And ... Fight!
The expedition's main problem was the fact that it was 1953. At that time, there had been very few attempts or successful climbs of mountains that high, so no one knew much about the lethal effects of the thin air at those altitudes. Climbers, for instance, didn't know that future generations would label everything 26,000 feet and higher "The Death Zone" because the human body literally can't survive for more than a couple of days.
After suffering through bad weather and organization, Hermann Buhl and the rest of the summit party got the green light to ascend to a camp at 22,600 feet. From there they would climb to the summit the next day. They woke at 1 a.m., but Buhl's partner wasn't feeling well, so Buhl decided that was fine, he would just go alone.
"Just going to expand mankind's horizons, get some coffee on the brew."
At the time, only two mountains above 26,000 feet had been climbed, and most expeditions were huge, with massive resources and hundreds of people working on getting two men to the summit. Aside from the usual threats of avalanches and getting crushed by falling ice blocks, there also was the danger of sheer exhaustion and oxygen deprivation; some climbers would just walk off cliffs in their oxygen-less confusion. Without supplementary oxygen at that altitude, which Buhl didn't have, climbers need to breathe 10 to 20 times before they have the energy to take a single step. And in all this, Buhl decided he was going to just walk up to the top alone, making it not only the first ascent of the mountain, but the first solo ascent.
Naturally, it was harder than he anticipated. He finally did reach the summit but not until 7 p.m. ... which means it was going to be dark on the way down. No, you can't climb down a mountain in the dark, unless you want to make the trip really, really fast, and wind up as a shattered, partially frozen bag of meat at the end. So Buhl was forced to spend the night at about 26,000 feet.
Standing on a narrow ledge, clinging to a single handhold.
All night. Knowing that if he fell asleep, he would tumble to his death.
"I wonder if I can pull it here."