10 Things to Watch During Everest 2011

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Climbers and mountaineers from around the world have begun arriving at Everest base camp the past few weeks, a clear sign that climbing season on the world’s highest peak is once again underway. While most hope simply to make it to the summit, a handful of expeditions have other goals in mind. Here’s what to watch for this season, with links to the climbers, skiers, and paragliders (sorry, we had to include this) web sites.
–Michael Webster

Staying Low
Back for their eighth season at Everest base camp, Dr. Luanne Freer and the team at Everest Base Camp Medical Clinic—widely known as Everest ER—continue to treat the inevitable maladies associated with life at nearly 18,000 feet. As of April 11, the volunteer-supported, non-profit has seen 43 patients.

Never Too Late
Spaniard Carlos Soria Fontan is attempting to summit nearby Lhotse—at the age of 72. With the 7 Summits already under his belt, this septuagenarian is attempting to summit the 14 highest peaks on earth; (site in Spanish)

Memories Are Everything
Speaker, climber, and Outside blogger Alan Arnette is back at EBC for the fourth time, this time as part of his 7 Summit Expedition in which he hopes to raise $1 million for Alzheimer’s research by climbing the highest point on each continent. You can check out his blog at; or on his Outside blog.


The North Face, Sans Oxygen
American climber Nick Rice is joining a Spanish expedition attempting to summit Everest along the Northeast Ridge. The 25-year-old plans to make the climb without supplemental oxygen.

The D.R. Is In
Ivan Gomez, Federico Jovine and Karim Mella are attempting to be the first Dominicans to stand on the highest point on earth. (site in Spanish) 

I Feel the Need…
Ecuadorian climber Patricio Ramiro Tisalema is attempting a sub-24-hour speed climb without supplemental oxygen. (So fast, in fact, he doesn’t appear to have a web site.)

Sin oxígeno
Edurne Pasaban, the first woman to summit all 14 of the world’s 8,000-meter peaks (we think), returns to Everest this year to attempt the summit without supplemental oxygen;

Not Quite Everest, but Impressive Nonetheless
Kristoffer Erickson and Jamie Laidlaw, along with Hennie van Jaarsveld of Camp 4 Collective, are attempting to climb 8,511-meter Lhotse…and ski down the west face;

The Easy Way Down
Brazilian Rodrigo Raineri is planning on descending from Everest by hang-gliding. He’s hoping to raise awareness of global warming and alpine water pollution. (site in Portuguese)

And He’ll Have Some Company
Also planning to descend from the summit with wings is Briton Squash Falconer, who is attempting to be the first woman to solo pilot a paraglider from Everest’s summit. In her own words: “I’m not mad — honestly! I made the decision to commit to this almighty challenge based on the fact that I have the relevant experience and skills.”

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