A British endurance swimmer summoned the peak of his powers to become the first person to swim under the summit of Mt. Everest, Sky News reported Sunday. Lewis Gordon Pugh battled freezing waters wearing only a pair of Speedos, a cap and goggles to cross the one kilometer (0.62 miles) glacial lake next to the Khumbu Glacier.
The swim, in two degrees Celsius, was undertaken to draw attention to the melting Himalayan glaciers. Behind him are (from left) Everest Ridge, Mt Everest and Mt Nuptse. After the swim, he explained the challenge of swimming at such an altitude.
When I did a 20-metre practice swim as fast as I could, I felt as if I was drowning. I couldn’t catch my breath. I learnt I had to swim as slowly as possible, maintaining a fine balance between going too fast, which could cause me to drown through hyperventilation, and too slowly, which could kill me through hypothermia.