Category archives for Climbing

One of Yosemite’s Leading Climbers Also Saves Babies’ Lives

When Libby Sauter leans over a small child in an operating room, his chest cut open to reveal his tiny heart for surgery—the most vulnerable, unstable patient in the entire hospital—the room is tense. “You have to try and be super, super organized to keep everything together because there’s so much going on,” Sauter says.…

Snapchatting Everest: A Bittersweet End for Social-Media-Savvy Climbers

The story of two American mountaineers attempting to climb Everest without oxygen, scrupulously documented on Snapchat, has ended with a summit, a failed push—and no Snapchat from the top of the world. Cory Richards, a National Geographic photographer from Boulder, Colorado, made his first summit of the world’s tallest mountain, while his climbing partner, Adrian…

What Went Wrong on Everest This Season

Garrett Madison had high hopes for the 2016 climbing season on Mount Everest. The veteran mountaineering guide, who is president and founder of Madison Mountaineering in Seattle, had survived the devastating avalanche at Everest Base Camp, triggered by the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that rocked the Himalayas on April 25, 2015. At least 20 other climbers…

First American Woman Completes Full Everest Summit Without Oxygen

They say that reaching the summit is only half the climb. And if that’s the case, it’s possible that Melissa Arnot just became the first American woman to climb Mount Everest without using supplemental oxygen. Arnot reached the summit of the 29,029-foot (8,848-meter) mountain on May 23, achieving a dream that, for her, has been…

Recent Everest Summits, Tragedies Mark Return of ‘Normal’ Climbing Season

Photo @coryrichards Climber @adrianballinger returns to the relative safety and comfort of the North Col on Everest’s North side as ChangTse rises into the building convection. Today we climbed to over 25,000 ft (7,600 m), leaving the long snow ridge behind and gaining the shattered stone that characterizes the higher reaches of the North face.…

Alex Lowe’s Son Reflects on Finding Closure

I don’t remember him leaving that early September morning. He probably woke up at some ungodly hour like he always did, made coffee for himself and my mom, and sat with her at the kitchen table before saying goodbye. Maybe he stepped into each of my brothers’ and my rooms for a kiss and a…

Sherpas Summit Everest. Now Come the Crowds

It’s been almost two years since climbers have stood on the summit of Mount Everest, but at 5 p.m. local time on May 11, a team of nine Sherpas reached the top of the world. Shea Gyaljen Sherpa, working for Asian Trekking’s Eco Everest Expedition, had the great honor of leading the rope-fixing team to…

Will China’s New Road Clear a Path for More Everest Climbers?

The road to Everest is paved—and, at least in terms of this feat of engineering, it is magnificent. China has completed a pristine asphalt highway across the Tibetan plateau, with views of 8,000-meter mountains, all the way to Everest Base Camp North. “If this road were anywhere else on the planet, it would be the…

Climber Remembers the Legendary Alex Lowe

“We knew it was going to happen one day. We just didn’t think it would be right at this point,” says alpinist Conrad Anker about learning that the bodies of his friends Alex Lowe and David Bridges had been discovered, still frozen inside a glacier at the foot of Shisha Pangma, an 8,000-meter peak in…

Mountaineers’ Bodies Found 16 Years Later

The opportunity to once again celebrate the lives of two of the greatest mountaineers who ever lived has presented itself under the most incredible circumstances. The remains of American mountaineers Alex Lowe and David Bridges, who were swept away in an avalanche on Shisha Pangma (8,027 meters/26,335 feet) in Tibet on October 5, 1999, were…