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Mar 202017
Everest 2017: After 14 Everest Expeditions, Why Altitude Junkies is Leaving?

Guide companies tend to come and go, especially on Everest, but there are a handful that have made a significant contribution to the industry and when they “go”, there is a good reason. I’ve known Phil Crampton since 2008 when he was instrumental in helping me recover from botched logistics on a Everest North side climb. We went to the South side that year and was waylaid by the Chinese antics related to the Olympic games. Anyway, in 2013 I summited Manaslu with Phil and team plus was on his Everest team in 2016 for my Lhotse attempt. When he told me a couple continue reading

Mar 132017
Everest 2017: Russell Brice "Old School" Prepares for Another Season

Russell Brice is a legend on Everest. He came to notoriety on the Discovery Channel’s “Everest Beyond the Limits” series about 10 years ago. But few people know that Russ is a world-class climber in his own right. Born in New Zealand in 1952, he now lives in London. He started climbing as a young boy in New Zealand and soon found his way to the Himalayas and Alps. Back in 2011, I sat down with Russ for a long conversation. Since then we have had many such opportunities to talk about his climbing experiences, Everest, trends and dangers including last year during my Lhotse attempt. continue reading

Mar 092017
Bill Burke: A Study in Tenacity - Over

Update: March 21, 2107 Bill and team experienced deep snow and brutal cold, similar to what Alex Txikon experienced on Everest a couple of weeks earlier.  He has an excellent write upon his blog  of the decision and his helicopter “mountain tour” near the summit of his mountain on his way out. In Bill’s words: I finally reached Dawa with my inReach Explorer satellite device and received the weather report. Mike Fagin’s report applied to conditions at 18,000 feet, which was the elevation of our Base Camp. He reported a deterioration of the weather over the next 10-days as the jet continue reading

Mar 062017
Everest 2017: Mountain Madness, the Quiet Comeback

If you say “Mountain Madness”, what comes to mind? Many people will say Scott Fisher and others may bring up Everest 1996. And while not wrong, they might be missing one of the quietest comeback stories in expedition guiding. Now under the leadership of Mark Gunlogson, MM is preparing a return to Everest in 2017 in addition to gearing up for other big mountain expeditions. Scott Fisher led the ill-fated team on Everest in 1996. While all of his team summited and survived, Fisher died on the way back down from the summit. Christine and Keith Boskoff bought MM in continue reading

Nov 142016
The State of Everest: A Conversation with Dave Hahn

With only six months to go before climbers head to Nepal and Tibet for the annual spring climb of Mt. Everest, Dave Hahn, 15 times summiter, was kind enough to share his thoughts on the state of Everest and his own personal plans for guiding. Dave Hahn One reason I wanted to catch up with Dave, was his comment in interviews earlier this year that he would stop leading Everest expeditions and instead offer private guidance on the mountain. I’ve known him for over 10 years and wondered if this was a reflection on the state of Everest or a personal life choice for continue reading

Mar 102014
Everest 2014: Interview with Greg Paul and his New Knees

How often do we have an ache, sit down or just stop. As I like to ask “Are you hurt or are you hurting?” Well, hospital one day Greg Paul found himself beyond hurting, advice he was hurt and needed to fix it. Now with two new knees, he is back to climb Everest – his second attempt in three years. The owner of  Momentum Climbing Gym in Salt Lake City, Greg is an avid climber. Just last autumn he attempted the rarely climbed and difficult North Ridge of Ama Dablam. His knee problems however  became serious while he was continue reading

Feb 172014
Everest 2014: Henry Todd - The Small Quiet Guide, today

There are many names associated with Everest from climbers to guides. If you are a long time follower of Everest, mind one name that is very familiar is Henry Todd. Henry has, sick well, let’s just say a reputation for his Everest activities and some would say, for activities outside of Everest. But that is an old, tired story and not something I wanted to rehash. I wanted to understand what he was doing today because each year his name comes up, albeit quietly. Even though everyone I asked told me that Henry doesn’t do interviews preferring to stay under continue reading

Feb 132014
Everest 2014: Interview with Ellen Gallant - Life Priorities

Would you quit your job to climb Everest? If your job was slow, stalled or dead, mind maybe. But what if you were a successful cardiologist in a growing practice? Ellen Gallant did just that. Ellen leaves for Everest in 6 weeks. Ellen lives in Salt Lake City and today is spending her time training. Similar to many people, including me, her love affair with climbing and Everest began on a trek to Everest Base Camp. She began climbing on rock in 2000 and found it fed something deep inside of her. But when she read “Into Thin Air”, the continue reading

Feb 102014
Everest 2014: Interview with Alex Staniforth - Young and Motivated

What were you doing at age 18? I know I was dreaming of cars and girls, mind not of climbing Mt. Everest. But for Briton Alex Stanifoth, illness Everest has become his dream, not only to summit but to become the youngest Brit to summit from the South side. This spring he is off for the adventure of his young life. Alex, from Cheshire England, was diagnosed at age 9 with a mild form of Epilepsy. He suffered from stammering, bullying, panic attacks, anxiety and a lack of confidence. Determined not have his life defined by the disease, Alex has worked continue reading

Feb 032014
Everest 2014: Interview with Dan Nash - Small for a Reason

For 2014, I will be interviewing some of the smaller Everest guide services in addition to the climbers.  The big name guide companies take about half of the total climbers to Everest so who guides the rest? There are many small companies to fill this gap including Dan Nash out of the US. I welcome suggestions for anyone climbing in 2014.  Now here’s Dan Nash: Dan does not live in the Pacific Northwest, Colorado Rockies, Alaska or Nepal. No, he lives in springfield, Missouri where he has carved a great niche in the climbing and hiking world. Surrounded by the Ozarks that max continue reading