You know the feeling when you're so knackered you're being sucked into the vortex of your own bed. Then imagine there is so little oxygen in the air, you'd be better off breathing with a plastic bag over your head. It's as warm as a freezer, the wind is so strong it's lifting up the sides of the tent. And your partner is frisky.
This is what I love about New Zealanders, even with the odds stacked against them nothing would stop them a fair go at the world highest mountain. They didn't reach the top but writing off their effort would be like watching a man with no legs get to the twenty fifth mile of a marathon and not being impressed...
Nicknamed 'The Swiss Machine', Steck is known for his outstanding ability in alpine free climbing. Since setting a number speed records up Europe's highest mountains, the last few years have seen Steck focus on climbing in the Himalayas to peaks in excess of 8000m. The joint ascent of Everest and Lohtse was one of Steck's major high altitude bids for 2013.
Across the world, mountaineers, adventurers and explorers continue in increasing numbers to pit themselves against nature, push the boundaries of possibilities and, when successful, enjoy the sheer exhilaration of conquering and achieving a major goal. It is a raw and empowering feeling that is hard to compare in our increasingly sanitized, consumerist and materialistic society.
My name is David Tait - I'm an NSPCC Trustee and 'charity mountaineer' having now successfully climbed Mount Everest four times - in 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011. I climb to raise both awareness and money for the many violated kids - one of which was me. This is my first of many dispatches that will accompany my effort to summit for the fifth time.
I was immensely proud that my challenge raised funds in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care. They're are an awesome charity and as many people at some point in their lives are affected by cancer I think people were not only inspired by my efforts during the expedition but really believed in the cause I was trying to help along the way.