coryrichards "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts." Aristotle

I posted a similar image to this about two weeks and talked to the points of team work. That was the impersonal view...this one is about partnership.
I've spent the past two months with @adrianballinger on the North side of Everest. That time Passed with a blink. His overwhelming and genuine psych, his deep level of respect and understanding of personal nuance and needs, and his true desire to act as a singular partnership are cornerstones of his personality...which has been one of the greatest experiences of partnership I can point to.

Yesterday, AB made the incredibly hard decision to turn around before the summit. In some ways, I think he wanted this even more than me. But he knew that to keep going was to endanger himself and others. He also knew that as a partnership, splitting up was the best thing to do. It was a paradoxical decision that at once splinters conventional ideas of partnership, and in that moment, cemented ours forever. I couldn't be more proud of him and the decisions he made with our Doctor, Monica.
It's sad to turn around after months of effort. It's my job to know that and respect that. But I'd be remiss if I didn't voice the idea that this was always a team effort and @adrianballinger is the stronger half of that team. EverestNoFilter #liveyouradventure @eddiebauer
5d
  •   kristankery @tee_kay04 amazing!!!!! 20h
  •   dakumar @__starfire__ these guys hey! 13h
  •   cganjon I can follow you on snap but can't figure out how to ask a question. I'd like to know the results of your Everest diet. How much muscle mass/fat do you think you guys lost and how long to get back to 'healthy' or normal. I'm sure you guys are still in recovery for what your body went through. 9h
  •   wegagurl You are my new heroe.amazing work, strong mind, inspired by your effort. 7h

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coryrichards People often ask what it feels like to be above 26,240 ft. (8,000 m) without oxygen. The best I can do is give you this image...it's the closest I've come to capturing the visceral experience of high altitude. No, it isn't always blurry and chaotic...but the line you are riding is sooooooo thin that only the chaos of an image can approach an accurate translation. I've never been able to tell the tactile story of sounds that are too crisp, but somehow muted, time that flows like molasses but passes without notice, and cold that mutates from tingles to pain to numbness before cognition allows register. This is the best visual approximation I can offer... I don't know why I love high places, but I do. It's a masochistic love affair. It's something @adrianballinger loves as well.

As we settle in to the relative comfort of 23,000 ft. on the summit bid, both of us know that the overwhelming odds point to failure. But in the moments of chaos , there is also clarity. What I've learned? To try and fail is every bit as valuable as success so long as you push your own margin and thus gain knowledge. Upwards!

Follow the story as we climb on snapchat EverestNoFilter #liveyouradventure @eddiebauer #unfiltered #shotabove8000m
1w
  •   gailsaw I am a 60 year old, non athletic woman following along from the beach in south Florida but I must tell you, I am so impressed! Impressed with the work, commitment and class you both have shown, well done! 4d
  •   lalalalalalalaila You are amazing 📸🏼🏼 3d
  •   cambrose61 Thanks for taking us with you - pulse is still elevated reading about the teamwork required and the support you and Adrian provided to each other. If you are ever in MIssouri come to UCM and speak to our students. Congrats. 3d

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coryrichards Photo @adrianballinger // It's all real now: Books read to me by my dad, a mountain library consumed during adolescence, years traveling to bigger and bigger ranges, years of climbing, months of training, days of waiting, minutes exploding into an infinite space of confidence and fear and cyclical thought. It is all distilled into a defending silence where there is nothing left to do but put one foot in front of the other. The impetus and outcome have meted away. The work to arrive here is done. There is only up and down.
I couldn't ask for a better partner. @adrianballinger has as much experience here as anyone. His pragmatism and calculation are the bedrock of the days to be spent above 8000 meters. There is no deeper trust than that which you share with your partner during those hours. His life is in my hands, and mine in his. It's likely we will be the only ones that high on this side of the mountain on that day...so self sufficiency is mandatory.
Thanks to everyone for the support. While we are alone up high, We love having you with us. #liveyouradventure @eddiebauer #everestnofilter Snapchat EverestNoFilter
2w

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coryrichards Often times, trying to understand our passions is like trying to focus on the most distant star in the night sky....it can't be done. It's only once you look away, or put the star in your periphery that you can see clearly. Stare straight at them, and they tend to vanish. It seems less and less important why we are passionate about certain things...and more important that we follow those passions as far as we allow them to take us.
@adrianballinger Relaxing his gaze into space on Everest. @eddiebauer #liveyouradventure #woowooasf
2w

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coryrichards Everest is teamwork manifest. Everything that happens on this mountain is backed by cooperation (albeit with a bit of heated debate at times), but teamwork none the less. As @adrianballinger and I had our best day on the mountain yesterday, we climbed up as 15+ Sherpa descended past us in the heavy wind, having carried loads for commercial clients as high as 27,000 ft. Tho the skies were clear, the wind was vicious and every one we passed was operating as a team...looking out for each other, checking in, and extending that to everyone else they encountered on the mountain.

A lot of people have a lot to say about Everest. Opinions are fine...we've all got them. But until you've seen the incredible power of this mountain first hand, and experienced the massive human effort and coming-together that it requires, I think it's hard to pass any judgement. I've been guilty of this in the past...and I was wrong. This mountain is powerful no matter how you slice it...and I feel privileged and humbled to be in the company of such a massive effort. It's never been about conquering for me, but more so about engaging. I'm only now realizing now how much willful engagement it requires to be here...and I only have respect for all participants and the mountain.
As teams get ready to summit, and weather becomes more and more of a guessing game, here is wishing safety and success to all. #liveyouradventure @eddiebauer For an inside look, check out EverestNoFilter on Snapchat
2w

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coryrichards These are the moments that matter. When the only thing that is going right is the person you are sharing the rope with. After a sleepless night at 25,000 ft. @adrianballinger scrambles amidst the chaos of a collapsing tent to put his crampons on. It's in the moments when it all seems to be falling apart that a partnership's collective cool matters most.

Last night was rough. We arrived at our camp in the debilitating Himalayan heat that is so often underestimated. Our tent was pitched on a manufactured ice platform jutting out from a firm 35 degree snow slope. A common home on mountains like this. Thankful to be out of the sun, we ate and drank as much as our altitude affected bodies would allow until night fell. Neither of us had noticed the stiff breeze gathering force from the west.
By 10:00 pm, my side of the tent was almost fully collapsed under a hundred pounds of drift snow and Adrian's side was being not-so-gently pushed off the platform. Pieces of gear were lost in the fold created by the weight and the nylon wall hung just a few inches from my face. The poles were bowing to their maximum endurance. It was time to crawl out into the darkness and dig our little shelter out.
And this happened with little discussion or alarm. I was more concerned than Adrian. It was a clockwork effort with the exchange of few words. We crawled back in 20 minutes later, covered in melting snow, and laughed.
The night passed, the wind persisted, and as it always does, morning came. The winds too high to go up, the only option was down. It was an imperfect end to an imperfect night. And sometimes, imperfect images...fog on the lens, poorly exposed, and way too much motion blur....sometimes those images best describe the moments that matter most. @eddiebauer #liveyouradventure Visit snapchat EverestNoFilter for a play by play of our No Os attempt of Everest's North Side.
2w

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coryrichards At nearly 25,000 ft, walking is a humbling task. The somewhat hysterical part is that @adrianballinger and I still have 4,000 ft of climbing without the use of supplementary oxygen to go. It will take another two weeks at least before our bodies are ready.
Today was the kind of climbing day you dream about. Calm skies, no wind, perfect temps...I climbed in a T-shirt all the way to a little tent dug into the ice. Meanwhile, friends stood on top having climbed from the South side.

The wind has since picked up and it's snowing a bit....but for the most part, all seems in place as Adrian settle in for a little high altitude pain. #liveyouradventure @eddiebauer #everestnofilter
3w

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coryrichards It's easy to convince ourselves that environments have moods...and certainly there are belief systems that would hold to that. I tend to think that we bring our emotions to the mountains...and the mountains themselves are the planet's greatest mirror.
Today, we climbed through snow and cloud. The heat caused by the convection cycle triggered repeated small avalanches that would rumble over seracs obscured by a thick fog on either side. This day, and the mood that I was brining to it was reminiscent of a not so good day I had in the mountains several years ago when one of the distant rumbles became not so distant and engulfed my partners and I. My neuro-chemistry has never recovered.
Today I was looking in the mirror at a fear that I've never overcome. And today, because I was angry, the mountains were angry. As I climbed the slope beneath the seracs (which are almost as safe as they come), I felt my heart rate increase and my breathing become labored. I was scared, and that made me mad.
But the truth is the mountains are indiscriminate. They don't care. They shine when it is sunny and they fall when it is snowy. It's what we bring to them that defines our experience...and maybe even more important, its how we are changed by them and what we bring home and share that matters most. @adrianballinger @eddiebauer #liveyouradventure for an inside view into the full expedition of Everest without Os from Tibet follow EverestNoFilter on Snapchat
3w

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coryrichards Today was an auspicious day on the Buddhist calendar...and as such, a perfect day for a Puja (Buddhist blessing ceremony) at our Advanced Base Camp on Everest's north side. Pujas are a time for the team to come together and engage, spiritually or otherwise, with each other and the mountain. The blessings written on the prayer flags hung from a juniper pole are released as the wind blows...and whether or not you believe in the religious basis of the ceremony, it's impossible to believe that something much bigger is not present. Some Pujas are super formal, others like ours, are more low key. Today we celebrated as a family vs a climbing team....and it felt good, and quiet, and present. Couldn't have asked for a better day and a better partner for this our No Os attempt this year. Here is wishing every team a sound and uneventful climb. Respect and love for the mountain rising behind the birds and above the prayers and clouds. @adrianballinger @eddiebauer #liveyouradventure #everestnofilter 3w

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coryrichards I literally just took this out of the tent door. This is our home for the next 12 hours. Direct message us on snapchat crichardsphoto and adrianjb with questions!!!!! We'll do our best to answer! @adrianballinger @eddiebauer #liveyouradventure @stravarun @soylent 4w

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coryrichards Photo @adrianballinger Today was another hard day on the North side of Everest. While the relatively short duration of our jump from 21,000 ft to just over 23,000 ft seems like it shouldn't take a toll, it does. The slope leading the north col is one of the primary objectively hazardous zones on the route. Seracs do threaten the route a little bit this year, so it's not really a place you want to hang out. It seems pretty safe...but that is the thing about ice and gravity...it's on its own schedule and will move when it damn well pleases. Adrian grabbed this shot of @zebblais and I coming up the final steep pitch as the afternoon convection closed in. #liveyouradventure @eddiebauer #fueledbysoylent #everestnofilter 4w

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coryrichards @adrianballinger charging upwards with high winds blowing off the summit of the highest point on our planet.
No amount of training can account for base physiology. We are not all created equal from an athletic perspective. I've got some special gifts in the way that I consume energy which allows me to go for a very long time off the couch. Train that, and the machine can run really well in the mountains. I'm also very fortunate to acclimatize well. Adrian's gift seems to be his base ability to absolutely crush uphill at a pace that is unsustainable for me. If I try to keep up for days on end, I burn the engine too hot and risk what's referred to as cumulative fatigue. Using apps like @trainingpeaks my coach @stevehouse10 is able to monitor 'workouts' from home and let me know how my body is doing, when to push the gas, and when to pump the brakes. Apps like @stravarun give a glimpse to everyone what's going on with Adrian and I up here.

The three days prior to and arriving at advanced base camp took a heavy toll on me. Rather than staying within my target heart rate zone, I tried to keep up with Adrian. I ran a heavy deficit. It was a big mistake on my part and I knew better. Thankfully, we have plenty of time for recovery now that we are here...though recovery at 21,000 ft is a vigilant task. Food, water, minor exercise, sleep, repeat.

Trips like these take time. They also take a huge team effort. I've known Steve for years and he is the best out there. I'm constantly grateful to have him as a mentor, friend, and coach. Because of his dedication, screw ups like the previous three days can be recovered from and I can be back on track with my monster of a partner in short order. #liveyouradventure #everestnofilter @eddiebauer
4w
  •   jennyelena Stunning!! 4w
  •   madair1014 @coryrichards thank you for sharing your journey with us 3w
  •   jameypricephoto @justinmarksdg you'll enjoy this feed. 2w
  •   tennesseetuxedo My father (1917-2004) would have loved following your posts and might have even gotten into those training apps. His papers and courses have all these High Altitude and Mountaineering Medicine titles. He was the MD and a founder of Riverside Mt. Rescue. 1w

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coryrichards I've always found it interesting what media chooses to perpetuate when it comes to the Everest paradigm. Every year, journalists seem to channel energy and attention towards that which has the most potential for drama. This year, the discussion seems to be magnifying a splintering of approaches to the mountain and almost building cults of North vs. South. I have to admit that I've unfortunately, and unknowingly been perpetuating that. That's my fault and I apologize.
The truth is each side has its merits, each climber makes their respective choices, and every guiding outfit makes a choice that they believe best suits their clients. These choices don't come easy for the vast majority of participants. At the end of the day, the last thing this mountain needs is more drama.
Rather than creating a vacuum in which the world watches, holding their breath in wait for the unthinkable, comparing this to that, I'd hope we could all breathe deeply and remember why it is that we come here in the first place. While our passions may have consequences, that potential is not the impetus or motivation to climb. These places draw us because they are life affirming. In that, I'd hope that this season unfolds quietly, with all teams climbing with respect for each other and most importantly, respecting this incredibly special place that we are all so fortunate to engage with. #liveyouradventure #everestnofilter @eddiebauer @adrianballinger
1mon

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coryrichards A hand. A brush. Some paint. Something old made new. Something bent straightened. Something broken fixed. A year after the earthquake in Nepal, there is still much to be done. Splintered homes to be mended. Foundations to be laid. Structures to grow up. There is more to do. Check out @thejuniperfund for one of many ways to give back to this incredible place. #NepalILoveYou @davidcmorton @melissaarnot 1mon

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coryrichards @adrianballinger dwarfed by the immensity of the Himalaya. Because of delays in border crossings, we acclimatized for eight days in the Khumbu before crossing to Tibet. In order to avoid the icefall and putting climbers and Sherpa through unnecessary risk, we've opted to attempt Everest without supplementary oxygen from the North this year. We are doing a live Snapchat story from Everest BC today on the north side. You can also follow our unfiltered 360 degree look at an Everest expedition at EverestNoFilter on snapchat (adrianjb and crichardsphoto personal snapchats) #everestnofilter @eddiebauer #liveyouradventure 1mon

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coryrichards @adrianballinger at 19,200 ft above the Khumbu. Acclimatizing is not always fun. In all actuality, it can really suck. Headaches and nausea, fatigue...it's all part of he game. The fact that we've come up to 20,300 ft, the summit of Island Peak in 6 days doesn't make it any more comfortable...and can be dangerous. Knowing your body is key. Good acclimatization isn't synonymous with good fitness, nor does fitness mean you'll acclimatize well. Drinking lots and staying hyper vigilant to your body's cues is the only way to stay on track. That said, no matter how miserable it gets, sleeping in places like this seems to make it all okay. Follow us on snapchat at EverestNoFilter adrianjb and crichardsphoto @eddiebauer #liveyouradventure 1mon

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coryrichards It wasn't warm at 18,000 ft today. Chukkung Ri with @adrianballinger and @markstonephoto was a fun jaunt uphill and a bit of a lung burner. We stayed high for two hours or so before the clouds ate the range and we were too cold to hang out any longer. More motion and banter on our snapchat EverestNoFilter and crichardsphoto @eddiebauer #liveyouradventure how's your Logo Per Square Inch (LPSI) ratio today? #branded #LPSI 2mon

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coryrichards "They say you are what you eat...but I don't remember eating a fucking legend..." These are not @adrianballinger words...but I'd go ahead and apply them. He has spent 25 seasons (conservatively) in the greater Himalaya as a guide. His bio includes 12 8000m summits on 4 separate peaks, including 6 Everest summits and 2 successful ski descents, one of which, Manaslu, was a first descent. So yeah, he's spent a little time breathing thin air...and a great partner to have for a no Os attempt on Everest this spring.
He is a measured voice amongst a sea of opinions regarding commercial Himalayan guiding, the state of mountain politics there in, and the future of guiding on the worlds highest peaks.

His nick names include 'stick-bug', 'the lung', and other names that I can't put here. Follow our trip on snapchat at EverestNoFilter adrianjb and crichardsphoto #EverestNoFilter @eddiebauer #liveyouradventure
2mon

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coryrichards Grasping at blessings. Smoke, the physical manifestation of prayer envelopes a passing hand in Kathmandu. The pungent, humanity affirming, often acrid aroma of life stacked upon life stacked upon life is thick in the valley. As tourists and climbers return after the tragic events of the previous two years, there seems to be a sense of forgetfulness that is at once intentional and timid. There is a hopefulness and a pervasive tension. @adrianballinger and I are headed into the Khumbu tmrw to acclimatize while we wait for the border to open...an unexpected change to the plan. All is well tho as we head to the north side of Everest for a no Os attempt. Follow along on Snapchat at EverestNoFilter adrianjb and crichardsphoto @eddiebauer #liveyouradventure #everestnofilter 2mon

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coryrichards Photo @drewkelly47 TWO DAYS until @thelumineers #Cleopatra is in your library! Link in bio.

I'm not sure if humans can actually be artists or if we are more just channels through which a larger creative narrative flows. Either way, it's such a privilege to celebrate the artistic expression of friends...especially when you can put it on repeat and exhaust your speakers. @jeremiahfraites is either a channel or an artist...I don't really know. What I do know is he is a great human and friend...and I couldn't be more proud of him and the rest of the whole band for pouring themselves into something that we can all engage in. Creative expression is synonymous with courage...and courage is worthy of praise. Here is to you Jer and the whole band. I'm in awe.
2mon

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