As David Hamilton, the Jagged-Globe mountain guide inched up Everest, I found myself spending the day and then half the night clicking the little blue dots and following the location triangle up from the South Col. There is little more than a line, a few dots, and your choice of topo. or satellite view – it is the ultimate in simplicity.
One of the hardest things about Everest is historically people went away and the overriding question was ‘Where are they now?’
On the Garmin InReach, every blue dot provides a time and place. If you know the route, the visuals play out in your head. And getting up and down Everest is so much about timing – with oxygen there is a ticking clock on just how long you can spend up there.
So every little dot is movement, every stall in time or connection opens up a whole raft of questions. Are they resting, changing tanks, waiting in line? Or turning around? As the day went on and then the summit is reached, the up questions turn to down questions. Why aren’t they moving faster, it is getting dark soon?
Then finally, at 11 p.m. the dots reach Camp 4 and the South Col, now we can all get some sleep