BAFTA nominated series producer, camera operator and adventurer Ed Wardle has been climbing at high altitude since 2000.

Ed first contacted us when filming the Discovery Channel’s acclaimed ‘Everest – Beyond The Limit’ series, and working with us helped him prepare for the challenge of summiting the mountain.

Prepping to climb Everest again – and using The Altitude Centre equipment to help him acclimatise – Ed talks to us about his challenges at altitude, and offers some tips on how to summit safely and successfully.

‘When I started filming expeditions, I realised I had to be fitter and faster than the climbers I was shooting. In the past, that meant climbing to altitude to acclimatise in advance of the expedition. When I discovered the Altitude Centre, it seemed the perfect solution.

‘Right now I’m preparing to go to Everest again in April, and using a Hypoxico Everest II to pre-acclimatise. I’m filming a live television show for the Discovery Channel, where American wingsuit-flyer, Joby Ogwyn plans to execute the extraordinary feat of jumping off the top of Everest. All going well, around May 10th this year, ‘Everest Jump Live’ will broadcast around the world.

‘Joby is a very strong climber and holds the record for the fastest ascent of Everest. To film him I have to be able to keep up with him and ideally be faster than him, and training with The Altitude Centre system at home will greatly help with this.

‘Over the last six months I’ve been developing the stories for ‘Everest Jump Live’, working with NBC New York and The Discovery Channel. Ultimately I’ll lead the high altitude team of mountaineering cameramen and climb with Joby to the summit.

‘The risks on such a production as this are tremendous. Every time you climb into the Death Zone, above 8000m, you’re risking your life. Filming at extreme altitude brings additional dangers. If we achieve everything we have set out to do, I will be very surprised, but I’m determined my team and I will come home safe.

‘What Joby is attempting is exciting and inspirational. It’s also been described as death on a stick. In my mind, a difficult challenge worth taking on is something you are unlikely to succeed in. The problem for Joby is that if he doesn’t succeed, there are few scenarios that see him coming home alive.

‘The most dangerous moment will be his launch from the summit. I wouldn’t like to guess what his odds are.

‘Whilst I’ve never experienced symptoms of AMS apart from a sore head and some fatigue, I’ve had some surprising experiences at altitude.

‘In 2007 on Everest, I was filming a climber who was attempting to summit without Oxygen. He collapsed at around 8000m and I accompanied him back down to High Camp III to re-join his teammates before I re-climbed alone to Camp IV that same day.

‘It was a long, tough slog and I have a perfect, vivid memory of climbing through a steep, forested area before reaching Camp IV. I know there are no trees at 8000m, but my mind still recollects that forested area as a very real location on Everest’s north east ridge.

‘There are always new high altitude challenges to think about. I’d love to climb Everest without oxygen. I feel I can’t honestly claim to have climbed the mountain until I’ve achieved that.

‘I spent quite a few nights in a tent with Greg Child (Australian rock climber, mountaineer and writer) who told me stories about climbing K2 from the north and I’ve dreamt about attempting that for many years now.

‘The key to surviving at high altitude is to keep rested. Don’t keep pushing higher until you’ve slept well and are feeling strong again. I eat and drink a vast amount on the way up and if I feel fatigued, I rest.

‘Also, maintaining a consistently good level of fitness whether or not I’m going to altitude. I don’t count on last minute strength building to keep me going.

‘I’m also a competitive freediver, so as soon as I’m down from Everest I’m heading back to the sea. The records I set two years ago have been broken, so it’s time to see if I can push a little further. I enjoy nothing more than getting serious about my sport.’

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