Jeff and Kellie Erwin Rhoads came close to death on the world's tallest mountain in 1989, but they are getting ready for another assault on Mt. Everest.

The Pocatello couple's team huddled at nearly 27,000 feet on May 23, 1989, hoping the weather would abate to allow them the final route up. Instead, they saw a blizzard headed toward the mountain and abandoned everything as they descended to save their lives."We waited longer than we should've," Jeff said. "When dawn finally came we saw those clouds and said, `We have got to get out of here!"'

Everyone survived, but they listened on the radio as five members of a Polish expedition died in the storm.

The Rhoadses are raising money and getting psyched up to take on the 29,028-foot mountain next October.

"It's a big risk," Jeff admitted. "But we do this because it's a way of putting our lives in perspective. You can watch slides or see a video, but you don't get anything out of life that way."

The Razor's Edge, an American expedition, will leave for Tibet in August. Currently, the couple is trying to raise money for the trip, which will cost them more than $25,000.

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It all began in 1977 when the two were involved in the outdoor program at Idaho State University. They both loved climbing and gradually honed their skills in the Sawtooths, Tetons, Mt. Rainier and finally, Mt. McKinley.

They currently are talking to prospective corporate sponsors, as well as holding slide shows at Idaho schools.

Adventure is in the minds of the Rhoadses again, although they still remember that first, unsuccessful climb. They are glad to have survived an avalanche, below-zero temperatures and winds that knocked one member into a crevasse. That climber was saved.

"I walk around and see people all bummed out because they're having a bad hair day and you want to say to them, `Get real people.' Climbing just makes you enjoy life so much more," Jeff Rhoads said.

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