Everest Report: Youngest, Most, and More

The Big E. Photo by Pavel Novak / Wikipedia

The Big E. Photo by Pavel Novak / Wikipedia

5/25/10 - Waves of climbers have summited Mt. Everest over the past four days from the south and north sides of the mountain, despite some high winds and snow. Among the dozens of climbs and attempts, several stand out:

• Thirteen-year-old Californian Jordan Romero topped out on Everest on May 22, climbing the normal route from the Tibetan side. Born in 1996, and thus about seven weeks shy of his 14th birthday on summit day, Romero is by far the youngest climber to reach the top of the world. The previous record holder was a 15-year-old Nepalese girl. Nepal does not permit climbers younger than 15.

• Austrian Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner climbed the peak from the north on May 24 to complete her 13th out of 14 8,000-meter peaks; she still must climb K2 to finish the list. Kaltenbrunner climbed Everest without bottled oxygen, along with four Italian climbers.

• Climbing guide Apa Sherpa, leader of the Eco Everest Expedition 2010, broke his own record for Everest summits on May 22 by reaching the top for the 20th time.

• American Chad Kellogg, hoping to set a speed record for climbing Everest without bottled oxygen by the standard route from Nepal, turned back just below the Balcony on May 23, about 500 to 600 meters below the summit, because of high winds. Kellogg climbed from base camp to the Balcony (an ascent of nearly 3,000 meters) in about 19 hours.

• In this year’s wacky Everest-related stunt, Lewis Gordon Pugh from Great Britain stripped down to his Speedo and swam one kilometer (0.6 miles) across Pumori Lake, not far from Everest Base Camp, at an altitude of about 5,300 meters (17,388'). Pugh, who braved the icy water (2°C) to raise awareness of global warming, made the crossing in 22 minutes 51 seconds.

Dates of Ascents: May 21-24, 2010

Sources: 8000ers.com, Explorersweb.com, Ang Tshering Sherpa, Outdoorresearchverticulture.com, Outside.away.com