Everest 2017

// June 6th, 2017 // Climbing

Erik Weihenmayer climbs the Hillary Step

Blind climber – Erik Weihenmayer climbs the Hillary Step

The climbing season on Everest this year unfolded with amazing climbs of inspiration and also of loss.  Alpinists accomplished heroic feats using strength and skill, while heroes possessing untold strength and skill were lost to it’s unforgiving and cold indifference.  Many state that even the mountain itself has been changed, that a place of legend and lore, the Hillary step, has been shaken loose from it’s lofty place on the mountain and in history.  Looking back on my climb of Everest years ago, I am still thankful for the dedicated team that put themselves second time and time again to see that others succeeded and were taken care of.  It was a climb for the ages that inspired many towards their own Everest-like goals and achievements.

This year I am again inspired by the likes of Kilian Jornet and his record setting oxygen-less speed ascent, Andy Holzer and the second blind ascent (first on the North side), Charley Mace my old teammate going back after having been rocked by the earthquake in 2015, and even a man with hemophilia – Chris Bombardier – who dared to go in spite of the many sharp objects that could mean disaster at altitude.

I take joy in these inspiring accomplishments of others and at the same time am saddened by the loss of life.  Seven people were confirmed to have died on the mountain this year, and among them was superstar alpinist Ueli Steck.  My prayers go out to the friends and families who are mourning the loss of a loved one.

With many summits this year, new records, and surprising losses, Everest remains a fascinating and dangerous place that still grabs the world’s attention and the dreams of those who long to stand on top of the world.

Leave a Reply