Wrapping it up for 2013 on Everest

As the Mount Everest climbing season draws to a close for 2013, good news abounds: There were fewer deaths than the disastrous crowding season of 2012. Some systemic issues that were exposed after that horrific crowding disaster near the summit last year may have been addressed. Now that would truly be great news for all.

Mount Everest, mountaineering, climbing season 2013, summits, deaths on the summits, climbing season 2013 wrapped,

The 2013 climbing season blazed much history:

1 > Everest claimed nine deaths: Four westerners including elite climber Alexey Bolotov – in the Khumbu Icefall, one Japanese climber – believed to have died while descending, and four Sherpas.

2 > The unfortunate altercation between climbers and Sherpas about fixing ropes on the Lhotse Face kicked off the season with an inauspicious bang. The situation was diffused, and a treaty was signed, but it was a divisive beginning.

3 > 80-year-old Yuichiro Miura became the oldest climber to reach Everest’s summit on 23 may. Rival octogenarian, 81-year-old Min Bahadur Sherchan abandoned his bid after a combination of bad weather and government red tape.

4 > 25-year-old Raha Moharrak became the first Saudi woman to reach the summit. She also became the youngest Arab to reach that altitude.

5 > Mexico’s David Liano double summitted. Liano is recognized as the first person to scale Mount Everest from both the southern face in Nepal on 11 may, and on the northern face in Tibet on 19 may, during the same climbing season.

6 > Valery Rozov, a Russian extreme sports star, successfully made the highest BASE jump ever recorded. He jumped off the north face of Everest from 23,680 feet in honor of the 60th anniversary of the first ascent.

Mount Everest, mountaineering, climbing season 2013, summits, deaths on the summits, climbing season 2013 wrapped, Everest 60th anniversary publication7 > The 60th anniversary of the conquest of Mount Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay was celebrated on Wednesday/29 may 2013 by honoring veteran climbers. Everest was first conquered on 29 may 1953. Since then, more than 5,000 people have summitted.

To commemorate the historic event, Ammonite Press, in association with the Royal Geographical Society, have published Everest, a lavish photographic essay showcasing nearly 400 unique photographs from the RGS’s archive.

Yes – size matters
And finally, I’m always curious as to what gives elite climbers their edge. What makes these climbers superhuman?

Mountaineer Conrad Anker, the man who discovered George Mallory’s remains on Everest in 1999, led a National Geographic expedition team in 2012 to study the effects of high altitude on premier athletes. PBS’s NOVA simulated a study on mountaineer Ed Viesturs along with David Breashears, a climber and filmmaker, more than a decade ago. In both studies, people genetically predisposed to robust lungs, and those born and/or raised at altitude may be more adaptable to higher altitudes.

While not everyone will make it to Everest, everyone has an Everest-like goal within them. Go forth and do something monumental.

Photo: Pasang Geljen Sherpa / AP from the Toronto Star

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