We're carrying everything ourselves that we need to survive including 2,000 metres of safety lines, ice screws, snow pickets, biners, stoves, gas and personal climbing gear, not to mention a whole whack of camera gear as my other responsibility is to film and photograph this climb every step of the way. Why you ask?
Imagine being in total darkness, knowing if you fall you die, and being so completely out of breath and energy that you can only move forward an inch at a time. I'm wasted. Finished. Out of energy. My only savior at this point is the sun.
The reality here is this: People die on 8,000-meter mountains and it is irresponsible not to have a plan in place in the event that something goes wrong. I found myself packing all of my gear as though I was never going to return.