Everest – The Final Ridge

Experience the final push to the top of the world.


The Story Behind the Climb

Imagine… it’s 11pm and you’re in the death zone. It’s -20 degrees Celsius, your mind isn’t quite right due to the lack of oxygen, you’ve got 20 000 kids in 130 schools that have been following along for 60 days, you’ve shot and packaged content with bulky cameras the entire season to bring youth on the journey, your friend’s ashes are in your pocket – and this is it.


Three years prior, Dawa and I made it to camp 4 together. He didn’t climb with me because he wasn’t feeling well. Our team didn’t end up making it. We turned back 500ft from the top because of the changing weather patterns. I didn’t bring home a single image. Two years later, I tried again from the North Side. History repeated itself. 500ft from the top and the weather shut us down once again.

Post summit climb in 2007
Post Everest summit climb in 2007

Determined to try again, a year later, we were in position at camp 4, ready to give it all we had, one last time. Redemption. Perseverance. Resilience. Passion. A promise. Brotherhood.

We skyrocketed up Everest that night. It was as though Sean’s spirit was catapulting us up the mountain. I was terrified to fail again. This would be the 3rd time, and this time, with so many inspired young eyes and spirits cheering us on. I struggled with my feet that night so had to move as fast as possible. It was just Dawa and I, step by step, making our way to the roof of the world.

Just beneath the south summit of Mt. Everest

Everything I accomplished that year, I accomplished because of men like Dawa. Behind all of the Everest expedition images you see, incredible Sherpa men and sometimes women are making the magic happen, risking their lives, often to put their children through school and to support their families. That year, we climbed entirely as a Sherpa unit. It was the most rewarding experience of my life. Dawa Tenzing was the man standing next to me the entire way.

We were on the summit for over an hour. Taking pictures, shooting video, radioing the kids and finally after five years of commitment, I honoured the life of my friend Dr. Sean Egan.

Dawa Tenzing on top of the world.
Dawa Tenzing on top of the world.
top of the world
Elia Saikaly on top of the world
Elia Saikaly on top of the world
Elia, Chomba and Sean Egan
The chorten I built for my friend Sean Egan
The chorten I built for my friend Sean Egan

Ad Astra! May this journey inspire the wildest of dreams.

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