Art by @obeygiant and @amplifierfoundation The summit of Everest is arguably one of the most unifying points on the planet. This flag in this place speaks to our ability to overcome divisive ideology and move beyond asinine biases rooted in misinformation. This was not an act of protest, but an appeal to understand that there is nothing to fear in race, gender, sexuality and religion. Action is what defines us, not belief. Bringing this flag to the summit was a plea to our human family to look beyond that which scares, beyond that which we don't understand. Terror can't be banned by locking ourselves away...but only thru extending ourselves with measured compassion. This was not a protest, but an invitation to adhere to our highest nature and the very tenets that are woven into the fabric of the best in American and global culture.
Photo @estebantopomena (follow him!) Me, 'walking' up Everest at 28,980 ft. (Using oxygen and fixed lines after abandoning my second No O's attempt at 28,500 ft) This season has been beautiful and tragic in so many ways. Beautiful in the accomplishments of others, tragic in the the loss of life and the petty nitpicking and destruction of said accomplishments. We are all guilty of picking eachother apart... gossip is built into the fabric of human culture. I have talked shit at times. But what I've learned is it always comes back to me and my insecurities.
The idea that we can cultivate personal happiness thru the willful contribution to another's unhappiness is rooted in our own insecurity, anger, and pain. Deriving happiness from another's misery, be it personal, political, or professional, is a contradiction in terms and an impossibility. However, at the very moment we feel the urge to tear another down, we are given an opportunity to ask ourselves what is it in us that feels overlooked, unseen, harmed, threatened and hurt. If we can search that moment and come back to ourselves with an honest answer, then we begin to evolve and grow.
I want to congratulate every single person who hung it out there this season in the mountains. I don't care how you climbed...I care that you came at all. Your truth is yours and I'll be the first to celebrate that. The more I've tried to find happiness in the deconstruction and judgement of others accomplishments, the more misery I've shoveled onto myself. No more. Well done.
@adrianballinger 27 yrs, two months, four days, and 40 hours of movement into his realized dream of touching the apex of Terra Firma without the use of supplemental oxygen. Last year, he turned around several hundred meters shy of the summit. Yesterday, we stood on top together, fulfilling our two year project. I've never witnessed something so moving as his continued effort to break his own physical and psychological barriers. It was beautiful. I was humbled to stand in his shadow...thanks so much Adrian for showing me how far we can all take it. You are an inspiration forever. #everestnofilter@eddiebauer@khumbuclimbingcenter@stravarun@hiballenergy
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A quiet if not solemn day on Everest. More lives were seemingly needlessly lost on the south side of the mountain last night. High winds and marginal overall forecasts that had been predicted for a week slammed into teams high on both sides of the mountain. At the south col, four individuals, two Sherpa "guides" and their clients were found dead in a tent. Best guesses have the team dying from carbon monoxide poisoning from cooking in their tent... trying to escape the winds. Other teams got away with it. Some retreated. All the details are yet to come in. It's sad. Its needless. For a larger, more articulate discussion about the circumstances that surround accidents like this on Everest, visit @adrianballinger page. Safe climbing everyone. #GoGently. #EverestNoFilter
@kilianjornet takes a much deserved seat after a beautiful 26 hour effort from basecamp to summit, joining the Everest No O's club in typical kilian fashion. I feel lucky to be surrounded by so many inspirational individuals. Looking forward to my second No O's climb, I can only hope to channel the fear and uncertainty through the filter of inspiration that people like Kilian offer up. So psyched for everyone on the mountain right now. Safe climbing.
A quiet toast to everyone who makes this life so fucking amazing. Thank you. The first 36 years have been racous and awesome...let's make the next 36 even better.
Surrender is a funny thing. We do it constantly without thinking...when we board planes, get in our cars, or cross the street. We surrender to eachother blindly all the time. Surrender in the mountains however has a unique texture. We stare up, calculate the risk, and surrender to the potential consequence. A decision is made to engage with fear and move with it. Fear is rooted in the future... an idea of something that could occur. In that sense, that which we fear isn't real. The goal then, is to surrender to both the potential consequences and the sensation of fear. Only when I embrace it rather than fight it, am I able to move through it. A good day surrendering and moving through it all with @adrianballinger Follow the climb on EverestNoFilter on snap. @eddiebauer@hiballenergy@stravarun
The waiting game. So much of climbing big mountains is balancing health against weather against risk against desire.... and on down the rabbit hole. Time gives way to introspection which leads to the dance between doubt and confidence. A place that can kill you demands respect. But when does rational fear mandate action? If I wasn't scared, I'd be stupid. But if I let fear control me, I no longer live fully. There are no answers, only more questions. Maybe that's why I come back...to keep learning. Just as my moods oscillate, so does my relationship to the terrain above. Fear is constant, but we all have the choice to move thru it. Last light on the apex of the planet. @adrianballinger@eddiebauer follow this years no O's attempt on Snap at #EverestNoFilter
Norbu, a Tibetan kitchen worker stands for a portrait at 21,000 ft., below a fierce wind plume blowing off the summit Everest. Every year, over a thousand people come to Everest to climb. And every year, the climb is made possible by countless seemingly nameless individuals like Norbu. The infrastructure of Himalayan climbing is built, in this case literally, on the backs of people like him. Standing with a bag of freshly chopped glacial ice over his shoulder, part of Norbu' s job is to collect ice to be melted for water. This is a trip he makes roughly 10 times a day for around six weeks. @adrianballinger and I are on Everest again this season, attempting without oxygen. People like Norbu make our climb possible... without them, there is no climb. Stay tuned for more images of the #unsungheroes here and at @esquire and follow our climb on Snapchat at EverestNoFilter. Shot on S8
@adrianballinger that one time at 22,800 ft descending from the North Col on Everest. .
Follow the trip on snap at EverestNoFilter @eddiebauer
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There is a not so subtle art to sharing tent space...especially at 23,000 ft. The temperature can fluctuate from 20 degrees f outside to 90 degrees f inside. Boredom can be an unkind mistress. There is only so much reading to do. There is only so much conversation, only so many jokes, only so many stories to tell... and retell. It takes a special kind of partnership. Thanks @adrianballinger for making it as easy as it can be. Here's to what it takes to simply be...
Follow this year's no O's attempt on Snap #EverestNoFilter@eddiebauer@stravarun@hiballenergy
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Thank you Ueli!
The days blessing for the days ahead. A Lama from the Rongbuk Monastery performs a Puja for the climb to come. These days can seem somber... after all, this humble act is a reminder of the fragility of our human nature, especially in high places. Wishing safe passage to all teams on the mountain! @adrianballinger#EverestNoFilter@khumbuclimbingcenter@thejuniperfund
Proud of my climbing partner @adrianballinger (who also took this image) for his relentless psyche and unyielding optimism. Yesterday, AB climbed through some remarkably marginal conditions to touch the north col at 23,000 ft. Over the past months, I watched him dedicate and transform. What has emerged is a completely different athlete. The soul remains the same, but the vessel has evolved. Up. .
Follow the climb on snap at #EverestNoFilter@adrianballinger@eddiebauer@stravarun
A Tibetan, his yak, one light, and a phone. Dorje, a mostly nomadic Tibetan Yak herder who spends seasons on Everest, stands for a portrait. Portraiture is actually the form of photography closest to my heart. I love it. My greatest mentors are portrait photographers. It's just not something that I'm necessarily known for. Portraiture on location like this can be a bear. I look often to the location work of @marcogrob to guide me. When I have a question, I call him. Looking for inspiration and evolution through simplification, I decided to use my phone alone for portraiture on this trip. Just before I left, I got my hands on the new Galaxy S8... And I have to say, it lives up to the hype. I've shied away from serious phone photography up until now... maybe I just wasn't ready to let go. Regardless, to be able to work on location like this with what I carry in my pocket anyway is revolutionary for me. It's freeing. Dorje is sitting next to me as I write this...a little confused about all the words. It's always a combination of moment, tools, connection, and a little bit of luck. My gratitude for all those pieces coming together and the people who've made it possible. #EverestNoFilter
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A moment of shared tea, snow, and dried sheep with a few of the Tibetan yak drivers we are working with. one of my favorite things is to sit and laugh with people i literally can't understand at all. The great leveler of humanity is when we admit we are helpless and don't know anything. Only in that act of vulnerability....surrender.... do we start to see eachother holistically. So much of what we see is projected BS. Especially since the entrance of social media, it is so easy to compare our insides to everyone else's outsides... the things that they want us to see... the things we want others to see. The other day, some one who I think the world of said, "you're so dedicated to photography... You are purely focused on that...". TRUTH: I can go months without touching my camera. Most of what I make is garbage. I'm relentlessly hard on myself for not shooting more. I'm often paralyzed by ther fear that if I make something, it will suck. I can sit for months in despair without ever making a single image. I've struggled ther last two years with photography... but occasionally it rises new again in a moment of surrender and I remember why I love this so much. I don't have to be prolific to be passionate. But i do have to show up. #EverestNoFilter@adrianballinger shot on phone
Photo & caption @adrianballinger // Everest Base Camp on the North (Tibetan) Side of the mountain, today, April 19. It's an otherworldly place - individual team camps are spread across this huge floodplain at 17,000 feet at the foot of the Rongbuk Glacier. One thing the North Side is not is overcrowded. We estimate between 200-250 total climbers (paying members and high altitude workers). With increasing government regulation and professionalism on this side, we are looking forward to a stellar season! Follow the Snap story (#everestnofilter) for discussion on some of the improvements (generators banned, trash and human waste management and cleanup efforts, unlimited hydro-power and fast internet for all teams at bc, active and present liaison officers managing teams, centralized and expert rope-fixing, and requiring prior 8000-meter peak experience of Chinese nationals, the largest demographic on the mountain). Plenty of issues to address as well of course! But that's for another post. #everest2017
The immensity of the project that is Everest...thousands of people, thousands of man hours. It's a team effort that too often gets lost in the singular nature of accomplishment. The idea of "I" is a lost concept if even the most basic level of honesty is infused. Himalayan climbing is a team sport...even if you are climbing "unsupported". Today, five Sherpa members of the team (all graduates of the @khumbuclimbingcenter in Phortse) moved up from BC with thousands of pounds of gear and food. Here, another member of the larger Everest team, a Tibetan yak driver, loads a yak. @adrianballinger and I have been adjusting slowly in BC, but are feeling good. Check out Facebook for 360 video from life here and EverestNoFilter on Snap for the daily update. More FB live coming on @Natgeo as well. Shot on phone
A cold day on the roof. Everest, Chomolungma, Sagarmāthā, rises up to meet space. En route to basecamp today with @adrianballinger. The road feels familiar, but not too so. Fear and confidence bounce off each other from one moment to the next. Long un-wanting silences broken by bad jokes, logistics, and deep thoughts underscore partnership and another year in the trenches together. It's a good place to be. Follow the story on Snapchat on EverestNoFilter @eddiebauer@stravarun@highballenergy#uphillathlete
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Headed back to Everest today with @adrianballinger !! EverestNoFilter 2.0
Couldn't be more excited to wander in the big hills again with this guy and this team. It's a huge privilege to go on these trips and an even bigger one to share it with such solid people. Everest is a melting pot and it shows the best and worst of us...it's our choice to celebrate the values we hold dearest. Follow the journey...and tell us what you want to see more of on Snapchat. This is an 'us' thing🏽 @eddiebauer@stravarun#uphillathlete
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Rodeo. This is serious business.
For all the times I never called. For all the things I never said. For all the things you taught me. For brotherhood, not by blood, but life. I love you always. Thank you Adam. For everything.
Somewhere not so long ago, this existed in the absence of cameras and tourism. Sadly, the Khoisan of Southern Africa, like most indigenous populations worldwide, have undergone some level of marginalization at the hands of greater development. In many ways, traditional practices are kept alive by cultural tourism. It's an unclear line of exploitation and celebration...another blurred intersection of action and consequence where right and wrong have little relevance. All that matters is what is and how we move forward together. Shot on assignment for @natgeo
Shoot first, ask questions later. When you get the opportunity to have your photograph taken by one of the masters, you shut the f*ck up, watch, and learn. @nigelparryportrait is one of the best there is. Truly. Years behind the camera has cultivated some of the most profound portraiture around. I had the great pleasure of sitting for him in NY two days ago...and we got a bit meta in the process. Thanks Nigel. That was legit.
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Bozeman, MT. Something to be said for simplicity.
If in us there is a white wolf and a black wolf doing battle, the one who wins is the one we feed. Caging the good in ourselves and in this world serves to feed our own demise. How do we begin to reconcile the fact that we are apart of the environment and not apart from it? How can we look back in order to understand how our present actions will impact the future? When will we see the forest through the trees, not through the clear cut? The time is now. Take action for our human family by taking action for the environment. The earth is gonna keep on spinning...our choice is how long we get to stick around before we choke ourselves out. Shot on assignment for @natgeo looking at the confluence and conflict of people and predators in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
I love NY, but I miss MT. Going back through the archive. Love finding the hidden gems. The ones that never got seen.
Photo @celestesloman (check out her feed) // I generally avoid pictures of me on my own feed because I hope to make this little digital musing about photography and art. Plus, I throw up a little when I see pictures of myself and it leaves an acidic and gross taste in my mouth. But when an extremely talented photographer asks to shoot you, you kinda have to suck it up. @celestesloman is one of the grinders. She is one of the gifted, young, and hungry photographers of the world right now. Her style speaks to her personality...articulate, elegant, and holistic in its genuine lack of need for anything extraneous. There is complexity in her brevity and her photographs command the film plane as well as the viewer. At 25, she has shot for The Wall Street Journal, UN Women, Zeit Magazine and the Village Voice. I have no doubt that she is one of the future greats. Her passion for her subjects and the medium as a whole all but guarantee it. Thanks for this image of me @celestesloman Fun to spend time in your space. Thanks for seeing me.
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