Paul Pottinger’s Adventures from the Top of the World

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Category Archives: Ascent


Top of Planet Earth

Everest 2016  •  May 21

I don’t remember actually sleeping that evening. We laid there from 6:00 PM until about 8:30 PM, and I tried to settle my thoughts, to achieve some sort of mental—if not physical—rest. But, my monkey mind continued chatter and squawk. I must have drifted off briefly, though, because when I checked my watch for the … Continue reading Top of Planet Earth


To the South Col…

Everest 2016  •  May 20

After I came home, I was asked the same questions over and over again: Did you make the summit?  Did you use oxygen?  Would you do it again?  And… How did you go to the bathroom?  The answer to that last one depends on the phase of the expedition you have in mind, but on … Continue reading To the South Col…


Heartbreak at Camp 3

Everest 2016  •  May 19

Again, the weather behaved as predicted, and we had clear skies and just a bit of wind when we left Camp 2 at dawn.  I counted very few figures on the route above us.  My lungs felt fine.  Not much sleep to speak of, but I still felt fine.  Hot damn, we are going to … Continue reading Heartbreak at Camp 3


Up the Cwm

Everest 2016  •  May 16

Cold temperatures, low winds, and clear skies greeted us in the morning.  I had hoped for some cloud cover to spare us from cooking in the solar oven of the Cwm, but it was not meant to be.  No worries, we got moving early enough to avoid the brunt of the sunshine.  We should top … Continue reading Up the Cwm



Everest 2016  •  May 15

The alarm did not need to sound that night—I was already awake at 1 AM.  The usual details needed tending-to in the tent, including a last text message to Julie, and then I was out the door.  As I sealed the tent, I took one last look at the postcard hanging from the ceiling, our … Continue reading Liftoff…