovery Communication, Inc/Jake Norton
Kim Clark hopes to reach the top of Everest.

Clark: Sitting at Camp 1 on a rest day enjoying a clear blue sky, pure quiet, looking out on the tremendous views of the Himalayas -- Pumori, Nuptse, Khumbutse and Lindtgren -- from my tent. As incredible as this experience is, though, I think of Denver every day. I miss my fiancée [Michael McGranahan] terribly, and I'm missing my favorite season, spring! I can't wait to come home.

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