Trash Talk

June 24th, 2011
Mt. Everest Base Camp

Nearly 18,000 pounds.  That’s how much trash a team of 29 Nepali mountaineers brought down from Mount Everest this spring in a ground-breaking expedition.  According to the International Business Times, the group collected oxygen cylinders, tents, climbing gear and helicopter parts with the help of 75 yaks and 76 porters.   The trash on Everest has been an ongoing problem for years.  In 1990, the International Peace Climb, with local climber Wayne Baughman, was on the mountain in a monumental trash-collection project. At that time, the Nepal Mountaineering Association determined the mountain held about 60 tons of garbage.  The IB Times reports that it’s now thought that 120 tons of trash are left behind each year by climbers.

– Deb Acord

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Reality fix

June 20th, 2011

You might groan at the thought of another reality show, but this one has a contestant I want to cheer for.

Mark Burnett is the man behind a new summer reality show on ABC called “Expedition Impossible,” in which 13 teams of three will travel across mountains, deserts and rivers in Morocco.  Think “Amazing Race” without all the airport drama.

Among the 13 teams is one with Colorado connections. Erik Weihenmayer, from Golden, was the first blind man to reach the summit of Mount Everest, and also has climbed the Seven Summits.   

His teammates: Jeff Evans, from Boulder, a physician assistant, and soldier Ike Isaacson from Topeka, Kan.

Their team name: No Limits.  The show premieres June 23.

Deb Acord

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Little Blue Climbing Pill?

May 12th, 2011

May is the busy season on Mount Everest, with nearly three dozen expeditions on the mountain right now.

There are hang gliders, paragliders, speed climbers, fund-raisers, and one group from the UK that is experimenting with the little blue pill.

For years, doctors have touted the benefits of Viagra for climbers. According to David Hempleman-Adams, leader of the Iceland Everest 2011 expedition, his team is experimenting with the drug and members hope it allows them to take in more oxygen at a higher altitude because of its ability to expand the blood vessels in their lungs (the same reason it helps with sexual dysfunction).

Go ahead…. You know you want to say it:  This is going to be one long, hard climb.

Deb Acord

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Everest Climber to be At City Rock This Afternoon

November 1st, 2010

Eric Alexander

Everest climber, Eric Alexander, will be at City Rock today from 1 – 3. He will give a brief presentation of some of his adventures and the debut of his new book, The Summit. Immediately following the discussion, you will have the opportunity to experience an indoor climb with Eric and students from the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind. You can find more about the event here.

Eric has interesting story with mountaineering. He survived a 150′ fall in the Himalayas on Mt. Amadablam in 2000 and then developed pulmonary edema and had to be air lifted out. The next 8 months he struggled with pneumonia and couldn’t train for Everest. Still on May 25th, 2001, Eric defied the odds and scaled Mt. Everest guiding his blind friend Erik Weihenmayer to its lofty 29,035′ summit.

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The Ultimate Triathlon

July 9th, 2010

If you love extreme adventures, you’re going to love this guy.  Charlie Wittmack is an adventurer from Des Moines, Iowa, who left last week on a world triathlon.  Wittmack’s tri will take him 12,000 miles over 13 countries.  Starting in the icy waters of the River Thames in England and ending with a climb to the summit of Mount Everest, Wittmack will swim, bike and climb.  

The numbers are astounding – he will swim 275 miles, bike 9,000 miles from France to India, and climb or run 950 miles over 11 months, ending with a short jaunt up the flank of Mount Everest.  Wittmack is a world-class climber who has climbed Everest before, trekked across East Africa, sailed the Indian Ocean in a handmade boat, and ridden 5,100 miles on a bike across the U.S., but he’s not just doing this for the thrills.  He is also working to draw attention to global health issues, including an initiative on safe child-bearing in Nepal, and to develop an innovative educational curriculum. 

To follow Wittmack’s world triathlon attempt, go to his site at theworldtri.com

– Deb Acord

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Action on Everest

May 24th, 2010
Everest, Lhotse and Nipse viewed from the Pumori base camp
Everest, Lhotse and Nipse viewed from the Pumori base camp
Photo courtesy of International Mountain Guides. Dave Hahn is a guide for IMG

As the wind buffets the Colorado Front Range today, it makes me think about Mount Everest and its legendary jet stream. 

This is the climbing season on the world’s highest peak. According to everestnews.com, there have been 401 summits and two deaths as of Sunday. On Saturday, Jordan Romero, 13, became the youngest person to reach the summit. Romero, from California, has now climbed six of the world’s seven summits – the highest peaks on each of the world’s continents.  He started with Mount Kilimanjaro when he was nine.

If the weather holds, more history will be made today.  Dave Hahn is climbing toward his 12th summit of Everest. At 11 summits, he already held the record for more summits than any other non-Sherpa climber.

Hahn is guiding Leif Whittaker, 25, the son of Jim Whittaker, who was the first American to climb Everest in 1963. 

He’s posting written and audio reports from the mountain. Read and listen to his comments via satellite phone on www.greatoutdoors.com

Hahn is one of the most respected mountain guides in the world, and he has spent much of his life on the world’s tallest peak. And he is continually asked why he keeps returning.

I remember reading his list of “Top 10 Good Reasons to Climb Everest” posted several years ago on mountainzone.com

 1. What else are you going to do with your life? It’s only life, after all.

 2. Because it’s still there.

 3. Can’t beat the food.

 4. It is hard as heck and the outcome is uncertain.

 5. Everest is a beautiful and aesthetic peak.

 6. Everest is higher than any other mountain.

 7. ???

 8. —

 9. !!!

 10. OK, so we occasionally run out of good reasons to climb Everest. 

Deb Acord

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