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Everest Climber's Mountaintop Experience

While scaling the summit of Mt. Everest, Brian Dickinson was confronted by his own mortality. With his vision and breathing significantly impaired, he had to rely solely on God. Read Transcript


I AM ON THE TOP OF THE WORLD.

NO ONE COMING TO GET ME.

I AM ALONE, I AM BLIND, AND I

HAVE TO GET DOWN.

AT ONE POINT I YELLED OUT, I AM

NOT GOING TO DIE ON THIS

MOUNTAIN.

REPORTER: BRIAN DICKINSON IS

A HIGHLY SKILLED AND

SELF-SUFFICIENT MOUNTAIN

CLIMBER.

IN 2011 AT THE TOP OF MT.

EVEREST, HIS SURVIVAL WAS BEYOND

HIS ABILITY AND CONTROL.

HIS WIFE JOANNA RECALLS HIS

DECISION.

WHEN HE DECIDED TO CLIMB, I

KNEW THIS IS WHAT YOU WANT TO

DO.

I HAVE TRUST YOU ARE GOING TO

MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICES.

LOTS OF PEAKS IN MY BACKYARD

AND THROW 50 POUNDS IN A PACK,

CLIMB UP IN THE MORNING AND BACK

UP HERE AT 8:00 FOR A MEETING

REPORTER: NOTHING CAN

PREPARE A CLIMBER FOR THE DEATH

ZONE ON EVEREST.

THEY CALL IT THE DEATH ZONE,

IF YOU CUT YOUR FINGER, IT WON'T

HEAL.

FIVE SECONDS BETWEEN EACH STEP.

TAKE A BREATH.

REALLY MOVING IN SLOW

MEDICATION.

REPORTER: HE BEGAN HIS CLAIM

WITH TWO OTHERS.

ONE BECAME ILL.

ISSUES AROSE THE NEXT DAY.

BRIAN SLIPPED AND LET GO OF HIS

GOGGLES, EXPOSING EYES TO

HARMFUL UV RAYS.

I REPELLED DOWN 500 FEET.

I REACHED MY GOGGLES.

THEY ARE CRACKED RIGHT THROUGH

THE MIDDLE.

THEY ARE FREEZING BETWEEN

LAYERS.

IT WAS CREATING THIS ICE.

I HAD A DIME-SIZED HOLE IN MY

LEFT EYE AND REST FROZEN.

HE REMOVED HIS INNER

PROTECTIVE LAYER.

HE WAS UNAWARE OF THE UV DAMAGE

TO HIS EYES.

I HAD TO STAY FOCUSSED TO

KEEP MOVING UP THE HILL.

REPORTER: AT 26,000 FEET,

BRIAN AND SURPA RESTED.

THEY MADE THEIR SUMMIT ATTEMPT.

HE BECAME ILL LEAVING BRIAN WITH

A TOUGH DECISION.

I HAD TO EVALUATE THAT, RISK

VS. REWARD.

CAN PASONG GET DOWN BY HIMSELF.

HE PUT EXTRA OXYGEN BOTTLE THERE

IN THE SNOW.

HE WENT DOWN AND I WENT UP, WE

DIDN'T LOOK BACK.

WHAT IS INTERESTING, DURING THIS

WHOLE CLIMB WHILE I WAS BY

MYSELF, I FELT THIS PRESENCE

LIKE I WAS NEVER ALONE.

REPORTER: BRIAN CLIMBED

THROUGHOUT NIGHT.

HE MADE IT TO THE TOP OF THE MT.

EVEREST, HIGHEST POINT ON EARTH.

LAST STEPS, EVERYTHING FROM

PROUD TO EXHAUSTED.

I AM ONE OF, I GUESS, TWO OR

THREE PEOPLE THAT HAVE SOLOED

THE ACTUAL SUMMIT.

IT DOESN'T HAPPEN.

TEARS STARTED FORMING.

BEING AWAY FROM MY FAMILY FOR SO

LONG KNOWING I HAD TO GET DOWN

SAFELY AND BACK TO THEM.

I TURNED TO GO DOWN, ATTACHED TO

THIS ROPE, TAKE A FEW STEPS AND

EVERYTHING GOES WHITE,

COMPLETELY WHITE.

IMMEDIATELY I DROPPED DOWN AND

GRABBED THE ROPE.

I WENT SNOW BLIND.

I CAN'T SEE ANYTHING.

IT IS BRIGHT WHITE, BURNING.

MY EYES ARE BURNING.

IT FEELS LIKE IT IS SCRATCHING

THE INSIDE OF MY EYE LIDS.

REPORTER: BRIAN STARTED SLOW

SLI DOWN THE MOUNTAIN.

VERY TIRED.

I COULD HAVE CLOSED MY EYES AND

BECAME A PERMANENT MEMBER OF THE

MOUNTAIN.

REPORTER: ONE OF HIS SPIKES

UNDER HIS BOOTS CAME OFF AND

SLIT DOWN THE HILL.

I START FALLING HEAD OVER

HILLS AND THE ROPE SHOCK LOADS

ME AND ARMS AND LEGS BACKWARDS,

UPSIDE DOWN, MY BOTTLE OF OXYGEN

COMING OUT OF MY PACK.

BREATHING REALLY HARD.

REPORTER: HIS FALL STOPPED,

AFFIXED IT TO HIS BOOT AND BACK

ON THE PATH.

HE LOCATED THE OXYGEN TANK.

WITHOUT THINKING ABOUT THE EXTRA

WEIGHT, HE PUT IT IN HIS PACK.

I GET IT ON MY ROPE AND START

REPELLING.

MY MASK STARTS SUCKING INTO MY

FACE AND RAN OUT OF OXYGEN.

I RIP IT FROM MY FACE AND TAKE

THESE DEEP BREATHS.

INTO THIN AIR, NOTHING COMING

IN.

I DROPPED TO MY KNEES AND

SURRENDERED.

IT WAS SIMPLE PRAYER.

I SAID GOD I CAN'T DO THIS

ALONE.

HELP ME.

REPORTER: AT THAT MOMENT ON

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD,

FRIENDS AND FAMILY WERE SUDDENLY

COMPELLED TO PRAY FOR BRIAN.

I FELT GOD TALKING TO ME,

PRAY FOR BRIAN.

THAT WAS WHAT I PRAYED FOR.

I GOT THIS FEELING MAYBE

SOMETHING WAS WRONG.

AND UM, I KEPT PRAYING FOR GOD

TO BRING HIM HOME SAFE.

AT THAT MOMENT, I WITNESSED A

MIRACLE.

IT WAS AS IF GOD REACHED DOWN BY

THE BACK OF MY DOWN SUIT AND

LIFTED ME UP.

I HAD THIS UNEXPLAINED ENERGY TO

HAVE THAT LIFE REENTER MY BODY

WAS UNEXPLAINABLE.

TO BE ABLE TO STAND UP, FEEL

STRONG AND JUST HAVE HOPE.

I HAVE NEVER REALLY HAD A

SITUATION THIS INTENSE WHERE I

COULDN'T TAKE CREDIT FOR DOING

THINGS ON MY OWN.

AT THIS POINT, I NEEDED HELP.

I GAVE IT TO GOD.

I SURRENDERED.

REPORTER: BRIAN TRIED THE

OXYGEN TANK AND IT WORKED.

HE MADE IT DOWN TO THE CAMP AT

26,000 FEET WHERE PASANG WAS

WAITING FOR HIM.

FROM THE TENT TO THE TOP TO

THE BOTTOM, I WAS IN TEARS.

THINKING ABOUT WHAT I WENT

THROUGH.

THINKING ABOUT MY FAMILY.

AND THE MIRACLE.

REPORTER: WITH THE HELP OF

PASANG AND DENNIS, BRIAN MADE IT

THE REST OF THE WAY DOWN MT.

EVEREST, ONE MONTH LATER HIS

SIGHT RETURNED TO NORMAL.

HE WAS THANKFUL GOD WAS WITH HIM

FROM THE TOP OF THE WORLD AND

BACK DOWN AGAIN.

IN MY MOMENT OF NEED, HE WAS

THERE THE ENTIRE TIME.

HE IS ALWAYS THERE.

THAT PRESENCE I FELT, I WAS

NEVER ALONE.

WHEN I NEEDED TO BE LIFTED UP.

HE WAS THERE.

HE GOT ME DOWN THE MOUNTAIN.

I AM SO THANKFUL HE IS HERE

WITH US AND MADE IT BACK SAFE.

PEOPLE GIVE UP ON THEMSELVES,

GOD IS NOT GIVING UP ON YOU.

NO MATTER WHAT, GOD IS ALWAYS

THERE.

THROUGH THE TOUGHEST TIMES.

SURVIVING THE IMPOSSIBLE.

EMBED THIS VIDEO


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