Location: Nepal
Photo: Jeff’s Journey to the Stars

“Aldebaran is a red giant star, located at 65 light years away and a diameter of 44.2 times of the Sun. Aldebaran positioned in front of the sprawling Hyades star cluster which depicted on the shield of the shield of Achilles according to Homer. The great snow peak with banner clouds is Mount Everest, the top of the world.” - Jeff Dai


Francys Arsentiev was the first woman to make it to the summit of Mount Everst without the aid of bottled oxygen. Sadly, she never made it down alive. On 24 May, 1998, she became separated from husband, Sergei Arsentiev, while they were descending Mount Everest. What happened next is shady, but what is known is that another climbing group discovered her seemingly lifeless body. It appeared as though she had fallen and had become victim to the elements. She was semi-conscious and couldn’t move on her own.

“Don’t leave me here to die” she begged them. They attempted to carry her but when they became too fatigued, they left her alone on the mountain. When her husband, Sergei, noticed she was missing, he went back in an attempt to find her. It was the last time he was seen alive. His body wasn’t found until the following year - he had fallen and died while attempting to rescue his wife.

Francys was last seen alive by another two climbers, Ian Woodall and Cathy O'Dowd, the following day. They knew they couldn’t successfully carry her down Mount Everest, so they left her to die where they found her after comforting her for a while. Riddled with guilt for leaving her to die, they returned eight years later to find her body and enshrine it in an an American flag, which can be seen above.


Humans are competitive beings - the urge to be “the first” is quite often at the back of people’s minds. In 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzin Norgay were the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest but that didn’t stop other keen climbers to try and accomplish gaining other Everest titles - for example, there have been numerous attempts to be the oldest, or youngest, to reach the summit. One hopeful was the former Nepalese foreign minister, Shailendra Kumar Upadhyay, who at the age of 82, attempted to be the oldest man to climb to the top of Mount Everest in 2011. He managed to make it to Camp I when he suddenly collapsed and died. Considering the air at Camp I isn’t as thin as higher up the mountain, he was airlifted to the capital of Nepal. He was attempting to break the record of being the oldest person to climb Mount Everest, which was held by a Nepalease climber who was 76-years-old. In 2013, that title was lost to 80-year-old Japanese climber, Yuichiro Miura - this was the third time he summited Mount Everest; the first being when he was 70-years-old and the second at 75-years-old. He also holds the title of being the first person to ski down Mount Everest.

Creepiest place is Mount Everest. One of the worst things about scaling Mount Everest, besides the lack of oxygen & hellish conditions, are the dead bodies everywhere. Over 200 people have died in the attempt, and most are still there. The same conditions that make it so dangerous to survive the climb also help preserve the dead bodies. Recovering the dead would be a dangerous and expensive risk. Often the bodies are used as landmarks.

Trailblazing Women You May Not Know (But Should): Junko Tabei

Each week, the Lean In tumblr will spotlight women who made a lasting mark on the world — yet didn’t always end up in the history books. This week we celebrate Junko Tabei, the first woman to climb to the top of Mount Everest.

On May 4, 1975, Junko Tabei and her all-female climbing team were 21,326 feet above ground, scaling Mount Everest’s icy peaks when they heard the rumble: Avalanche. "I had never felt that tense in my entire life, “ Tabei said. "I felt all my hair standing on end." 

Pummeled by the snow and ice, Tabei lost consciousness and awoke covered in welts and bruises. It took two days for her to walk again. But she refused to give up her job leading the group – Tabei took her place at the front of the line, often crawling when she was too exhausted to walk. "As soon as I knew everyone was alive,” she told Sports Illustrated, “I was determined to continue." 

Twelve days later, Tabei became the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest. 

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Flight over the roof of the world, including a clear view of Everest, absolutely wins the day.