Everest Video Double Bill - Kenton Cool

We're going a bit Everest mad today on UKClimbing. We've just published an article by Andy Kirkpatrick, and in this news item we have two different videos.

First up is Kenton Cool. Kenton recently summitted Everest for the tenth time, taking a vintage Olympic Gold Medal with him. Kenton's ambition was to fulfill an 88 year old pledge made at the closing ceremony of the 1924 Olympics to Baron Pierre de Coubertin to carry an Olympic Gold Medal, won by Great Britain for Alpinism, to the summit of Mt Everest. He made this ambition a reality at 04h45 on the 25th of May. Well done Kenton!

VIDEO: Kenton Cool Takes Gold Medal up Everest

This year on Everest has seen queues and deaths, and the usual 'Everest Circus'. Here is an audio interview from the New York Times Website with sherpa Pemba Janbu. Penba voices his concerns over safety on Everest, the lack of experience of many of the climbers, and also the attitudes toward risk.

VIDEO: Interview with High Altitude Sherpa Pemba Janbu

What is clear from all these articles, ascents, interviews, dangers and discussions, is that Everest, whist not a cutting edge mountaineering challenge if climbed with fixed ropes and oxygen, remains a hugely emotive subject.

What is also clear from this UKC report on Ueli Steck, is that climbing the mountain without oxygen is a huge mountaineering achievement. Hats off to Ueli for his effort that he described thus:

"When I arrived at base camp, everyone was expecting something special from Ueli Steck. They were surprised that I was 'only' planning to do the normal route. Only a few people have climbed Everest without oxygen and a lot of strong climbers have tried and failed – maybe that puts it into perspective. The people who use oxygen are in a different world. They think they know how it feels to climb Everest, but they don't."

Here's a really interesting interview with Ueli after his ascent: Swissinfo


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4 Jun, 2012
In regards to the second video with Sherpa Pemba Janbu, it is refreshing to hear the opinion of someone directly involved with leading and working at high altitude though a couple of things made me think. "Climbers actually say, "I've paid $50,000. You are here to work for me, and you have to accompany me," in response to such suggestions. So then I have to put my life at risk and continue the climb because of the client's insistence." Surely every client will at some point eventually back down after meeting a consistent wall of authority saying 'you are going no further'. If someone decides to up and go on by themselves despite hearing those warnings, how much responsibility does the company/ Sherpa have from that point onwards? "Also, the mountain itself is losing its value. Just about everyone seems to want to climb it by paying a Sherpa who will ensure reaching the summit." Is this a hint that the people themselves who rely upon the income generated from high altitude work would like to see a rise in 'alpine style' or unsupported attempts? Is it ethical to deny people work as a result of attempting a route or summit in a 'clean' fashion?
4 Jun, 2012
Was that Bear Grylls? :)
4 Jun, 2012
Kenton Cool? Is that even his real name? Where's his oxygen mask?
4 Jun, 2012
The interview with Pemba Janbu is the best thing I've seen on here in a long time. A poignant statement about Everest, about the repulsive side of modern capitalist 'civilisation' and about the people it churns out who know "the price of everything and the value of nothing" (Oscar Wilde) The first video seemed the exact opposide. Corporate sponsorship for a stunt to promote a corporately sponsored event. That ascent should have had value. Instead it had a price.
8 Jun, 2012
They take oxygen tablets nowadays, much more efficient.