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!
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.
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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