Thursday, September 22, 2005

imagine breathing 1/3 the amount of oxygen and then try climbing a mountain

yesterday i had the pleasure of meeting a man who joins a club of six other climbers (he is the first american) who have climbed the 14 highest peaks (8000 meters or 26,246 feet) on the planet without using supplemental oxygen. on may 12, 2005 ed viesturs reached the summit of annapurna, the tenth highest mountain in the world.

kai and i went to r.e.i. yesterday afternoon where ed was doing a meet and greet before his presentation at the boulder theater last night. he signed this poster for becky.

he told the story of his sixteen year quest to climb these mountains and he talked about his experience regarding the 1996 tragedy on everest. he talked about the impact that climbing at extreme altitudes has on the human body and of course about his sponsors who have supported him over his career. most importantly he talked about his wife who supported his decisions to climb and his climbing partners both past and present who shared in these adventures. his pictures and stories contained tales of caution and inspiration as it relates to safety and success on these high peaks. his mantra has always been - getting to the peak is optional, getting down is mandatory.

his autobiography is going to be released next year and i'm sure it will be just interesting and inspiring as his presentation was last night.


Becky said...

Keith neglected to mention that I never asked for the poster, nor the autograph... I think he was trying to inspire me to want to do more climbing. But that's not really necessary.

The presentation was really fabulous, though. And Ed is some sort of superhuman - he doesn't feel the affects of altitude the way most of us would. His physiology has been studied by doctors, and it's pretty incredible.

Tyler said...

1/3 the oxygen...and then doing a monumental tasks......sounds like a blonde's average day. (LOL)

Dave said...

.. I never used supplemental oxygen while working at the SHELTER, so HA!.. I win. 14 peaks my shiny tush.

MOM said...