Latest from The Spokesman-Review
MOUNTAINEERING — Two climbers with Spokane connections had their moment on Mount Everest, elev. 29,035 feet, last weekend with mixed results.
Dawes Eddy, 70, who climbed the world's highest peak in 2009, made his way to around 24,000 feet on Sunday (May 19) before turning back for unspecified reasons.
Did you note — Dawes is 70!
“He did say 'everything is good' and hopes I can get him a flight out of Kathmandu on the 22nd which would put him back in Spokane around the 24th,” said his wife, Mary Kay.
Aaron Mainer,32, a graduate of Mead High School, was one of two guides with International Mountain Guides leading the U.S. Air Force Seven Summits Team to the top of the world's highest peak on Saturday (May 18).
As a native of Washington State, Aaron was introduced to the outdoors at an early age by his parents, who often took him and his younger sister skiing, backpacking, and boating. He attended the University of Puget Sound, where he graduated with a degree in International Political Economy. Since he started working with IMG in 2006, he has guided well over 100 trips on Mount Rainier and along the way done several trips to Alaska, Antarctica and South America. His passion is for ski mountaineering and he has numerous first and second descents in Washington and Alaska. One of his favorite things to do is ski on Mount Rainier, where he has skied over a dozen different routes from the summit, including most recently a first descent of Cryogenesis. (Check out the video.) Aaron is an AMGA Certified Rock Guide and Ski Mountaineering Guide. He lives in Enumclaw, WA, but does not like horses
MOUNTAINEERING — An American female climber who's climbed Mount Everest four times is getting a big share of the credit for saving three British climbers confronted on Everest by an angry mob.
British climber-photographer Jon Griffith told The Guardian he had to flee with two companions fearing the “mob” would stone them to death as “years of frustration” boiled over in what he calls a misunderstanding over use of routes prepared by the Sherpa guides.
Speaking from Lukla, the town that acts as gateway to the Everest region, Jon Griffith told the Guardian of the moment when a group of up to 100 Sherpas confronted them about an argument higher up the mountain. “It was obvious there would be no talking or negotiation,” he said. “They crested the ridge of moraine above our tent. They had pulled their scarves over their faces and instantly bent down to pick up rocks.”
Griffith said that without the bravery of half a dozen other climbers at Camp 2, he and his two partners – the Swiss alpinist Ueli Steck and the Italian Simone Moro – would have been killed in the incident on Saturday. He praised the American climber Melissa Arnot, the only woman to have climbed Everest four times, who warned them an attack was imminent.
He said: “Melissa was a real heroine. She saved Ueli's life. Without her, he'd be dead. She explained to us in our tent that there was a big mob out looking for us. She said something terrible must have happened. We explained that words had been exchanged but that was it. She stepped out of the tent for a moment and then shouted: 'They're coming, get out of here.'”
Steck, the renowned Swiss climber who's set records for climbing the Eiger and other peaks, said his “trust is broken” and he'll “never return to Everest,” in this interview with SwissInfo.com.
Outside magazine's site makes the point that early reports about incidents on Mount Everest “are often murky or incorrect when first filed.” However, Steck's interview is riveting.
The Nepali Times calls it “the highest brawl in world history,” as well as evidence of a culture clash.
The AFP says a meeting between some of the climbers and the Nepalese guides may have cleared the air Monday.
ABC News is airing this TV report and interview with Arnot tonight.
National Public Radio is airing this interview with Griffith today.
MOUNTAINEERING — At 73, Tamae Watanabe is the oldest woman to summit Mount Everest — again. The last time she made the record, she was 63.
She reached the top with four other team members Saturday morning after an all-night climb, Asian Trekking says. The Japanese mountaineer was leading Asian Trekking's International Everest Expedition 2012.
In 2009, Kay LeClaire of Spokane briefly held the distinction of being the oldest woman on top of the world.
Ang Tshering of the China Tibet Mountaineering Association in Nepal tells The Associated Press that the team is in good condition and heading back to the base.
Asian Trekking has a list of Watanabe's other mountaineering feats, which have taken her all over the world, including Alaska's Mount McKinley in 1977.
The oldest man to climb Everest was Min Bahadur Serchan, who was 76 when he reached the highest point on Earth in 2008, according to the Guinness World Records. Radio Australia News reports the youngest person to climb the mount was 13-year-old American Jordan Romero in 2010.