Climbing: Race You, Pops

May 2, 2004
Outside Magazine
Outside magazine, June 1995

Climbing: Race You, Pops
By Todd Balf (with Martin Dugard and Alison Osius)

This month, U.S.-based mountain guide Thor Kieser hopes to lead the youngest and oldest person to the top of Mount Everest. While Kieser admits that the prospects of success are small, the advance notice has been anything but. So far, Keiser's trip has challenged last year's summit attempt by socialite Sandy Pittman for the title of most-watched commercial expedition of all time. Most of that attention focused on Mark Pfetzer, a 15-year-old from Middletown, Rhode Island, who last summer became the youngest person to summit 22,205-foot Huascarán, Peru's highest peak. Meanwhile, 63-year-old Carlo Rocca of California, if successful, will replace Ramón Blanco in the record books as the oldest to summit Everest--the latter was 60 when he summited a year and a half ago. "The higher winds and colder temperatures on our route, the North Ridge, prevent a lot of success," says Kieser, "but it's for people looking for an opportunity they can afford." The low, low price for a chance at glory: $25,000 per.

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