It all started with a coffee shop conversation…”Well, we’re looking to go to Everest this spring.” A few minutes later, I sort of needed to pinch myself back to reality, “Umm, you want me to go climbing?” As an earth scientist nearing the end of my PhD in Environmental Earth System Science at Stanford, I’ve been extremely lucky to travel for my degree. My research, which focuses on the evolution of topography, ecosystems and climate over the past 65 million years has taken me all over western North America and to Mongolia twice. But I’d just been offered the opportunity to climb Lhotse, the world’s fourth highest mountain, as a researcher with on a project studying the organizational behavior of commercial mountaineering expeditions. The Extreme Environments – Everyday Decisions (www.tripleed.com) research project focuses on how organizations operate in environments where the wrong decision endangers lives. As the high altitude member of our team, I spent the spring climbing embedded with a commercial Everest operation before making a summit attempt on nearby Lhotse without supplemental oxygen.
To catch up on Hari's expedition and for more pictures and stories, visit his blog: www.hmix.org.