Climbing Everest – The Valley of Silence

Posted by martin.parnell |

Mountaineer Martin (aged 64) and Nanatuk Nathan (aged 10) are climbing Mount Everest, 200 stairs per day. It will take them 95 days including 4 Camp rest days.

This is their journal: 

Day 15: Tuesday, April 28th 2020 (Elevation 19,475 feet: Stairs 3,000: Vertical height climbed 1,875 feet)

Mountaineer Martin: The weather has been getting worse and Nanatuk Nathan and I have been making slow progress. Fortunately we are through the Khumbu icefall and heading towards Camp I. On our journey we have been joined by Sherpa Jyamchang Bhote. He has over 20 years of mountain climbing experience, including 7 summits of Mt. Everest! He told us that he runs a Nepal based climbing company that employees dozens of local Sherpa mountain guides and porters.

Nanatuk Nathan: After meeting up with Sherpa Jyamchang Bhote we continued up the face of Mount Everest. After a few hours it got colder the higher we went, and avalanches were able to happen at any time. Plus we had to watch out for Himalayan bears. On our journey up we saw a group of Himalayan Tahr blocking the path and we had to figure out a way around. 

Day 22 of 95: Tuesday, May 5th 2020 (Elevation 20,225 feet: Stairs 4,200: Vertical height climbed 2,750 feet)

Mountaineer Martin: The band of plucky climbers reached Camp 1 on Day 19. The Valley of Silence, as it is known, is a vast, flat area, deep crevasses and mountain walls frequently washed by avalanches. At night we listened to the deep, murmuring cracking sounds under our tents. The pounding headaches were torturing us but as we left Camp 1, early morning of Day 20, we gained the first close sight of the mighty Everest. 

Nanatuk Nathan: After leaving Camp 1 we continued up Mount Everest with our Sherpa guide. I still had some fluff on my coat from the Himalayan Tahr we saw earlier. After a long climb we hit a rather nasty snow storm, it was tough but we pulled through. After it cleared it was beautiful and sunny. 

Day 29 of 95: Tuesday, May 12th 2020 (Elevation 21,100 feet: Stairs 5,600: Vertical height climbed 3,625 feet) 

Mountaineer Martin: Things had been going well for Nanatuk Nathan, Sherpa Jyamchang and myself, however that was all about to change. On Day 26th the weather went from clear and sunny to a complete white out. Fortunately we were roped together as we couldn’t see more than 2 feet in front of each other. Hour after hour we trudged on not realizing we had taken a wrong turn and were heading into the North Face of Everest. Suddenly, as the mist started to lift, we spotted an ominous dark shape, it was a huge cave. As we entered the mouth of the cavern we couldn’t believe what we saw! 

Nanatuk Nathan: After entering the mouth of the cave, that I decided to call Porg Cavern, I opened Papa Martins backpack and took out a flashlight. When I turned it on I was startled by a baby Himalayan Tahr who had wandered off from its herd. After the little scare we continued on through the cave. After walking for a while we stopped for lunch and I shared some of my sandwich with the baby Tahr who was following us. 

Funds are being raised to Support the Sherpa's. They have lost their jobs and livelihood with the closing of Everest on March 15th: 

Thank you.

Onwards and upwards. 

About the Author

Martin Parnell is the Best-Selling author of MARATHON QUEST and RUNNING TO THE EDGE and his final book in the Marathon Trilogy, THE SECRET MARATHON-Empowering women and girls in Afghanistan through sport, was released on October 30th 2018. He speaks on having a “Finish the Race Attitude – Set Goals, Overcome Obstacles and Achieve Outstanding Results” and has written for, or been covered by CNNBBCCBCThe Huffington Post, The Globe and Mail, The National Post, Runners World, Men’s Journal, Canadian Business, and Maclean’s.

In a five year period, from 2010 to 2014, Martin completed 10 extreme endurance “Quests” including running 250 marathons in one year and raising $1.3m for the humanitarian organization Right To Play. In 2016 he ran the Marathon of Afghanistan in support of Afghan women and girls running for equality and his film “The Secret Marathon” was released in late 2019. Find out more about Martin at  and see what he can do for you in the long run.

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