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'From Tengboche monastery—a day's walk below Everest base camp—a morning view illuminates Everest on the left and Lhotse on the right. Everest's 29,035-foot frame presides over the world's 13 highest peaks—all exceeding 26,246 feet—in Asia's Himalayan and Karakoram ranges.'
–Photographer Abrahm Lustgarten  
Credit: Abrahm Lustgarten 
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'I ran into this Nepali woman, clothed in traditional Hindu dress, on the trail outside Namche Bazaar, where porters and villagers often gather to get jobs and watch trekkers and expeditions roll into town,' says Abrahm. Although Everest has become a more popular spot in the last few decades, with media crowds and inexperienced climbers swelling at base camp, the mountain's death toll—about one death for every eight climbers that summit—reminds us that while we may periodically conquer nature, we will never tame it.  
Credit: Abrahm Lustgarten 
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Before trekking toward Everest, climbers and porters often stop at the Tengboche monastery, the largest Tibetan monastery in the region. Prayer flags—the symbolic pennants of Buddhist worship—flutter from stupas (dome-shaped shrines), statues, and arches. They also await those few brave—and lucky—climbers who successfully summit Mount Everest.  
Credit: Abrahm Lustgarten 
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'A Nepali boy looks over a stone wall where I had stopped for lunch at a small trailside restaurant,' observes Abrahm. 'Children gather at the many rest stops for trekkers along the Everest route.' The walk to Everest's base camp from the country's capital, Kathmandu, takes anywhere from a week to ten days and is useful for climbers acclimatizing to the thinner air. At 11,300 feet, Namche Bazaar and its surrounding area is the heart of the Sherpa community.  
Credit: Abrahm Lustgarten 
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Along the trek from Jiri to Everest the gorges deepen and the high Himalayas begin to come into view. Here the oxygen is rich and clean, but at 26,000 feet above sea level in the 'Death Zone' the air holds only a third as much oxygen, heightening the chances of hypothermia, frostbite, high-altitude pulmonary edema, and high-altitude cerebral edema.  
Credit: Abrahm Lustgarten 
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The photographer met this 12-year-old Nepali porter just outside of Jiri. 'He's one of the younger porters I encountered,' says Abrahm. 'He will carry his load to Namche within a week.'
An older porter, Ang Sherpa, holder of the record for the most Everest summits replied when asked why he repeatedly risked his life for an average of $8 per day: 'Not important for record, my family more important, but I have to climb so that they don't have to, and give good education for kids…more opportunity after...'  
Credit: Abrahm Lustgarten 
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Everest Base Camp sits over three miles above sea level (17,600 feet), high enough to cause severe head rushes and weight loss. But from base camp, climbers must ascend another 12,000 feet to reach the legendary apex. George Mallory, the first European climber to challenge Everest, vanished in the winds above base camp on his third attempted climb. Climbers found his body in 1999, 75 years after his disappearance. No evidence in his possession indicated that Mallory ever reached the top.  
Credit: Abrahm Lustgarten 
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Sir George Everest, the British Surveyor General from 1830 to 1843, was reluctant to have the world's highest mountain named after him. He argued that the mountain should retain its local appellation, the standard practice of geographical societies. But in 1865, the world's highest peak carried Everest's name—and has topped the annals of mountaineering legend ever since.  
Credit: Abrahm Lustgarten 
 
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