Mountaineers Bem and Svaricek release Everest book & documentary
Earlier this year Prague Mayor Pavel Bem became just the tenth Czech in history to conquer Mount Everest, at 8,848 metres the world’s highest peak. Mr Bem – an experienced alpinist – set his sights on the mountain despite criticism at home for taking leave of absence. But he didn’t allow himself to be deterred and, ultimately, he succeeded: on May 18th he and two Sherpas, who were part of a six-man team, reached the summit. The moment, and many others from the journey, resulted in a 27-minute film as well as coffee table-sized book released by Bem and fellow climber Rudolf Svaricek. Radio Prague was at the book's launch on Tuesday.
The film is just one component of a lavish book & gift package released by Mr Bem and fellow climber Rudolf Svaricek this week. Along with the film, the package features a coffee table book full of photographs and other documentation as well as added surprises: an extensive map of the mountain and even copies of prayer flags. I spoke to Pavel Bem and asked him how – after months since his climb – he now saw his experience:
“Day-by-day when I wake up in the morning I am reminded of some of the beautiful views and panoramas which I saw from the summit, which I guess are somehow unique. I was present at the birth of a new day in the central Himalayas. It was like a miracle for me.”
The mayor admits that climbing Everest was a journey not with one but many different layers of meaning:
“We knew that the mountain has its own spirituality and we knew that it’s more than just the climbing experience or the lifestyle of the local people, the nomads, the Sherpas. It’s also a question of the ‘mystery’, linked to historic attempts and climbs to touch the highest point on the planet.”
Sadly, only two months after the successful ascent, Nima, one of the Sherpas who reached the peak with Pavel Bem, died on K2.
Mr Bem’s book, entitled Treti Everest (The Third Everest), has been dedicated to the Sherpa’s memory. Complete with the film, it goes on sale in Prague on Wednesday. For now, there are no plans to release the book in English, only Czech.