Everest 2024: Climbers to Watch

As we near the end of March, climbers fly to Kathmandu and Lhasa for the Spring 8000-meter expeditions. I expect climbs on all the 8000ers in Tibet and Nepal: Everest, Kangchenjunga, Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu, Dhaulagiri I, Manaslu, Annapurna, and Shishapangma. If history guides, 97% of all climbers on Everest will use supplemental oxygen, and on most of the others as well. Here are a few to watch this spring.

No O’s

First up is a tip: Norwegian endurance athlete Frank Løke, 44, who has already summited Everest and K2 in 2021 and 2022, respectively, now wants to try the Big E without O’s.  The former handball player is regarded as one of the best line players of his era. He retired to become a TV personality, competed in several Norwegian reality TV shows and participated in multiple ultramarathons, ultra-distance cycling, triathlon and quadrathlon competitions, including the Norseman Triathlon and the Östhammar Adventure Race. 8K Expeditions confirmed he is climbing with them.

Then there is Turkish climber Tunc Findik, 52, who has completed all fourteen of the 8000ers, including Everest twice, and will now return to Everest for a no-O attempt. He told ExWeb that he would use Os if he felt it was necessary, “For sure, there is no rule that says you must die sticking to ethics. It is only a climb.” According to the Himalayan Database, he has a good track record for no Os summits: Annapurna I, Manaslu, Kanchenjunga, Dhaulagiri, and Cho Oyu. His first summit of Everest came at the young age of 29 in 2001.

These no Os attempts are always fascinating to watch and often with tragic results, as we saw last year with Hungarian Szilard Suhajda, who was climbing Everest alone with no Sherpa support and without supplemental oxygen when he went missing. A Seven Summits Trek summit team of Sherpas guiding Chinese clients last saw him at the base of the Hillary step. He is presumed dead as he was never seen again last season.

The use of supplemental oxygen always creates a spirited debate among the purists. They cite fair play, style, and cheating. I respect their opinions and feel similar about massage tents, saunas, and pool tables at base camp. However, I feel that climbing is a sport with few rules, and each person’s choices are theirs to make and not ours to judge…unless they lie, cheat, or profit from a false accomplishment.

For a clear view of using O’s, listen to my Podcast with Dutch climber Wilco Van Rueln, 57, who told me in 2022 about his experience in Kanchenjunga. The short story about Wilco, as close to a professional climber as you can get, found himself high Kanch with a climber he didn’t know and a very young and inexperienced Sherpa. Wilco faced a decision that would test his character and commitment to the style he had sworn to honor – climbing in as pure of style as possible, especially without supplemental oxygen.

Best of luck to all who are climbing this season. Stay safe and come home.

Climb On!
Memories are Everything

The Podcast on alanarnette.com

You can listen to #everest2024 podcasts on SpotifyApple Podcast, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, Anchor, and more. Just search for “alan arnette” on your favorite podcast platform.


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4 thoughts on “Everest 2024: Climbers to Watch

  1. This year, French Youtuber “Inoxtag” is making an attempt on the Chinese side with French climber and photographer Mathis Dumas as his teammate, as well as a team including 3 videographers (I think one European, one sherpa and French photographer Jordan Manoukian), and I’m guessing other guides/sherpas. He has trained for a year, including climbing other summits (he filmed some including Mont Blanc, it’s on Youtube with English subs : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5L7M55xOLp8). A documentary of his climb is set to release in September. Many eyes are set on his climb, he’s especially popular amongst French teenagers (7M followers) to whom he’s a great example of following your dreams and working really hard to reach them. So far, there has been numerous rumors that he died already which is very morbid and just for likes and engagement. Awful social media behavior.

    I was skeptical at first but seeing how seriously he and his team take his endeavor, I’m rooting for him and I hope he makes a successful summit attempt 🙂

  2. I watched your podcast last night with Ryan Mitchell, what an extraordinary young man! Prayers for him to have courage, success and most of all a safe journey and return home! Praying for all the climbers and Sherpas

  3. More fluff from Disneyland in the Sky.
    Why can’t climbing just proceed without making so much noise? This will eventually have some negative effects. I love climbing of all kinds,but without all this blah, blah, blah! All this commercial crap is just getting tiresome. Me and many others use to ski, too! Look where skiing has gone. Climbing is going the same way!!!!!! James S.

    1. I fear backpacking is heading in the same direction …mass consumerism/commercialisation.
      Every YouTube video made with different expensive gear….
      Alcohol now seems to be everywhere like its a important bit of kit.
      People using themselves as shop dummies to get a click..or a thumbs up .
      Infact its becoming more difficult to find individuals doing backpacking videos who havent sold out their lives for a few clicks or a new bit of super expensive featherlight eqiupment.
      Some of it is just ridiculous and silly ..some of it is downright dangerous and some of it….me me me.

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