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Planet Earth

Watch adventurers climb Mt. Everest live

  • then_everest.jpg

    1963: Writhing limestone layers beneath the saw-tooth ridge connecting Lhotse and Nuptse form the famous Yellow Band. Roped together, climbers toil up the mountain's face with supplies for camp. (Barry Bishop/National Geographic)

  • Mt. Everest climb National Geographic

    Conrad Anker descending an ice step in the Khumbu Icefall with a fixed rope. (Cory Richards/National Geographic)

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    Yaks carrying gear over the Khumbu Glacier en route from Kathmandu to the Everest Base Camp. (Cory Richards/National Geographic)

  • Sherpa's headlamps in the Khumbu Icefall National Geographic

    Sherpa's headlamps in the Khumbu Icefall early in the morning. The expedition seeks to repeat the historic climb of the 1963 National Geographic-sponsored American Mount Everest Expedition. (Cory Richards/National Geographic)

  • National Geographic iPad On Everest.jpg

    The current edition of National Geographic's iPad app allows readers to follow the expedition up Mt. Everest. (National Geographic)

A team of mountaineers are making a historic trek top of Mount Everest via the notorious West Ridge -- and for the first time ever, the entire expedition will be broadcast in real-time to an iPad near you.

The team, led by renowned North Face athletes Conrad Anker and Cory Richards, a photographer, will look to repeat the historic 1963 American Mount Everest Expedition, a climb through Everest’s seldom visited West Ridge.

The two will broadcast the entire experience through dispatches, photos and video to National Geographic’s May issue for iPad as well as the On Everest Field Test blog.

In addition, a second team, including Montana State University geologist David Lageson and writer Mark Jenkins will attempt to summit from the more common Southeast Ridge route.

The expedition is sponsored by National Geographic and The North Face, with support from Montana State University.

Joining the climbers at Base Camp will be a team of Mayo Clinic researchers who will study the impacts of high altitude on human physiology.


UP AND AWAY: Everest's extreme altitude puts climbers under same conditions as heart disease. A new expedition will take one week to trek to the Everest base camp, to study climbers.

The South East Ridge expedition, by the numbers:

Gear: 1,500 pounds (680 kilograms) of medical equipment.

Base Camp: 17,380 foot (5,300 meter) elevation.

Peak of Everest: 29,035 feet (8,850 meters).

"We are interested in some of the parallels between high altitude physiology and heart failure physiology," Dr. Bruce Johnson, who is heading the team, told The Associated Press before leaving Nepal's capital, Katmandu, for the mountain.

"What we are doing here will help us with our work that we have been doing in the (Mayo Clinic) laboratory."

Johnson and the eight other team members flew to the airstrip at Lukla, near Everest, on Friday, Apr. 20

It will take them about a week to trek to the Everest base camp, with several porters and yaks helping to carry their 680 kilograms (1,500 pounds) of medical equipment. They will set up their lab at the base camp, which is located at 5,300 meters (17,380 feet), and expect to be at the camp until at least mid-May.

The team says Everest's extreme altitude puts climbers under the same conditions experienced by patients suffering from heart disease. The team members plan to study the effects of high altitude on the heart, the lungs, muscle loss and sleep during their stay at Everest, which peaks at 8,850 meters (29,035 feet).

The Associated Press contributed to this report