(Silver Spring, Md.) - Discovery
Channel sends its most advanced high-altitude cameras once again to the
world's tallest mountain to document an epic climb where ambition
overrides agony, exhaustion -- and the chances of survival. EVEREST 2:
BEYOND THE LIMIT, the second season of Discovery Channel's acclaimed
series, documents the grueling April/May 2007 summit attempt by an
international group of climbers. Airing in eight parts, the series makes
its world premiere on Tuesday, October 30, at 10PM ET/PT, and airs every
Tuesday at 10PM through Tuesday, December 18. Its companion website www.discovery.com/everest received a 2007
"Online Journalism Award" this
week for best use of digital media, and it brings visitors an intimate
look at the dangers on the mountain through interactive Sherpa-cam
video-players, games and webisodes.
New this year, beginning November 27 at 11PM ET/PT and airing following
the last four episodes of the series, viewers can catch the world
premiere of AFTER THE CLIMB, hosted by Phil Keoghan (The Amazing Race).
This four-part series features amateur climbers from the 2007 climb,
joined by an illustrious pantheon of Everest mountaineers, for a candid
conversation about climbing the mother of all mountains, their
individual climb experiences, their motivations and concerns about
attempting something so dangerous, whether technology and willpower are
enough in the face of the power of nature, whether any of them could
survive without the Sherpas, and more.
The 2007 climbing season was the busiest yet, as more
climbers than ever before faced the extreme conditions on Everest in an
attempt to fulfill a dream. Seven lost their lives, most did not reach
the summit, and those who did will never be the same.
For EVEREST 2: BEYOND THE LIMIT, a 17-member production team followed an
expedition of climbers and professional mountain guides, organized and
led by New Zealander Russell Brice. Throughout the eight-hour series,
viewers go on a journey with the climbers, gaining a unique insight into
the physical and mental strength needed to conquer Mount Everest.
High-resolution Sherpa-cams give viewers a unique insight into the
dangers of the mountain and what climbers go through for the chance to
briefly stand on top of the world.
Returning this year are asthmatic Iron-Man competitor Mogens Jensen from
Denmark, who once again tries to summit without supplemental oxygen, and
Hollywood motorcycle enthusiast Tim Medvetz, who had to be talked into
turning back last year only 350 feet below summit. Joining them are
several climbers new to EVEREST: BEYOND THE LIMIT, including Katsusuke
Yanagisawa of Japan who, at 71 years old, wants to become the oldest man
ever to summit Everest; Monica Piris, from England and the team's high
altitude doctor; Betsy Huelskamp, a Los Angeles-based journalist who
interviewed Medvetz after his failed 2006 attempt and was inspired to
try the climb herself; David Tait, attempting a world-first double
traverse to raise money for a charity close to his heart; and Phurba
Tashi, Himalayan Experience's most experienced Sherpa who accompanies
Tait. Other climbers include Rod Baber from England and California
physician Fred Ziel.
Discovery Channel's award-winning EVEREST: BEYOND THE LIMIT fan site,
www.Discovery.com/Everest, will once again feature immersive Sherpa
helmet-camera segments, this year with even greater functionality.
Visitors can also watch webisodes, meet the climbers through video
profiles and interviews, explore Mount Everest through video clips from
each camp and read exclusive journals from crew members who also risked
their lives to tell the story of their fellow climbers.
EVEREST: BEYOND THE LIMIT is produced for Discovery Channel by Tigress
Productions. Dick Colthurst is the executive producer for Tigress. Mark
Allen is the executive producer for Discovery Channel.
EPISODE 1: DREAM CHASERS
Tuesday, October 30, 10-11 PM (ET/PT)
Everest has killed more than 200 people, yet nothing will stop amateur
climbers from risking their lives to conquer it. Discovery Channel
returns to Everest for another climbing season with legendary expedition
leader Russell Brice and a new team of daring men and women. High
resolution cameras capture the action as the climbers and an elite team
of Sherpas attempt an early summit. Back at camp, Russell realizes that
he'll have his work cut out for him in preparing this year's team for
the climb of their lives. Meanwhile the climbers realize the true
dangers that lie ahead when they witness two professional climbers
fighting for their lives in the Death Zone.
EPISODE 2: ON THE ROPES
Tuesday, November 6, 10-11 PM (ET/PT)
Russell Brice's team of amateur climbers faces their first big test.
He's set a five hour deadline for them to climb 2000 feet to the first
high camp, perched atop a punishing ice cliff. The climbers set off for
Camp One, but almost immediately, British climber Rod Baber is in
trouble. He's struck by a crippling headache which could be the first
warning sign of Acute Mountain Sickness or even cerebral edema - a
swelling of the brain that can kill within minutes. Los Angeles
journalist Betsy Huelskamp is also struggling to make the deadline.
Meanwhile, two climbers from Kazakhstan, who the team saw fighting for
their lives in the Death Zone, are still missing.
EPISODE 3: JUDGEMENT DAY
Tuesday, November 13, 10-11 PM (ET/PT)
The team is at 24,500 feet - higher than anywhere outside the Himalayas
- but the sun is beating down and it's incredibly hot. Even the fittest
climbers are struggling with dehydration and exhaustion as they try to
reach Camp Two. Only one climber makes Russell's deadline and there are
serious questions about who'll be allowed to try for the summit. Tim
Medvetz is told by Russell to: "Get your s**t together man", and ordered
to stop being so arrogant. Mogens, who is determined to summit without
bottled oxygen, faces some hard truths when Russell tells him: "I don't
think you can make it without oxygen." Betsy Huelskamp's summit dreams
are left hanging by a thread after Russell's guides turn her around just
below the Death Zone.
EPISODE 4: WORLD RECORD
Tuesday, November 20, 10-11 PM (ET/PT)
The training and the acclimatization climbs are over. The expedition
leaves Base Camp heading for the summit, as the death toll for this
year's climbing season continues to grow. High above the rest of the
team, David Tait and Phurba Tashi are within hours of the summit, but
even if they make it, they're only a quarter of the way through their
extraordinary world record, double traverse attempt. Neither of them has
ever been on the south side of Everest, where they will fall into the
shadow of the mountain - radio silence - and be on their own.
EPISODE 5: LONG WAY DOWN
Tuesday, November 27, 10-11 PM (ET/PT)
Word comes from the south side that the two team members attempting a
double traverse, David Tait and Phurba Tashi, have been spotted making
their way down toward the highest camp and relative safety. But their
world record attempt may be over. Russell Brice gives a pre-summit pep
talk to the team, and reiterates how dangerous the climb will be and how
he won't tolerate anyone disobeying his orders. As Team One sets off for
the summit, Tim Medvetz is last out of camp and taking his time on the
first leg to Camp One. When Tim eventually arrives there, Russell
threatens to throw him off the team.
EPISODE 6: THE DEATH ZONE
Tuesday, December 4, 10-11 PM (ET/PT)
Team One fights their way to Camp 4 inside the Death Zone at 27,500
feet, where their bodies are slowly dying from lack of oxygen. As they
arrive they're met with the sight of a dead climber lying in the snow.
Meanwhile, as Team Two gets ready to leave Advance Base Camp, an Irish
mountaineer with excruciatingly painful snow blindness is brought to see
expedition doctor Monica Piris. Asthmatic Mogens Jensen has made it to
Camp 2, but suffers a bad asthma attack during the climb. He must
determine whether or not he'll continue his pursuit of a summit without
EPISODE 7: BREAKING POINT
Tuesday, December 11, 10-11 PM (ET/PT)
Five miles high in the Death Zone, Team One sets off for the summit at
midnight in minus 30 degrees. Before the sun rises, Tim Medvetz falls
and snaps two bones in his left hand. Any accident in the Death Zone is
potentially fatal, but Tim has decided not to radio expedition leader
Russell Brice because he knows he'll be ordered to turn around. He's now
gambling with his life - hoping he can make it up and down with only one
good hand. British climber Rod Baber is hoping to make the world's first
mobile phone call from the summit, while Californian doctor Fred Ziel
continues to forge ahead.
EPISODE 8: NOW OR NEVER
Tuesday, December 18, 10-11 PM (ET/PT)
Conditions are uncharacteristically perfect as Team Two attempts early
morning summits. Asthmatic Mogens Jensen and 71-year-old Katsusuke
Yanagisawa ascend toward the summit. Even for those who do make it to
the highest point on Earth, it's not over yet; 80 percent of deaths
happen on the descent, and dangers lurk ahead. Tim Medvetz is still
struggling with his badly broken hand, which is so swollen he can't
remove his glove. An anchor for the safety ropes gives way, leaving
Mogens dangling perilously over an 8,000 foot drop.
AFTER THE CLIMB
Tuesdays at 11 PM ET/PT beginning November 27
Hosted by Phil Keoghan (The Amazing Race), this four-part series
features amateur climbers from the 2007 climb, joined by an illustrious
pantheon of Everest mountaineers, for a candid conversation about
climbing the mother of all mountains, their individual climb
experiences, their motivations and concerns about attempting something
so dangerous, whether technology and willpower are enough in the face of
the power of nature, whether any of them could survive without the
Sherpas, and more.
The following are among those
featured in EVEREST 2: BEYOND THE LIMIT:
Expedition Leader, Himalayan Experience (New Zealand)
This will be Russell's 18th year on Everest, and as expedition leader
for Himalayan Experience, no one knows the risks quite like he does. In
his own words, "80 percent of my friends are dead." Controversy
surrounds the ‘King of the Mountain' following the 2006 expedition - the
second deadliest season on record, and Russell is known as a tough
leader. Though climbers pay a $40,000 fee to join the Himalayan
Experience team, Russell has final say as to whether or not climbers
progress far enough to actually attempt a summit.
Rod Baber, 36, gained a Guinness World-Record for ascending the 47
European summits in the shortest time. In between summits, Rod now runs
a climbing center in the west of England, where he and his colleagues
teach anyone from corporate business teams to young offenders how to
deal with heights and fear, instilling interpersonal skills in their
charges along the way. He's planning to make the first ever cell phone
call from Everest's summit.
Climber (California, USA)
A Los Angeles-based journalist, 46-year-old Betsy interviewed Tim
Medvetz last year following his 2006 attempt, and was inspired to give
it a go herself. Her motto has always been, "if you are not living life
on the edge, you are missing the view!" Betsy has been featured in
motorcycle documentaries (on Discovery Channel, TLC, National Geographic
Channel and Travel Channel) and writes for numerous biking magazines.
She's an ice climber, trekker, bungee jumper, diver, Kung Fu black belt,
and has worked much of her adult life as a personal trainer.
A former elite Iron Man, Mogens Jensen is a chronic asthma sufferer who
is determined to summit Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen. A
schoolteacher turned professional mountaineer from Denmark -- a country
with no mountains -- Mogens attempted to summit in 2005 and 2006. Last
year on entering the Death Zone, Mogens was hit by altitude sickness -
and for almost two weeks after he returned home, he continued to suffer
blurred vision and loss of balance. Is he dangerously obsessed? This
year, Russell wants him to abandon his ambition to climb without oxygen.
Climber (California, USA)
A fun-loving risk-taker who designs Harley-Davidson motorcycles in
Hollywood, California, Tim Medvetz stands 6'5" (a disadvantage for
high-altitude mountaineering) and has a metal cage around his spine,
metal plates in his head and his left leg is held together with pins and
rods -- the result of a near-fatal bike crash. Tim surprised everyone
last year by making it as far as camp 4, before falling victim to summit
fever. Climbing too slowly and running low on oxygen, he engaged in a
heated argument with Russell Brice, who ordered him to turn around. Tim
credits Russell with saving his live, but how far will he push himself
to succeed this year?
Expedition Doctor (England)
Born in Oxford to Spanish parents, she is truly bilingual. Monica Piris
spends her summers rock-climbing in the Spanish Pyrenees, her winters
skiing and ice-climbing, and in between earns the money to fund her
hobbies by working as a locum doctor in English emergency rooms. In
2006, she completed a Diploma in Mountain Medicine - and her trip to
Everest is the next step in her ambition to become a specialist high
altitude doctor. She will follow Russell to North Col, from where she
can best monitor the team's health. Along the way, she'll tend to
numerous climbers on other expeditions who fall ill while trying to
reach the summit.
David is planning a world-first "double-traverse" of Everest with Phurba
Tashi. His goal is to summit from the north side, then descend down the
south side, where he'll reverse and climb up the south side and down the
north. David first attempted a summit in 2004, but his body just
couldn't cope with the extreme altitude. In 2005 as part of Russell
Brice's team, he made it to the summit. That year, David's climbing
buddy, Brett Merrell, went through the same disappointment David had a
year prior. David could relate and offered to pay for Brett to try again
- and he did in first season of Everest: Beyond the Limit. David's
generosity stretches beyond other climbers. A millionaire fund manager,
he is on the board of the NSPCC (National Society for Prevention of
Cruelty to Children). Abused as a child himself, David plans to raise
money for the charity close to his heart.
Phurba is Russell's most experienced Sherpa - his lead guide, or "Sirdar."
He has summitted Everest an incredible ten times. He is Russell's eyes,
ears, arms and legs on the mountain. Incredibly strong, even at high
altitude, he is entrusted absolutely with the climbers' safety. Last
year Phurba was on the spot to deal with two climbers' near mutiny on
summit day. This year Phurba will be attempting the double traverse with
David Tait - if successful, an Everest first.
A cell phone dealer from Kaunas, Lithuania, who works across Eastern
Europe, Darius climbed Cho Oyu three years ago with Russell Brice.
Darius is married with children aged 11 and 3. His family is worried
about his latest adventure, but supportive. "I tell them it is my dream
- I have to go."
At the age of 71, Katsusuke hopes to become the oldest person to ever
Climber (California, USA)
Fred is a physician and family man from South Pasadena, California,
where he runs the local Diabetes Care Program. His passion for climbing
and mountaineering dates back over 30 years, and he's completed
successful ascents on both rock and ice throughout North America and
Asia. This marks his third trip to Everest.
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