Climbing the highest peak in the world requires a lot of time just sitting around. It’s nearly impossible to speed up the acclimatizing process, so to adapt to the altitude, climbers often lie around Base Camp, reading if they can focus, eating if they get hungry. This is the reason Everest expeditions are often two to three months long — and why Base Camp has increasingly been outfitted more like a high-end hostel than a bare bones campground. Still, there’s one amenity that’s difficult to find: “We took two showers the entire time we were there,” says climber and photographer Cory Richards, who just came back from an eight-week expedition to the mountain, during which he summitted Everest without oxygen — a feat that less than 200 people have accomplished.
During the expedition, Richards and climbing partner Adrian Ballinger, who had to turn back just below the summit due to frostbite risk, became the first people to document their climb via Snapchat, posting short videos about everything from the surprisingly mellow scene at Everest’s north side Base Camp to acclimatization treks high up on the mountain. At one point the duo began joking online about their general griminess and began the hashtag #hairbyeverest. In honor of this, we offered to give the two a haircut, After coming down from the mountain, driving across the Tibetan Plateau, and flying back to New York — a trip that took less than week — we took the pair to Persons of Interest barbershop In Brooklyn to get a post-climb clean-up. And to talk about their successful summit bid, of course.