One of two Everest climbers unable to reach summit

TUESDAY, MAY 12, 2009

One of two Spokane men attempting to become the oldest U.S. citizen to climb Mount Everest returned to Spokane on Sunday after coming up short of his goal.

Dave Remington, 67, said his body wouldn’t acclimate properly to high altitudes. At lower elevations, he’s proved his fitness level in some of the country’s most grueling ultramarathons.

Meanwhile, 66-year-old Dawes Eddy, of Spokane, is still on Everest with a good shot at making the 29,035-foot summit, possibly this week if the weather clears, Remington said.

“I reached 22,100 feet, and my body ran out of ability to process oxygen,” Remington said Monday. He said he needed to take five breaths for every step at that elevation, even though his resting pulse rate stayed in the 50s.

“I was just too slow to safely continue up,” he said. “Yet I was very fit and fast when I was lower going back and forth, from 14,000 feet to 17,000.”

Remington said he returned with no regrets.

“I’m very pleased to reach 22,100 feet on the mountain, and the Western Cwm is absolutely spectacular,” he said, referring to a vast glacial basin. “The scale is hard to communicate. Pictures can’t do it justice. You have to be there.”

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