Click for site home
The Blog on
Climbing the World to End Alzheimer's
Apr 082022
Interview with Jennifer Drummond - First Woman for the 2nd Seven Summits

Jenn Drummond doesn’t let much stop her from achieving her goals. Having all of her climbing gear not show up for a climb was a mere inconvenience for this 41-year-old mother of seven children. Jenn is on a mission to be the first female climber to summit the so-called Second Seven Summits. We are all familiar with the first seven, and around 500 people have accomplished that goal. Still, only a handful have completed the 2nd, and no females.

I met Jenn via my Summit Coach consulting business almost two years ago. She called me to discuss climbing Ama Dablam, which she did a few months later. Jenn is unique. An accomplished businesswoman, now retired, mother of seven, ranging in age from nine to 15, including twin daughters. She is an avid skier, triathlete, and played college soccer. 

We had a wide-ranging conversation about how the idea was born, her children, and how she manages the complexities of being away so often, and of course, some of the climbs got started.

Apr 072022
Everest 2022: Interview with Garrett Madison from Namche Bazaar

The #Everest2022 season is taking shape as teams continue to receive climbing permits and others are well on their way to Everest Base Camp. The first 8000er summits are expected soon.

Big Picture

There has been an expected surge in new permits for Everest, now at 200 including 46 female climbers. The United States represents the largest country on Everest this year with 49 climbers, a spot recently ceded to India and China which only have 15 and 9 climbers respectively. The UK comes in at 25 with Canada at 11 and Australia at 10 thus far. Russia has 14 climbers on Everest this season.

Feb 252022
Video Interview with Kuntal Joisher - 100% Vegan Mountain Climber

Every person who climbs Everest is unique. So, of course, that person feels special, but some stand out. Take Kuntal Joisher, for example. He has summited Everest from the Tibet and Nepal sides, plus Lhotse, and completed many other amazing adventures like the Northern Icecap in Chile. But what makes Kuntal stand out is his dedication to a vegan lifestyle that goes all the way to shunning any item that uses animal products – including using a full synthetic climbing suit. We discuss how he got to this point, his outstanding photography skills, and what it’s like being an ambassador for “Save the Ducks.” We also discuss his next climbing project his passion for bodybuilding and photography. Finally, we share a common family situation with my mom, Ida, and his father, both dying from forms of Dementia, Lewy Body syndrome, and Alzheimer’s.

Feb 092022
Everest 2022: Video Interview with Adrian Ballinger, Alpenglow

With the Everest 2022 season just around the corner, it appears the Tibet side will be closed and continued uncertainty about the wisdom of climbing on the Nepal side. There are questions as to whether operators should run their programs at all. Many are moving forward but a few are not. I discuss the situation with Adrian Ballinger, founder of Alpenglow Expeditions who has canceled his expedition from the Tibet side this spring. We also talk about his plans for a no O’s, ski descent on Makalu.

Jun 162021
Everest 2021: Video Interview with Art Muir - Oldest American Summiter

Art Muir at age 75 became the oldest American to summit Mt. Everest on May 12, 2021, with Maddison Mountaineering. He surpassed Bill Burke who held the American Everest age record for 11 years. Burke summited at age 67 on the Nepal side and again from the Tibet side in 2014 at 72. Japanese mountaineer Yoichiro Miura is the oldest person to summit in 2013 at age 80.

I spoke with Art about his motivation, how his family felt about his plans, his 2019 attempt, prior climbing experience then we got into his training, diet, and experience on the climb. We wrapped up with Art’s thoughts on seniors climbing and staying active.

Jun 102021
K2 2021: Interview with Graham Zimmerman - West Ridge

This summer K2 will see a rare event, an attempt on the fully unclimbed West Ridge. Canadian Ian Welsted and American Graham Zimmerman will make an alpine attempt with no oxygen. While the route has been partially climbed three times, the final few hundred meters have never been completed for various reasons. They leave for Pakistan on June 17. After an extensive acclimatization program which may include climbing the 8000er Broad Peak, they hope to summit near the end of July.

May 172021
Everest 2021: Video Interview with Lukas Furtenbach After Cancellation

Lukas Furtenbach, of Austrian-based Furtenbach Adventures made global headlines after he canceled his spring 2021 Everest expedition on the Nepal side last Friday. This follows the Chinese decision to cancel their only team on the Tibet side. Meanwhile, the officials responsible for the safety of guests climbing in Nepal deny climbers have COVID at Everest Base Camp. I interviewed Lukas from Everest Base Camp on his Tuesday morning, may 18, 2021. We covered a lot of other topics including:

Planning knowing COVID was a possibility at base camp
Furtenbach Adventure’s COVID protocol from vaccines (members and Sherpas) to time in Kathmandu, Everest Base Camp, and the High Camps
Quarantining members and SHerpas
COVID Testing
Other teams at EBC
Final events leading to the cancellation decision
Getting members and support back home with the airport closed
Donating Furtenbach’s oxygen and bottles to hospitals in Nepal
Pakistan climbing plans (also canceled)
What could have been done differently?
Any regrets?

Apr 202021
Author Interview: Jim Davidson - The Next Everest

The regular readers of my blog and social media don’t need an introduction to Jim Davidson. We met in 2001 and have been great friends and climbing partners almost ever since. I consider him a mentor who has taught me a lot about ice and rock climbing, general mountaineering, and life. Recently I had the opportunity to review his new book, “The Next Everest.” Oh my, what a read. Many people are familiar with his first book, “The Ledge,” co-written with Kevin Vaughan. In that book, he walks through the life-changing event on Mt. Rainier where Jim’s climbing partner and continue reading

Mar 292021
Everest 2021: Video Interview  with Dave Roskelley - The Volcanic Seven Summits and the High Point on the Moon in a Tesla

Talking about the Volcanic Seven Summits and the High Point on the Moon in a Tesla with Dave Roskelley is the only American to have climbed the Seven Summits (Messner list) AND the Volcanic Seven Summits. We talk about the why, when, where, and how plus his next big project – to take a Tesla to the high point on the Moon!!!