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May 12, 2005



That is just amazing. I can't seem to make it over 10,000 feet without gasping like a fish out of water. You have a good point about heros. I guess mountain climbing just isn't exciting enough to watch on television though. If it ain't on television, it don't mean crap.


I wish it was on television. I'd love to watch these crazy guys trying to tackle K2 on television.

That would be awesome.


I am terrified of heights so I don't know whether to think they're crazy or admire them greatly. It takes a certain obsession to accomplish what he did--something that those overpaid athletes don't really feel; as long as they get their paycheck, they are content.


I'm afraid of heights, as well. That's why I get such a kick out of these crazy bastards.


Here is a source for a lot more info, great pics, etc. on this climber. Albeit from two peaks back.

Bonds? HA!!! Imagine one of those bloat-head jerks paying thirty to fifty thousand per game to play! On the other hand, there is a good chance that you will get to read about at least a third of these steroid heads dying of their habit. OK, it's not as good as watching them run into the laser grid at third and falling into slices like a chopped egg. But still...


Thanks, Jerry. I'll check it out. For those of you who don't know what, not just Ed Viesturs went through to do this, but what every high altitude climber faces, I highly suggest you read this.

The highest mountains in the world are just littered with the bones of the greatest climbers who ever lived.

Then you hear the nation going berzerk because Schilling pitched a baseball game with a bleeding ankle.


Ed Viesturs should be a national hero. Like Hillary in New Zealand.


Not to be the wet blanket here, but is it noble or something to undertake such a dangerous venture that could cost you your life - or the lives of those accompanying you - for thrill of it?

I mean, really, it is exciting to hear what climbers like Viesturs contend with... but to what purpose? I'd be pissed if my husband risked his life for a thrill - and then if he kept repeating it over and over with different peaks like an obsession. I don't even want to ask if Viesturs has kids....

It's not that I think people aren't entitled to some fun, or to pursue the sport of their choice, or that every activity has to have a purpose or moral value.... Maybe I'm just bitter and jealous because my lung capacity, thanks to chronic asthma, is only about 50% of what it should be - yeah, that's probably why I sound like such a crankster in this post!


Good to see mountain talk on the Bottle, Ricky.

Janis makes a good point about the implicit irresponsibility in climbing. But there's no difference between this and, say, NASCAR.

I think it's noble and beautiful. As a younger woman I spent two years working the occasional odd job to support my very serious rock climbing mojo. I did several high altitude (over 6000 meters)ascents, as well. All I did was climb and I loved it beyond description. But would I do this again, as a parent? No way. But I will always understand and appreciate the compelling nature of mountaineering.


"three Italian climbers whose names were not immediately available" ...
Funny! Of course, if I was 25,000 foot up and someone asked me my name, it probably wouldn't be immediately available to me either.


Well, Janis, you know, forty five thousand Americans die every year in their automobiles. And they aren't do anything more noble than taking their movies back to Blockbuster.

More Americans will die in their bathtubs this year than in the Himalayas.

To what purpose? Avoiding a late fee? Conditioning your hair?

Yeah, it's dangerous. But there is something noble about, I think. I think of Hillary and his cotton jacket and his hobnailed boots and his irritated, "Because it's there."

It seems, unlike a lot of the stuff I do every day, day in, day out, year after year, very purposeful.

Get up the mountain. Get back down off the mountain. Don't get killed while doing it. Nearly everything they do has a reason. Nearly everything they do has consequences.

Sometimes, I think I'd do almost anything to have that kind of clarity and purpose in my life.

Anything, except, well, you know, climb the Himalayas.


ricky - hmmmm...I've thought about this, and while it may not be a good essay, I'd like to comment. I used to rock climb (not free climb, of course those people are insane 8^) ) I'll say up front that I haven't climbed in a long time. I quit for the same reason I quit motorcycles: one day, for no perceptable reason, the exhileration switched to fear.

But I think I can say that climbing is not "noble." At least if I understand what you are saying. And Janis, it is not for the "thrill." I think it is something that is fundamentally human. The same drive that brought us out of Africa and spread us around the world. It is simply, "What the hell is there?" And "How do I get there?" And "What will I see when I get there?" Not fame or glory, but the personal satisfaction of meeting one of the few physical challenges left. "Noble" is surviving in a west Africa village and keeping your children alive.

I'm not saying this well...Mallory's "...because it is there." is probably better and more succinct.

Great link, ricky! Thanx


Jerry, is there anything you DIDN'T do?


Ellen - thinking back on my comments, I realize it sounds like I'm full of shit... one of those "Done everything" people who only have to post to claim it. You have no reason to believe me, but I have neither lied about or (tried to) exagerate about anything I have written.

I decided early that experience was better than security, and have dabbled in a lot of things. I have lived frugally to make this possible.

I couldn't blame you if you think that someone writing what I have is stuffed with Bandini. Actually, a lot of my friends would probably agree with you, though for other reasons...


I would much rather see Americans going crazy over this type of athlete, than the super high paid performance athletes/actors in football, baseball, etc. This guy had stamina, courage and total focus to accomplish this feat and he did it to find out what the human body could tolerate - a whole lot more than us popcorn eating, tv watching couch potatoes. I'll bet he is a very easy going, non steroid hped up person. Thanks for the post,Ricky


Jerry, it would be more believeable if you were Amish like Ricky. :)

I don't doubt ONE THING you've said!


Amish! I didn't know that about him. It does explain the "Hand-loomed "plain" Speedos" section of his commercial site, though.


C'mon, now, Ricky, I don't think you can compare climbing the Himalayas with taking a shower. What's the ratio of deaths per shower vs. deaths per attempted climb of Everest, for example?

Not that you should pay me any mind for being in an overly cautious mood yesterday. When I first read about Viesturs, I thought "hey, cool!" - then it hit me about the number of deaths, the risks, climbing = death sport, blah, blah, blah.

But, you know what? I'm a damn hypocrite about the whole risk-taking thing because: I like to kayak. On the ocean. And I can't swim.

So there.

Now bring on the bottled oxygen and the Speedos!


I couldn't agree more, Janis. Bring on the bottled oxygen and the speedos!


And the funny headgear Ricky likes to wear!


Do you guys think he minds us hanging out when he's out playing cowboy? Yee haw!


He's gone?! We can use his bandwidth freely? And he's out playing Amish cowboy?

I bet he just went to market!


I didn't even realize this, Ricky, but he is from my AREA--lives an hour or so away from me.(and he isn't actually from Seattle!) Sheesh.

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