Sir Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norgay became the first men to reach the summit of Mount Everest, the world's tallest mountain, in 1953. Though incredibly difficult and dangerous to climb, by the mid-1990s technology had advanced to the point that even intermediate-level climbers could make the attempt with the assistance of expert guides. In 1996, an unprecedented 17 expeditions--hundreds of climbers--attempted to scale the Himalayan peak. One of these included Sandy Pittman, an only moderately experienced climber.
Pittman, the socialite wife of legendary television businessman Bob Pittman, joined expert guide Scott Fischer's team and was acting as a web correspondent for NBC Interactive Media. In her first report, she wrote: "I have got as much in the way of computers and electronic hardware as I have climbing equipment: two portable microcomputers, a camcorder, three 35 mm cameras, a digital camera, two tape recorders, a CD player, a printer and a sufficient quantity (I hope) of solar panels and batteries to make the whole lot operate. I would not like to leave without taking a blend of coffee from Dean & DeLuca, as well as my espresso machine. And because we will be on Everest for Easter, I have also taken four chocolate eggs.
Hunting for Easter eggs at 5,000 meters should be interesting." All of these items were carried up the mountain not by Pittman, but by Lopsang Jangbu Sherpa, an employee of the Fischer team. Furthermore, Pittman planned a meeting with her friends--including Martha Stewart--at the base camp and reportedly had the latest copies of Vogue and Vanity Fair ferried up to her at the camp while the team acclimatized to the high altitude of the Himalayas.
Ninety-eight other climbers made it to the peak of Everest in the spring of 1996.
Taken from: http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/death-on-mount-everest [10.05.2013]