Scaling new heights 2013: Push-for-the-summit time on Mount Everest

Yes, it’s that time of the year again – when many climbers, experienced and amateur, will make a bid for the summit of Mount Everest.

In addition to blogging about Everest, I read a climbing or mountaineering book around this time to serve my virtual need to be a part of what must be a life changing experience. While I will never, could never, summit Mount Everest, following the teams through the season provides me with a virtual rush.

Mount Everest 2013, mountaineering, top climbers, books about climbing, Mount Everest projects, adventure stories, Peak, The Call of Everest

This year, I chose a wonderful young adult fiction book called Peak by Roland Smith. It’s about fourteen-year-old Peak Marcello, whose long-lost father is a mountaineer. Peak gets arrested for scaling a New York City skyscraper. After he’s nabbed, he’s left with a choice: wither away in juvie detention, or fly to Kathmandu with his father, Josh. Peak quickly learns that Josh’s renewed interest isn’t all about paternal love. Josh owns Peak Expeditions and wants his son to be the youngest person to summit. Peak’s journey from base camp to dangerous ascent – as he tells it – is an educational and thrilling tale. A worthy read for young and old alike.

What notable doings are in the works about Mount Everest (at this writing)?

> File this one under inauspicious: A story still circling is the unfortunate altercation between climbers and Sherpas (about fixing ropes) on the Lhotse Face last month. While it seems, the situation has been diffused, and a treaty signed, it was a bad start to the climbing season. There is no room for egos on the mountain – any disputes can only incur bad karma.

> On a more positive note: Along the route to Base Camp, some tourists pass a leaky old convent where 14 impoverished nuns reside. The building is falling down, and many walk past and never take notice. The Deboche Nunnery Project (via the Mount Everest Foundation) is raising money to help repair, refurbish and maintain the convent.

> Under the historic banner: National Geographic celebrates the 50th anniversary of the American Mount Everest Expedition with a new book: The Call of Everest (pictured above).

In 1963, a National Geographic Society-supported expedition was the first group of Americans to successfully summit the world’s tallest mountain. In 2012, a team of climbers led by acclaimed mountaineer Conrad Anker attempted a Legacy Climb, but due to adverse conditions, the climbing team had to abandon its climb. Available on 14 may (pictured above), the book details the first climb and the Legacy Climb.

“THE CALL OF EVEREST takes a comprehensive look at the significance of Mount Everest through scientific analysis of its geology and climate, through captivating anecdotes from climbers and from insight into the people and the history of the area.”

> For celebration: The first summits for the 2013 Everest climbing season have been announced.

~ The Sherpa Fixing Team topped out at 11:30 am local time / 10 may 2013
~ Britain’s David Tait tweeted that he summitted 10 may 2013 – the fifth summit of his career.
~ Mexican climber David Liaño topped out 11 may, around 8:00 Nepal time for his fourth trip to the summit.


There you have the base-camp version of the climbing season so far. I’ll keep you posted on summits as they happen.

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