Climbers arrive at Everest base camp and struggle to acclimate to the extreme altitude four miles above sea level. They quickly learn the dangers of the mountain when they hear about a Sherpa's condition.
As good weather approaches, hundreds of climbers at Advanced Base Camp prepare for the climb. The expedition leader plans for an early summit, but he'll have to push both his Sherpas and climbers extra hard to be ready in time.
Russell splits the expedition into two teams for the five-day summit assault. The first team sets off in good spirits, but on the climb from Camp One to Camp Two, Brett begins to struggle.
Both teams are trapped at high altitude by high winds and extreme cold. When the weather relents the next day, Mogens voyages higher without the aid of bottled oxygen. The rest of the team races against the clock as they run out of time and air.
Some climbers reach the top, but the mountain is crowded and they get caught in yet another line to descend. In the face of bitter cold, two struggling climbers disobey their leader's orders to turn back.
Struggling climbers suffer from "summit fever" and refuse to turn back with the summit just 350 feet above them. As other climbers descend, it's clear that many have serious frostbite. Climbers offer their final reflections on the expedition and the cost of climbing Everest.