Canadian Climber Recounts Near-Death Experience While Hiking Mount Everest
He survived but others did not.
A Canadian climber who spent the past several years training had a horrifying experience hiking one of the most famous mountains in the world. A BC man nearly died while climbing Mount Everest. The climber has since recounted the scary story on his Facebook. While he was lucky to survive, others were not so lucky.
Chris Dare worked for over nine years to climb the tallest peaks on Earth; including Mount Everest. In an interview with CBC, 35-year-old Dare said he almost died.
Dare also posted a lengthy Facebook post about his Everest expedition. Right from the beginning, it was a recipe for disaster.
At around 9:30 AM on May 23, 2019, Dare reached the top of the summit but it wasn’t a happy time. Dare only spent about 10 minutes on the summit and did not even take one photo because it could have killed him.
Dare recounts that they tried to get ahead of the other climbers by leaving for the summit earlier than normal. Other people also had this in mind, which caused them to encounter long lineups at “three vertical single file climbs.”
This wait added hours to both the ascent and descent. With the high winds, thin air, and -50ºC temperatures, even the smallest move on top of the summit is life-threatening.
According to Dare, this was the most dangerous and terrifying ascent the experienced climber has ever done. He stated that there is no room for mistakes.
“The north side is extremely exposed to the elements with much of the route consisting of a ledge 20 cm wide with sheer drops of hundreds of meters down," he wrote in the Facebook post.
"Yes, there is fixed rope, but all that means is you're standing on a balance beam and if you fall, you drop about 20 meters before the rope catches then you slam your body/head against the rock below the ledge.”
Dare and his sherpa Nuru both agreed to abandon the idea of getting the “perfect summit photo” so that they could save their own lives. Dare recounts that he repeated the words “I’m not dying here today” to himself multiple times.
“Personally, I truly believe I was in danger of dying up there. I barely made it back,” wrote Dare.
While Dare was lucky enough to survive the ordeal, a friend and fellow climber Kevin was not as lucky. According to the Facebook post, Kevin, who had extensive mountaineering experience, was having a rough time getting to the summit of Everest.
Out of his own interest, he decided to descend. Dare said that Kevin ate, got hydrated, and went to sleep with oxygen but later passed away.
According to Dare, this has been one of the deadliest climbing seasons in Everest.
So far this year, there have been 11 deaths. These fatalities are due to overcrowding, inexperienced climbers, and dashes to the top when the conditions are clear.
Dare is now the 23rd Canadian to ever reach all seven peaks of Everest. During his climb, he raised $10,000 for BC Children’s Hospital.