Jessica Han has given an insight into her summit attempt on May 23rd.
“A long overdue update! It’s impossible to neatly caption what I’ve experienced over the last two weeks.
“We turned around from the summit attempt after the South Col. Our summit bid was on May 23rd after multiple days of hunkering down in C2 and higher due to constantly changing weather. On May 22nd, we got to the South Col at 26k ft, which is often called the “death zone” because the body can no longer acclimatize. We tried but the high winds never abated and we risked serious cold injuries – the summit is not worth losing one’s finger and toes.
“I could see the top. It was just hours away. That image is seared in my brain. Frankly, it haunts me.
“When success on Everest is defined by reaching the summit, how do you make sense of the whole endeavor? How do you reframe the hardship and the sacrifices? What was it all for? I grapple with these questions in my deeply exhausted state.
“Intellectually, I know it was the right call. Many people did descend with cold injuries or worse. Emotionally, it was gut wrenching. Mentally I was drained by the time we descended in Cyclone Yaas to base camp.
“While it is still very raw for me, I am grateful to have made it back safely in one piece. I am proud to have made it to the South Col, higher than any place on the planet save a few other peaks. I take comfort in knowing that I had the physical and mental ability to make it had circumstances been different. I will have a better perspective on the events after I have some time to recover. For now, I just need to eat and sleep.”
View this post on Instagram