But people had done that. They had reached the top without the additional oxygen. And not many of them; only about 1 percent. According to Ed Viesturs, the 99 percent of people who had successfully climbed Mount Everest, did it with the help of extra oxygen, and couldn’t have done it otherwise. And who is he to state that opinion? He is of that 1 percent – he is the first American to set his foot on the top and looked down upon the nature with satisfaction – not only because he conquered the beast, but because he conquered it without the extra air in his lungs. Naturally, he says, he felt like a Superman.
Recently, some climbers have tried to climb -and a Mexican climber had succeeded, reaching the top without oxygen. Other attempts, unfortunately, ended in deaths. This is how hard it is! If this doesn’t scare you yet, just take a look at some statistics – only 3 percent of climbers don’t use additional oxygen above 7,000 meters or 23,000 feet but 22 percent of the 111 deaths happened above 7,000 meters, says Richard Salisbury of the Himalayan Database. And since there are people who are still in the process of climbing, many fear these statistics will eventually show a more frightening result.