Meet Mount Everest's Artist-in-Residence

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Sherpa Phurba Tashi (right) with Russell Brice, a leader of foreign expeditions to Mount Everest.
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Click on the audio player above to hear this interview.

Beyond Mount Everest's altitude - 29,000 feet - people who have visited the mountain often find it hard to describe. 

"You, my friends, are following in the very footsteps of history -- something beyond the power of words to describe," goes a line in the 2015 movie "Everest," about the tragic 1996 disaster in which 15 climbers died. 

2015 also gave us a new milestone for climbing deaths - 19 - in the aftermath of the Nepalese Earthquake that killed thousands of people in Nepal, and dwarfed the tragedy on the mountain. For the first time in thirty years, not a single climber made it to the summit - the stunt of climbing Everest subdued by reality.

Everest inspires humility, but with increasingly global pressures of tourism, the mountain faces more challenges than ever. 

Derek Eland's 2016 will be all about trying to use the power of art and words to describe Everest, collecting stories and photos of those who live and work there, share who they are, and why they're there. Eland says that he's always sought to bring art to places of danger.

To learn more about his work, visit