Returned now from Mount Everest, and back at home on Bainbridge Island near Seattle, Ed Viesturs talks to GreatOutdoors.com editor Peter Potterfield abut the new edition of the book the two men wrote together, Himalayan Quest, published by National Geographic Books. All those who sign up for the sweepstakes will have a chance to win a copy of Himalayan Quest signed by Ed Viesturs.
Returned now from Mount Everest, and back at home on Bainbridge Island near Seattle, Ed Viesturs talks to GreatOutdoors.com editor Peter Potterfield and describes summit day last month, after he was forced by weather to wait 24 hours at the South Col before making his summit bid.
Returned now from Mount Everest, and back at home on Bainbridge Island near Seattle, Ed Viesturs talks to GreatOutdoors.com editor Peter Potterfield to review his summit strategy, and to reiterate the importance of patience when climbing the worlds biggest mountains.
Hi everyone, it’s Ed Viesturs calling the morning of May 24th, I’m right now in Kathmandu, Nepal, I arrived here last night, it was quite a difficult exit out of the Khumbu valley, the weather was really bad, visibility was negligible, it was raining and yesterday I hiked from the village of Pheriche to near the village of Lukla over seven hours simply to get below the cloud cover and to be able to catch a flight out of the Khumbu Valley. So it’s really really nice to be hear today, later today I’m flying to Bangkok and then from there the US and where I’ll arrive home late on Monday. The rest of the team made it to the summit yesterday morning, Dave Hahn and crew reached the summit around 6:30 in the morning, very exciting, a very very successful expedition in my opinion, and for me it was a unique opportunity go back to Everest again for the 11th time and to climb with friends such as Peter Whittaker, Melisa Arnott, Dave Hahn, Jake Norton, and to be a part of this launch of the brand First Ascent from Eddie Bauer.
The cool part of this was we spent the last year and a half designing and developing from the ground up the products that we wore, the clothing, the tents, packs and the ultimate test and the ultimate showcase for us was to go as a team, as a design team, as a climbing team, to Mount Everest and use the products we developed. We all had a wealth of experience n the mountains, we knew what we wanted, we knew what we didn’t ’want and that’s what we ended up with the products we got to develop, everything you wanted, nothing that you don’t, that was the whole idea behind this all. You know I talked about previously not gong back to Everest or probably not going back to Everest but this was an opportunity I felt I couldn’t pass up.
Hi everyone, it’s Ed Viesturs calling from Pheriche. I’m one day’s walk down valley from Everest base camp on my way to Kathmandu and on the way home. It was kind of nice to get out of base camp and start heading home and I know there’s a lot of questioning now about why and when I decided to use supplemental oxygen. And again, my decision was based on safety and team unity, safety on my behalf and also the anxiety level of my team mates for me going out ahead and being on my own.
I started thinking about this quite a bit when I first arrived at the South Col, it was very cold, very windy up high and I started to contemplate the risks of climbing in those conditions without supplement oxygen. The risks are definitely increased when you climb without supplemental oxygen especially when it’s very very cold and very very windy. I would have had to leave the South Col at least an hour or perhaps two ahead of my team calculating that they may have caught up to me somehow during the day as I would probably have been climbing slower. So I would have been separated from my team, they would have been probably a little worried about me, and I would have been a little bit worried about myself as well especially in those cold and windy conditions.
The photograhers of the First Ascent Everst Expedition have sent photos of Ed Viesturs and Peter Whittaker's recent summit bid, one where the climbers were forced to spend an extra night in the death zone at the South Col, but one which ultimately ended in success. Ed Viesturs, who wanted to repeat his feat of climbing Everest again without oxygen, decided for the safety of the team to use supplemental oxygen on this climb.
Yeah, Hi Peter, just one more item that I needed to clarify.
Hey everybody, I just wanted to let you know as well that something I didn’t mention right off the bat was I did make my ascent using supplemental oxygen. I kinda came to that decision after we had … 6000 feet, and knowing that the next day would be rather cold and windy, as a safety issue I felt it would be better to stay with the team and use supplemental oxygen. So it was more based on safety, and sticking with my group. So I kind of compromised my ascent but it still worked out well. And thankfully the oxygen kept all of us warmer during our ascent and made our climb a little bit faster. So that’s the way it goes. Sorry I forgot to mention that earlier. I did want to iterate that today as I pulled my thoughts together after the climb. So, thanks for that.
Yeah, so, my plan is to leave base camp tomorrow, the 21st, and if I can connect all the logistical dots that I’ve put into place I hope to be home Sunday May 24th. I’m pretty excited about that. I get to be home with my family, which is my number one priority now, to get going.
Dave Hahn and his group will be climbing from Camp II tomorrow and they hope to be summiting within the next three to four days. So we wish him well. You can follow his progress and his team’s progress still on firstacents.com. So thanks for checking in. I’ll give a call or two on the way out. It might be rather uneventful and not quite as exciting as what we just went through, but thanks for following along once again on this Everest climb for Greatoutdoors.com