Epson on Everest
Everest Climb for Peace Takes Epson Multimedia Storage Viewer to New Heights
Can Epson technology survive in the midst of extreme sub-zero temperatures, fierce winds, avalanches and oxygen deprivation? Epson’s P-4000 Multimedia Storage Viewer met the challenge with ease as it aided climbers on their trek during the treacherous 60-day Everest Climb for Peace expedition. The team reached the pinnacle on May 18, 2006.
The Everest Peace Project is expedition leader Lance Trumbull’s brainchild, born in a flash of inspiration on a mountaintop in Ladkh, India. “For the next four years, I spent every day of my life putting the expedition together, coming up with a team of people of different faiths and backgrounds to climb 29,035 feet to the top of the world’s tallest mountain,” he said. He wanted to demonstrate that, regardless of religious or ethnic differences, people could count on each other even when their lives depended on it.
As expedition leader, Trumbull climbed with the team on the first leg of their brutal ascent from the north side of the mountain in Tibet. “The climb was like a surreal journey, part desert, part mountain and part like walking on the moon,” he said. The group set up a communications tent at advance base camp, where Trumbull managed all communications with the Peace Climbers and the outside world. The rest of the team, led by climbing director Jamie McGuinness, moved cautiously up the rocky northeast ridge. Charging equipment with solar panels, Trumbull used a laptop and satellite technology to send regular e-mail, photos and streaming videos that ran as updates on www.everestpeaceproject.org.
Trumbull used the Epson P-4000 viewer to back up hundreds of photos and sneak glimpses of home during the arduous climb. “The Epson viewer allowed my team to bring their families along on the slopes of Mt. Everest, without the danger,” he said. “I was worried that the high elevation and harsh conditions would compromise the multimedia viewer. I was happy that it worked perfectly throughout our climb.”
Although advance base camp is 8,000 feet below the summit, the conditions were compromising with headaches, nausea and a sense of disorientation. “Imagine breathing less than half the air at sea level, in the bitter cold and hurricane-force winds, in which every step is a laborious and backbreaking task,” said Trumbull. “Even at base camp after weeks of acclimatization, it was still hard work.”
The multimedia viewer helped him deal with anxiety as he waited by the radio to hear updates. Though nearly 2,000 people have reached the top of Everest since the pioneering ascent in 1953, the odds of not returning alive are about one in 20.
“To deal with the anxiety, I would turn on the Epson viewer and look at pictures of my beautiful wife, Tikky, and our dog, Joey. It made me feel less homesick because I could see their smiling faces on the viewing screen and that felt like home.”
“With the Epson viewer, I was able to store and share thousands of photos, videos, music and much more in a little handheld device," said Trumbull. "Its small size didn’t add much to the weight of the loads that our climbers and Sherpas had to get up and down the mountain.”
The viewer’s 80GB hard drive allowed Trumbull to back up and review the photos taken during the Everest Peace Climb. “Because of the importance of documenting our historical climb, it was vital that all our pictures were backed up and secure.” He was able to download or transfer files without using the laptop. Images captured on the climb include glimmering pyramids of ice called seracs, exhausted team members inching up slippery slopes into the clouds, and the first to summit at 6:51 a.m., Israeli David “Dudu” Yifrah, unfurling a joint Palestinian/Israeli flag. “I don’t think I have ever been happier!” radioed Dudu to his Palestinian friend Ali Bushnaq, a non-professional climber who made it to 23,000 feet.
That day was a milestone that belongs to all 10 Peace Climbers who reached the summit of Mount Everest: Dudu Yifrah (Israel), Namgyal Sherpa (Nepal), Tonya Riggs (USA), Da Yula Sherpa (Nepal), Brad Clement (USA), Lakpa Sherpa (Nepal), Jamie McGuinness (New Zealand), Micha Yaniv (Israel), Selebelo Selamelola (South Africa), Dawa Gelge Sherpa (Nepal).
The Everest Climb for Peace was not without its moments of fright during the Everest 2006 season known for its fatalities. Soon after reaching “the roof of the world,” Selamelola collapsed. Following his dramatic 36-hour rescue, all Peace Climbers safely returned to a heroes’ welcome.
Back in Sunnyvale, Trumbull continues to spread his message of peace, international cooperation and teamwork. So far, he has successfully led peace climbs on Mount Everest and Mount Kilimanjaro, with plans to reach the top of all “Seven Summits,” the highest mountains on each continent. Filmed by Peace Climber Brad Clement and Trumbull, the Everest Climb for Peace is now being made into a full-length documentary by award-winning filmmaker Billy Marchese of Dezart Cinematic.
Hundreds of expedition photos backed up by the Epson multimedia viewer are now a testament to the climb’s success. “Epson contributed to our historic feat and enabled us to bring and share a part of home as we reached the highest peak on the Earth,” said Trumbull.