Friday, May 12, 2006

David Lien's Mt. Everest bid

For those of you who haven't been following David Lien's quest to climb the north ridge of Mt. Everest, let me get you up to date.

Lien is a local bank inspector, and in almost every way, an average, normal guy. He's not a mountaineering bad ass. He's not a full-time climber. He's just a guy who started climbing 14ers and decided he wanted to look into something more. Fortunately, there are plenty of guides willing to take average folks up big mountains, so Lien has climbed the highest peaks in Africa, North America, South America, and Antarctica, all as a sort of extreme tourist being led by a more experienced mountaineer.

Not that this kind of tourism takes much away from the climbing feat. Anyway you do it, scaling big mountains is tough. The altitude doesn't care if you are being guided or not. Neither does the weather. Things can go very, very wrong.

The day Lien arrived in Nepal, most everyone in the country went on strike and riots were breaking out in opposition of the king. Maoist guerrillas were getting increasingly noisy in the countryside. Fortunately, the high country of Everest's base camp is pretty quiet and Lien and his Russian guides arrived there safely. They've been ferrying gear to higher camps for a few weeks. Now they are resting at a lower altitude before making their final push.

We'll see what happens.

In the mean time, check out some of Lien's posts below to see what life on the mountain is like.

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