“When you’re climbing Mt. Everest, you don’t just climb in the upward direction to get to the top. You also spend a lot of time climbing downward, back toward base camp.Why? Because you have to let your body get used to the altitude very slowly (a process called “acclimatization”), and that means coming back to a lower elevation several times throughout the expedition so that you can regain some strength since your body starts to deteriorate at elevations above 18,000 feet. Coming back down to base camp each time before climbing to the next higher camp can be both physically and psychologically exhausting. But it’s part of the process, so don’t look at “going backward” as losing ground. Look at it as an opportunity to re-energize so that you’re a stronger climber when you head back up the mountain again. Backing up is not the same as backing down.”
— Alison Levine, Mountaineer