Tuesday, May 27, 2008

76 at 8,848

Plenty of good climbers don't respect guided ascents of Mt. Everest. With all the ladders and miles of fixed rope, the performance-enhancing drug of supplementary oxygen, and the massive support teams, it's hard to see how a commercial ascent of Everest relates to traditional mountaineering. Greg Child has said, "I don't even call it climbing. I call it Everesting."

Yet among each year's dubious records and firsts on the world's highest peak come occasional climbs that are truly inspirational. It would be hard for the crustiest alpinist not to respect the climbs of Min Bahadur Sherchan from Nepal and Yuichiro Miura from Japan, who last weekend reached the top of the world at the ages of 76 (nearly 77!) and 75, respectively . Consider that the average life expectancy of an American male born in 1930, roughly the birthdate of these gents, was a little over 58. Consider, too, how few people you know at age 75 who are still super-active in outdoor sports, let alone capable of climbing a peak like Everest. Even with all the aid they received, it's a remarkable achievement.

3 comments:

MeatBound said...

This just shows how keeping an active and healthy life benefits in many ways. Nice post keep up the good work.

Bob McKerrow said...

Mick Bowie, a great New Zealand mountain guide was asked by an elderly lady looking at the lofty summit on Mt. Cook, "Guide, can I climb that mountain?" He replied, "Lady, given time, I could get a cow up that mountain."

Is Evereest now in that category ?

Bob

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