Tag: 8000 meter peak

Japanese woman, 73 attempts Everest record

“She is an active mountaineer who is physically and mentally fit enough to climb Everest,” said Ang Tshering Sherpa, of the Kathmandu-based Asian Trekking mountaineering agency. “She will launch her ascent from the Tibetan side of the mountain.” – AFP News

Tamae Watanabe had already made history upon reaching the world’s highest peak May 16 of 2002, and now, at 73, will be attempting to smash her own record. Her plan is to summit around May 10-12. Good luck Ms. Watanabe!

Source: google.com via Charles on Pinterest

Olympic Medal Heads to Everest Summit

Kenton Cool, who has climbed Everest a record (for a British mountaineer) 9 times will be carrying a special package to the top of Everest this season.

he will have honoured a pledge by Lieutenant Colonel Edward Lisle Strutt, deputy leader of the pioneering 1922 expedition, made to Baron Pierre de Coubertin, who awarded the climbers medals at the 1924 Winter Olympics in Chamonix. Strutt promised to return to Everest and take a medal to the summit, something he never managed. — The Guardian

Kenton fell in 1996, shattering his heels and ankles, resulting in a year away from climbing, and still has metal in his legs that causes him to run with an awkward gait. In spite of that, he’ll be running a leg of the 2012 London Olympics Torch Relay on July 23. Having been a guide and taking clients to the top of Everest in the past, this year Kenton will be climbing with only the medal and a cameraman.

The Olympics are an excellent time to review our past and our future and look for the links between and connecting them. I hope this works out for the best and achieves all the goals surrounding it. I love the Olympic Park in Park City Utah where some of the events of the 2002 Winter Olympics were held, such as the various ski jumping and bobsled, luge and skeleton competitions. I would love to visit the upcoming venues in London someday. Good luck Kenton.

2002 Winter Olympic Park
2002 Winter Olympic Park in Park City Utah

Everest Unclimbable Due to Climate Change?

The infamous Apa Sherpa, who has been on the top of Everest a record 21 times, and is now a global warming advocate, is on a trek of awareness in the Himalaya now to broadcast the message that Everest is melting, and the ensuing loose rock slides will soon make Everest unclimbable.

Popular Science has a very brief article which also references the Everest Height Controversy.

The conditions are deteriorating so much that the mountain may be unclimbable in a few years, according to Apa Sherpa, a Nepali climber who has reached the summit a record 21 times.

Source: popsci.com via Charles on Pinterest

“When I first climbed there was a lot of snow and ice,” Apa has said of Everest’s decline. “But now most of it has just become bare rock. That is causing more rockfalls which are dangerous to climbers.” — TNT UK Magazine

So now I’d like to know how you feel.

1) I need to hurry up and climb this now while it’s easy
2) I’ve done the Colorado Fourteeners, so long scree slogs are cake
3) There’s like no chance of a vested interest in this news release, right?
4) The whole Eastern end of that land mass needs to look at their own industrial pollution first
5) I’ll never climb Everest so I don’t really care one way or the other

International Everest Height Dispute

And while we’re on the topic of changing the height of Everest, this Times of India news story points to another dispute.

In the border talks between Nepal and China, scheduled for earlier this month but postponed at the last moment at Nepal’s request , the height of Everest was one of the issues on the agenda, according to government officials.

For how to measure the summit of Everest, China wants to recognize the rock under the snow cap, while Nepal currently recognizes the top of the snow cap, which is about 12′ thick, making Everest that much taller by Nepalese standards. This may or may not be all that significant, since I don’t know that anyone has ever climbed Everest only to the top of the rock layer, without also being on top of the snow layer. Any opinions?

1) After 29,000-ish-feet who cares about 12 feet more or less?
2) Those countries over there are always having issues about something
3) If Global Warming continues, the top will naturally come down anyway, so let’s just wait.

Source: Uploaded by user via Charles on Pinterest – Ryan Hamilton climbing in Ouray CO

How much does it cost to climb Mount Everest?

How much does it cost to climb Mount Everest? (Outside Magazine)

I saw this article referred to in a couple blogs and news services (Time Magazine), and had to read it. Very interesting to say the least. I’ve been on the edge of an Everest expedition for a few years now, since just after Kili when Angie told me I had to Everest. Alan Arnette does an excellent job of making the cost of climbing Everest comprehensible to the average climber, and especially arm-chair climber.

Aconcagua Basecamp Food
Cooked with care at Aconcagua Basecamp

If saving money is the goal [of going solo], you will be disappointed. Every climber and expedition must pay for a permit, liaison officer, visa, park fee, Icefall route management, fixed ropes, waste deposit, travel, and insurance. Then there is gear, food, tents, oxygen, and sherpa support. Add in and the bill comes out to at least $35K per person for a seven-person team, or $60K for a solo climber.

By sharing the fixed and transportation expenses (permits, logistics, fees, etc.) among 6 or more climbers in a group, you save quite a bit. Total costs for a participant in a guided trip are estimated between $30-100K, while expenses for a solo climber are estimated around $60K and higher.

If you opt to fly solo, according to Arnette’s estimates, at the high end of the spectrum that will total $82,900. Still feeling intrepid? For that cost, you could get a new Audi A8, a three-bedroom house in Schenectady, N.Y., or 150 iPads.

Keep in mind that these articles offer price ranges, and that there are expeditions costing over $100,000 per climber on Everest.

On some expeditions, you will also receive a higher quality of food. One service likes to promote their sushi, another their five-star chef. Some offer espresso machines and open bars. The sky’s the limit, all at a price.

So let me know how you feel about this…

1) I’d rather have the Audi
2) I’d rather have the 150 iPads
3) I am being supported by my charity, so expense is nothing to me
4) I like my La-Z-Boy a lot, thankyou.
5) I like my toes a lot, thankyou.
6) It’s way worth it and I’m going to go no matter what
7) Schenectady probably isn’t as bad as it sounds

How tall is Everest Now?

As if the recent measurement projects weren’t enough, now there’s an attempt to remeasure Everest using modern technology, and it’s presumed that it’s actually a few meters higher than we thought. Using GEOID – or a supposedly more accurate way to locate Sea Level, or 0′ for that exact location on Earth – this team is attempting to determine the exact height of Everest.

Source: cowi.com via Charles on Pinterest

While a few meters doesn’t seem like much, this might be significant in comparison to other measuring attempts to declare K2 higher than Everest, and thus the new highest mountain on Earth. I’d be curious to see how Chimborazo does though…

How do you feel about this?

1) Who cares about a few meters here or there?
2) Wow, I’m more excited than ever to attempt Everest now
3) Who’s paying for this and why?
4) Poor K2, I hope this goes totally backwards on them

Australian Moms on Everest

Two Aussie women, both moms in their mid-fifties are headed to Everest together and could set a couple Australian records, including oldest Australian woman to climb Everest. The article also points out that the women are paying their own way, and not relying on income from the charity they’re affiliated with.

Story HERE

On the importance of Training

They wake each day at 4am, and either do a long hike carrying 20-kilogram backpacks, or run, lift weights, and do strength work with a personal trainer. There is more training each night after work.
To add variety, they go to a rockclimbing gym at St Leonards and run the sand dunes at Palm Beach for hours to boost endurance and strengthen their legs.

Source: smh.com.au via Charles on Pinterest

I totally agree that this level of training is necessary for any long expedition where you would be hauling heavy loads for long distances and elevation gain.

How do you feel about moms that age doing Everest?

1) they need to stay home baking cookies
2) far out – hope I’m that strong at that age
3) anyone doing Everest is nuts
4) a “normal” person is doing this?

Let me know your thoughts …

What’s up with Prince Harry and Everest?

If you’ve been watching the news, you would have heard an announcement in January that based on the relative success of his North Pole adventure with one of his favorite charities, Prince Harry was intending to walk with Walk with the Wounded to the top, or at least Base Camp, of Everest this year.

Source: thesun.co.uk via Charles on Pinterest

Recently he appears to have waffled on that, and decided to maintain his support for the charity from afar. I’ve read a handful of articles in various online newspapers and a few blogs (including: “Is Prince Harry Really Going to …“) – but really, what does this even mean?

1) Climbing Everest is a great charity donation motivator?
2) Climbing Everest is a great thing for wealthy young fit celebrities to do?
3) Climbing Everest is almost a mainstream event?
4) Climbing Everest is almost meaningless anymore?

I can only imagine the fit his Mother would throw at his intentionally involving himself with an activity possibly slightly more dangerous than driving helicopters. People normally don’t die very often hiking to the North Pole. Everest on the other hand does see a few deaths on average every year.

In a study of 8,030 climbers and 6,108 Sherpas there were 212 climbing deaths between 1921 and 2006 (approximately 1.5%) – based on a study by The British Medical Journal (BMJ ), Vol 337, December 2008, by PG Firth and colleagues

I can certainly see the value in a charity that shows being a disabled war veteran needn’t stop you from doing great things you might believe are lost dreams. I can see that Everest is a great way to walk the walk and show your stuff. I remember being wrapped up in the Discovery documentary showing Mark Inglis’s summit of Everest and his great capacity for endurance and suffering. I see value in celebrities hanging on with charities like this, to offer the support of their fans and supporters. And in the case of Prince Harry, I don’t see that he really stands to gain anything obvious from this either way.

I wish the team at Walking with the Wounded great luck and success on their expedition this year.

Thank You Tomaz Humar

I’ve been reading this excellent book about a historic, tragic, and controversial modern climbing legend Tomaz Humar.

Last week I did a great toprope solo ice climb near home. The next day I fell down a flight of stairs in my own house, descending from my bedroom heading toward my training room. I was totally shocked and incapacitated laying in a huddle at the bottom of the stairs. I was dizzy for a day, and couldn’t bend or reach or pull anything. Even putting my socks on hurt.

I finally got in to see my doctor, who diagnosed at least one cracked rib in the rear, with some peripheral damage to my obliques and serratus, maybe some deep bruising in my intercostals. Could have been a lot worse I suppose. He did say that due my relative “youngness” compared to my age, and my excellent health, I had a great prognosis. But he did warn me about beginning training too soon, and recommended 4-6 weeks before returning to my current activity level.

This overlapped with my planned trip to Aconcagua, and after some heartfelt soul-searching, I cancelled Aconcagua 2012. I went into a little funk for a few days, and have started very slow treadmill walking and Ski Erg training just to flush blood and chemicals through my muscles and joints to aid in my recovery. But overall, yeah. Down.

I have spent some extra time reading my book, and got to the chapter about Tomaz’s 3 meter fall into the basement of the house he was building. I was struck by the relative similarity. An alpinist struck down in his own house in a simple easily avoided fall. Wow.

“When you are ill you have one problem. When you are healthy you have many problems” – Tomaz Humar

I read about the severe damage and the pain he endured for months, his struggle to recover and rehabilitate, to get back into the mountains, not knowing if it was all over and the wheelchair, his “red Ferrari”, would be his constant companion for life. He was mis-diagnosed by his local surgeons, then referred to a clinic in Germany, where he was operated on repeatedly, and given a painful and strict training and rehab program. Almost exactly two years after his accident he summited Shishipangma, an “easy” climb, to test himself, and while he would never fully “recover”, he was back in action.

My little cracked ribs seemed so small in comparison. So I won’t be doing Aconcagua this spring, I will have to cancel a few other events and things. Have to take a month off training. It won’t be the first time. It won’t be the last. Time to plan new goals, new summits, new objectives.

I can make it happen, and be patient.