The August climb on Mt. Shuksan is edging closer. Much like Mt. Adams climb, it seems incredibly far away until the day you realize it’s mere weeks until your departure. To that end, we’ve been discussing a potential practice climb prior to Shuksan, much like last year my partner and I climbed Mt. Katahdin before departing for Portland and Mt. Adams. Right now we’re strongly considering Mt. Washington, which is the highest point on the east coast at 6,288 feet. This would be no less serious (and actually probably more so) than Katahdin was for Mt. Adams last year. Mt. Washington is taller and has some incredibly variable (read: bad) weather, and last I checked has the record for highest clocked wind speed on earth (231mph, more on this record here). This would be an interesting and exciting climb. More on this as we get it scheduled.
In other news, a Polish team just completed the first winter summit of Broad Peak in the Himalaya. Broad Peak is 26,414 feet high and stands as the 12th highest peak on Earth. One important point to keep in mind is that the Everest climbing season is in the Spring- there’s a reason for this. At that altitude in the Himalaya, even in the Spring, exposure and hypothermia can kill, and frostbite is extremely common. Thus winter ascents of these massive Himalayan peaks is fraught with additional danger. More on the Polish team’s superb accomplishment here.
I ran across an interesting article about why climbers aren’t famous, and the general place that climbing takes in American culture. I haven’t been doing this nearly long enough to have a real feeling for the accuracy of the author’s conclusions (though I can identify with some of his points), but it’s an interesting read nonetheless. You can find the article here.
Finally, I often mention or plug Alan Arnette’s climbing site, particularly his Everest coverage. As we slowly enter the climbing season on Everest, he is doing interviews with climbers. Not the famous ones, or the rich ones, or the big media stories. Instead he’s focusing on the climbers that have dedicated years (and sometimes decades) to training for this one climb. The climbers who have saved and taken a second mortgage to raise the needed funds. The ones who will get one chance to do this. You can see a number of these interviews here, and of course while you’re there I highly recommend the rest of Alan’s 2013 Everest coverage.