We don't stop hiking because we grow old, we grow old because we stop hiking. -- Finis Mitchell

Washingtonians on Mount Everest

On March 26th, I wrote a post about how I would be reading Bear Gryll's book, "The Kid Who Climbed Everest: The Incredible Story of a 23-Year-Old's Summit of Mt. Everest" I am about seven chapters into the book and what a story it has been. Let's just say that climbing to the summit of Everest is no easy task.

Mount Everest stands 29,035 feet tall. To compare the height of this mountain, Mount Rainier in Washington is 14,411 feet.

Well today I found out that two Washington men will be attempting history this year on Mount Everest. And the Discovery Channel will be documenting the whole event.

International Mountain Guides, based out of Ashford, Washington at the base of Mount Rainier, reached the base camp of Mount Everest on Monday. Base camp sits at 17,450 feet. At this altitude the air is thinner and the body must learn to adapt and function with less oxygen. The decrease in oxygen can cause altitude sickness, including headaches and vomiting. So it is very important for climbers to get accumilated to the altitude.

In this group from IMG is two Washington men, Dawes Eddy and Dave Remington. Eddy, 66, is attempting to become the oldest American to reach the summit of Everest without assistance from a guide.

Remington, 67, is also going for World Record. He is looking to become the oldest American to reach the summit. The oldest person on record to summit Everest was Yuichiro Miura of Japan. Miura was 70-years-old when he made it to the top in 2003.

Now mountain climbing is no easy task. It's not something that you can just decide to do one day. These are highly trained athletes. Even so, accidents happen to the best of them and climbing can not be taken lightly.

Just today a Polish climber, Piotr Morawski, was killed while climbing. An experienced climber, Morawski was best known for the first winter ascent of Shisha Pangma. The tragic accident happened on Dhaulagiri, the seventh tallest peak in the world, when Morawski fell into a crevasse.

And Mount Everest claims its share of lives. Of all the climbers who attempt the summit, 7% never come back down.

However, if you do make it to the top, you are in a very small percentile of people who actually do.

Here's some other records from the mountain:

  • The first official summit was accomplished by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, a sherpa, on May 29, 1953.
  • The first woman to climb Mount Everest was Junko Tabei, who reached the summit in 1975.
  • Climbers from 41 different nations have stood at the summit.
  • Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler were the first to climb Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen in 1920.
  • The first couple to be married at the summit of Everest was Nepalese Mona Mulepati and Pem Dorje Sherpa on May 30, 2005.
  • And on May 25, 2001 (almost 48 years to the day when Hillary stood at the top) Erik Weihenmayer became the first blind climber to conquer Mount Everest.
Good luck Eddy and Remington! Just South of North wishes you a safe and successful expedition!

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