Tag: Everest

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

Where is Everest Again?

How can Everest suddenly appear in the UK? According to a recent poll, roughly 20% of the British population is “clueless” about several important features of their geography. Stonehenge, Everest, Ayers Rock, London and Balmoral Castle all fell prey to mass relocation in the poll. Many think that Everest is in Britain.

Source: thesun.co.uk via Charles on Pinterest


The poll of 2,000 was carried out by tour firm Journeys of Distinction. Managing Director Karen Gee said: “We were astounded.”
The firm said the internet may be partly to blame …
Who’s in UK? One in five Brits clueless – The Sun

Dang internet …

Is This Your Brain on Adventure?

In June of 2009 I had a pivotal experience on Liberty Ridge on a trip guided by IMG guides Mark Allen and Jeff Ward. We barely survived summiting in 60 + MPH winds, wandering along steep cliffs and crevasses in a whiteout to spend the night in a moat (ice cave) 120′ below the surface of the glacier. Over the course of the trip I realized my own comfort level was off a bit compared to “normal” people, including sleeping 6″ overhanging the edge of a 75 degree ice slope:

The camp is basically a couple of tent platforms on a 45 degrees slope, beautiful and exposed; with very little room to move around. Blue-bagging will be a challenge here; but we all do our duties. We cook dinner, and I try to eat as much as I can. Little that I knew at the time, I would not have another meal in 30 hours. We settle again for the night, I am glad I am sleeping on the uphill side; Ann is in the middle and Rick just over the edge. His position does nothing to prevent him to quickly fall sleep and soundly snore throughout the short night. Thankfully I am well equipped with drugs and earplugs. Jeff announces start time for 2:00am. – Dodging Bullets on Liberty Ridge – Claudio Argento – Alpine Lines Blog


I also realized my own comfort level on Alpine Mixed terrain of steep slopey blocks of rock and ice and mud, and shallow (AI 2-3) ice. My climbing friends all say this is not normal. I normally don’t think about this too much, and just take it for granted, but today I received a notification for an article on Outside Online Magazine about the differences in brain chemistry or physiology for abnormal risk takers, quoted here:

There are three major emotional ingredients to risk taking … all driven by individual brain chemistry. One is desire for adventure (“sensation seeking”), in what’s known as the reward pathway of the brain, the mysterious mechanisms where happiness juices flow; high-risk takers may simply get a bigger bang than other people, leading them to seek more intense experiences. Another is a relative disregard for harm, meaning, basically, that they’re not as afraid of negative consequences as regular folks. The third is impulsivity, or acting on your desires without fully thinking them through. — What distinguishes an everyday adventurer from an extreme or foolhardy one lies in the interplay of these factors. Mountaineers may be adventurous and well able to handle stress, but they tend not to be impulsive, often carefully planning their expeditions for months. – This Is Your Brain on Adventure – Outside Magazine

While on my Seven Summits Quest, I have had all 10 fingers nearly to the wooden stage, been stopped dead in my tracks unable to breath, been struck by the static discharge of close lightning, been up all night gasping for breath, had nearly non-stop diarrhea for days, spent the night in a tent with a puking partner, twisted my ankle with a 16 mile hike out, frost-nipped my face so I stopped shaving, lost and blackened toenails, endured bleeding blisters, nearly exploded gall bladder. Yet I persist on this pursuit, and have plans for more summits in the coming years.

While training Mixed Climbing (dry tooling) in Ouray last week, I managed to pop off a very vertical (read: overhanging) cliff face and swung out inverted (upside down) about 60′ from the ground, and as I swung out, still hanging onto my ice tools, silent, I thought to myself “I don’t seem to be sliding out of my loosely-worn harness. Good. So if I can tap the wall when I come back in, maybe I can straighten up and sit right.” It worked and I managed to come back into the wall on a shelf and shake it out. Picture below is just after I tapped my right foot, flagging my left foot as I swung back upright at the end of the pendulum. I had fallen from the left wall under the ice curtain.


Was/am I in denial? Are you in denial? If you’re going to consider the Seven Summits, please consider the risk with an open mind. People die every year on almost every one of the Seven Summits, even the so-called easy ones. I was saddened to hear about some recent deaths on Elbrus, for climbers I met during the Elbrus Race 2010:

Rescuers have found a body of a Ukrainian climber, Maryna Khytriakova, at the height of 4,700 meters on Mount Elbrus – Ukrainian female climber found dead on Elbrus – Kyiv Post

Anyone who climbs for a long time will eventually have lists of friends and acquaintances who were crippled, maimed or killed while climbing. Denali and Everest are particularly notorious among the Seven Summits for annual deaths. Aconcagua has many deaths as well, though not being so much in the headlines. Do yourself a favor and think, consider where you are on these lists, where you could be, and plan appropriately.

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.