At 19,500 feet above sea level, the azure-blue sky feels closer and stands in sharp contrast to the snow white colored peaks of the world’s highest and third highest peaks, Mount Everest and Lhotse, which stand side by side. You can see these peaks in Rick’s most recent photos below. The serene beauty of this snowscape is broken by the enormous effort it takes to breath at this altitude.

The cold rarified air dictates the lungs to fully expand till they press against the ribcage to draw the meagre ration of oxygen. Every breath takes conscious effort as if doing breathing exercises. The slippery snow and ice at every step, the “sumptuous” lodging in turtle-shaped tents angled on icy slopes, and nights broken by an unharmonized symphony of cracking ice triggering titanic avalanches are now a way of life for Rick as he closes in on Mt. Everest’s summit. The journey from here on only gets harder as he begins his ascent to the top of the peak over the next couple of weeks.

As Rick and his fellow sojourners inch their way toward the summit, Rick will navigate steeper slippery icy slopes, higher altitudes with even less oxygen, and potentially risky avalanches. To top this, flimsy aluminum ladders bouncing like trampolines will masquerade as bridges over bottomless crevices.

Last week altitude sickness slowed Rick, but he bounced back with medication and rest. There is a fear of a major snow storm later this week. The unpredictability of the weather and acclimatization of the climbers defines the timelines for scaling the summit.

“Even though we're sitting right below the peak of Everest, there's some pretty clear and fantastic views of the Mount Lhotse’s and its face. So, everybody's good,” reported Rick.

Will you kindly join us in prayer to uphold Rick and his fellow climbers as they close in on Mount Everest’s summit.

Rick Poole, a veteran mountain climber, businessman, husband, father, and longtime supporter of Kids Alive, with five of the world’s highest summits under his belt is climbing Mt Everest to raise $29,035.00 for at-risk children and orphans. That is $1 for every one of the 29,035 feet he will climb to the top of the world’s highest peak to put smiles on the faces of children scaling their own difficult journeys. Please join Rick with your financial and prayer support and follow is ascent via this blog and on Facebook: