Latest from The Spokesman-Review
CLIMBING — The Chelan County sheriff’s office says two climbers slid 800 feet or more down 9,415-foot Mount Stuart southwest of Leavenworth when one slipped and the anchor points for both came loose Sunday as they were trying to reach the top.
The two came to rest on a glacier. Rescuers responded to an emergency beacon and the two were picked up by a copter and flown to Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee.
The sheriff’s office says a 28-year-old Seattle man suffered a broken leg and a 29-year-old Bainbridge Island man suffered head and neck injuries.
Mount Stuart, prominent to the north from Interstate 90 near Cle Elum, is the highest peak in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and the second-highest non-volcanic peak in Washington, behind Bonanza Peak.
MOUNTAINEERING — Barbara Polk Washburn, first woman to climb the highest peak in the United States, died in Massachusetts on Sept. 25 at the age of 99.
The climb of Mount McKinley was less about breaking barriers than about building a relationship with her husband, the Boston Globe reported. "I had no real feeling about being a pioneering woman on a serious Alaskan expedition," she said in a story about the climb. "I only knew that as the only woman, I had to measure up."
Her husband, Henry Bradford Washburn Jr., was an American explorer, mountaineer, cartographer and photographer. He led several first ascents in Alaska, including a 1951 ascent of McKinley's West Buttress, which proved to be the safest route to the 20,320-foot summit. In the 1970s, Washburn led the first extensive mapping of the Grand Canyon. He established the Boston Museum of Science.
The 1947 McKinley expedition took 70 days and gained 14,600 foot of elevation to the mountain's summit and highest point in North America.
Barbara told the Boston Globe that she had trained for the climb by pushing a baby carriage.
She was involved in many organizations and was honorary director of the Grand Circle Foundation.
Her 100th birthday would have been in November.
MOUNTAINEERING — A man in his 30s recently told me that few young adults, even climbers, know anything about Spokane Mountaineer Chris Kopczynski.
That's stunning considering that the local contractor is a Seven Summits veteran and joined John Roskelley to be the first American team to climb the north face of the Eiger. He pioneered routes in mountains around the region all the way to Everest.
The discussion came up as we discussed the upcoming event:
Wisdom Earned, a documentary by Spokane contractor and world-class climber Chris Kopczynski and Gibby Media Group, will debut at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 8 at the Bing Crosby Theater in Spokane. Proceeds will benefit the Dishman Hills Conservancy. Tickets, $17 through TicketsWest outlets.
But even if the present can sometimes be oblivious, time does not forget great moments in history.
The 1980 Spokane-to-Makalu Expedition was recognized in 2002 by the American Alpine Club as one of the world's 10 most significant climbs of the 20th century.
The four-man team of Roskelley, Kopczynski, Jim States and Kim Momb culminated an 80-day Himilayan ordeal of pain sickness and danger by becoming the first American expedition to reach the 27,790-foot summit of Makalu, the world's fifth-highest peak.
And since we're talking about an event of Historical significance, here are links to six stories that appeared in The Spokesman-Review over the course of the preparation and climb in 1980:
- (Originally published Jan. 27, 1980) If everything works out right, four hometown mountaineers could spread the name “Spokane” farther in three months than the Chamber of Commerce spreads it in three years.
- (Originally published May 11, 1980) At the base of Makalu, the world’s fifth-highest peak, Chris Kopczynski wrote to his wife, Sharon, "Haven’t seen a newspaper in weeks. How are the hostages?"On March 27, Kopczynski, John Roskelley, Kim Momb and Jim States reached base camp, 17,100 feet.
- (Originally published May 24, 1980) Spokane, Wash., mountaineer John Roskelley climbed 27,807-foot Mount Makalu, the world’s fifth highest mountain, but asked the Nepalese government not to give him the credit. Roskelley, 32, said in a message to the government that the successful summit assault could not have succeeded without the combined effort of is three teammates, also from Spokane.
- (Originally published June 15, 1980) Almost reaching the top of a mountain might sound hollow to someone who’s never been part of a team. Chris Kopczynski and Jim States trained for months, blew thousands of dollars and punished themselves for six weeks at high altitude only to turn back within 500 feet of joining teammate John Roskelley on Makalu’s 27,790-foot summit. So why are they smiling?
- (Originally published June 15, 1980) When they left Spokane Feb. 28, they knew the risks and the difficulty of climbing a major Himalayan peak. Or at least they thought they did. On May 15, the four-man expedition from Spokane—leader John Roskelley, Dr. Jim States, Chris Kopczynski and Kim Momb—became the first American team to climb Makalu, the fifth highest peak in the world, in an 80-day odyssey laced with glory, pain, anger, dysentery and loneliness.
- (Originally published Aug. 15, 1980) While his teammates took advantage of a perfect day to struggle to the top of the world’s fifth highest peak, a lonely Kim Momb lay 8,000 feet below in his base camp tent. God had given Kim the strength and talent of an Olympic champion, but the knees of an average man. At 24, he had proven he had the raw talent to be one of the best mountaineers in the United States.
This group beat the odds and made it to the top. Only about 40 percent of the 11,000 mountaineers who attempt the climb reach Rainier's 14,410-foot summit.
CLIMBING — Bill Fix and Joe Collins — two legendary Spokane Mountaineers — celebrated Joe's 89th birthday Sunday. They are especially known for taking a couple of young upstart climbers under their wings 50 years ago and launching them toward the top of the world.
Fix and Collins were among the Spokane club's teams that made pioneering climbs throughout the region and especially in the Canadian mountains anywhere within striking distances of the epic three-day trips they'd make with barely enough time to return home to go to work again on Monday.
Nearly 50 years ago, a recent graduate of the venerable Spokane Mountaineers Mountain School, John Roskelley, was assigned during the Mountaineers Summer Outing to the Grand Tetons to rope up with Fix for the technical rock-climbing portion of their ascent of Mount Moran. Fix filed the trip report (see photos above) in the club's journal, the Autumn 1965 Kinnikinnick: "A special commendation is due John Roskelley for his help in route finding and leading to the summit from Drizzlepuss. At 16, he has to be dubbed 'most promising new climber.'"
- Roskelley later rose to the top of the heap of the world's mountaineers, a career honored this spring in Italy as he became the first American and sixth recipient of the Golden Ice Axe award (Les Piolets D'or). Although Fix had an eye for Roskelley's climbing prowess, perhaps nobody could have foreseen that he would one day be on the same mountaineering lifetime achievement list as Walter Bonatti, Reinhold Messner, Doug Scott, Robert Paragot and Kurt Diemberger.
Joe Collins recalled in the 1960s chauffeuring Roskelley and another teen Mountain School graduate, Chris Kopczynski, for a club climb of 9,131-foot Mount Shuksan in the North Cascades near Mount Baker.
"Chris ate all three-days worth of food the first day," Collins recalled. "He came to me and said, 'Joe! Joe! My food's all gone,' as I had all of my food neatly organized in front of me."
Kopczynski, a standout wrestler in high school and later at the NCAA level, reportedly said, 'What should I do, Joe?' as he looked longingly at Collins's food, each meal for each day wrapped and labeled.
"I put each package in my stuff sack, pulled the drawstring tight and put it in my pack and said, 'Next time you will remember. Let's go climbing.'"
- Kopcyznski learned his lessons well. His long list of climbing accomplishments include joining Roskelley in 1974 to become the first American team to climb the North Face of the Eiger; becoming the ninth American to climb Mount Everest, and completing the Seven Summits by 1994.
CORRECTION: In 1962, John Harlin was the first American to climb the North Face of the Eiger, along with a German climber. in 1974, Roskelley and Kopczynski were the first U.S. team to make the ascent. That point was wrong in my initial post.
CLIMBING — John Roskelley has climbed to very elite international status today as he accepted the Golden Ice Axe Award in presentations at Chamonix, France, and Courmayeur, Italy. The mountain towns are connected by a tunnel through the base of Mont Blanc.
Roskelley, 65, is the first American and sixth recipient of the Golden Ice Axe. He built his climbing reputation with first ascents in the Canadian Rockies before heading farther afield to achieve first ascents and notable ascents of 7,000 and 8,000 meter peaks in Nepal, India and Pakistan.
Attending the events, Chris Kopczynski of Spokane said Roskelley received a standing ovation and lots of press. Kop and Roskelley launched celebrated climbing careers onto the international stage in their mid-20s when they became the first all American team to climb the North Face of the Eiger.
MOUNTAINEERING — An Idaho man is at the forefront of this soon-to-be released video (see just-posted trailer above) about the American-Burmese mountaineering expedition to summit what the group is calling the highest peak in Southeast Asia — remote Myanmar’s Mount Gamlang Razi .
The footage appears to be extraordinary, including a 175-mile jungle approach trek that offers a rare glimpse of a culture generally hidden from public view.
Read on for the media release and all the currently available details. The film will be released in June.
MOUNTAINEERING — A former Mount Rainier climbing ranger believed to be the first person to climb Washington's highest peak in fewer than five hours, died Friday in a mountaineering accident in Patagonia, according to a report in the Tacoma-News Tribune.
Chad Kellogg, 42 of Seattle, reportedly was killed by a rock that was dislodged by his rope as he rappeled on Fitz Roy, a popular spire in the region of South America that spans both southern Argentina and Chile.
CLIMBING — Spokane alpinist John Roskelley, 65 — one of the world's premier mountaineers in the 60s, 70s and 80s — will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Piolet d’Or in Chamonix, France, in late March 2014. The honor is given to those “whose spirit inspired subsequent generations.”
Roskelley is the first American and sixth recipient of the Golden Ice Axe. He built his climbing reputation with first ascents in the Canadian Rockies before heading farther afield to achieve first ascents and notable ascents of 7,000 and 8,000 meter peaks in Nepal, India and Pakistan.
Roskelley is best known for climbs such as Dhaulagiri, Nanda Devi, Trango Tower, Gaurishankar, K2, Uli Biaho, Cholatse and Tawache, all without supplemental oxygen.
His character is depicted in the movie Storm and Sorrow in the High Pamirs, a tragic 1974 international climb in which he narrowly escaped death in an avalanche that killed companions.
Also in 1974, on an impulse, he joined Spokane climber Chris Kopczynski to become the first Americans to climb the Eiger.
In 2003 and the twilight of his major climbing accomplishments, Roskelley scaled Mount Everest with his son, Jess, 20, who was the youngest American to summit the world's highest peak at the time.
Perhaps his most remarkable climb was in 1980, when Roskelley joined three other Spokane climbers — Kopczynski, Jim States and Kim Momb for a four-man alpine ascent of Makalu, the world's third highest peak. Roskelley was the only member of the group to summit as he became the first American to reach the goal.
The technical difficulties of the route "were of a level never before attained in Himalayan climbing," Roskelley wrote in the American Alpine Journal.
Roskelley told Rock and Ice magazine that the lifetime achievement award is “a surprise to me, given the hundreds of exceptional climbers throughout the world. I will be accepting it on behalf of all of my teammates through the years who made this possible. After all, I couldn’t have reached the summits of so many classics without them.”
The mountaineering awards have been given by the French magazine Montagnes and The Groupe de Haute Montagne since 1991.
In 2009, the first Lifetime Achievement Award was given to famed Italian climber Walter Bonatti. The award went to Reinhold Messner in 2010, Doug Scott in 2011, Robert Paragot in 2012 and Kurt Diemberger in 2013.
ADVENTURE — The lineup of films for the three-day run of the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour in Spokane has been decided — just hours before the first films will be shown tonight starting at 7 p.m. at The Bing Crosby Theater.
Friday and Saturday night snows are sold out. Only a few tickets remained for Sunday at last check.
Note: The new owners of The Bing introduced a bar for beer and wine just before last year's festival showing, and this year they're offering a wine bar up a spiral staircase near the balcony level. Also, this year's film screenings will be presented with the new state of the art projector and larger screen that debuted last year, plus the enhanced sound system that was installed since then.
World Tour host — better known as the World Tour road warrior — Michelle de Camp met with Phil Bridgers of Mountain Gear met this afternoon at Soulful Soups to work through the options. Several films Bridgers wanted to show after attening the festival in Bann two weeks ago still were not licensed.
But they came up with a good lineup of shows for each night with everything from High Tension and the Grand Prize winning North of the Sun to NAKED SKIING in the Valhalla's of British Columbia!
De Camp will log 60 hours of driving and 4,000 kilometers of travel from from today through mid December to show the World tour around the region. Then the tour will continue around the world in 2014.
Read on for the lineup in Spokane:
CLIMBING – Spokane is one of the first stops for the 2013 Reel Rock 8 Film Tour, a gripping collection of climbing films that will show Friday (Sept. 27) starting at 7 p.m. at Mountain Gear’s retail store, 2002 N. Division St.
The films, which debuted in a Boulder, Colo., festival on Sept. 19, include “High Tension: Ueli Steck and the Clash on Everest.”
All proceeds go to the Access Fund, a national advocacy organization founded in 1991 to conserve and keep U.S. climbing areas open.
MOUNTAINEERING — Two ski mountaineers have set a speed record for climbing and descending Mount Rainier from the Paradise parking lot, scorching the icy slopes in 3 hours, 57 minutes and 55 seconds.
Andy and Jason Dorais of Salt Lake City set the record on June 5, a couple of weeks after another pair of mountaineers had erased the 4:50 records in a time of 4:19.
Both of the Dorais brothers predict the record times will drop significantly as speed runners refine the routes and techniques and pick the perfect conditions.
- See Andy's description of the climb and descent.
- See Jason's description of the effort.
- See Powderwhore Productions account.
Jason's food for the effort: 5 powergels mixed in 16oz gatorade plus 16 oz Red Bull.
- Time: 3:57:55
- Moving time: 3:24:34
- Distance: 14.12 miles
- Average moving speed: 4.1 mph
- Maximum speed: 33.4 mph
- Elevation gain: 9,103 feet
MOUNTAINEERING — The National Park Service says a climbing ranger who fell to his death during a rescue operation at Mount Rainier National Park last year was not roped for safety or equipped with an ice ax at the time of the accident.
Nick Hall, 33, was a four-year climbing ranger at the park. He fell roughly 2,400 feet while helping to rescue four injured climbers from Texas on June 21, 2012.
A review into the accident reported by the Associated Press today found a pervasive pattern of rangers being comfortable being unroped on the mountain and that they had become desensitized to the risks.
Park Superintendent Randy King says the park is establishing more stringent protocols for those who work on the mountain and improving training for its rangers.
MOUNTAINEERING — David Liaño Gonzales, 33, from Mexico, became the first mountaineer to double summit on Mount Everest in the same season. He summited from the South Col route on May 11, got a good break in the weather and a helicopter ride to Katmandu where the traveled to the Tibetan side and scaled the peak with a Sherpa via the North Col on May 19.
Dawes Eddy of Spokane snapped this photo of Gonzales as he celebrated with a chocolate cake at advanced base camp.
I'm writing Dawes' story for Sunday Outdoors.
By the way, Dawes is 70.
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.
CLIMBING — Jess Roskelley of Spokane said Alaska climber John Frieh opened his eyes with his method of "Smash and Grab" climbing efforts (see the Sunday Outdoors story).
They'll be explaining it in a free mult-media program starting at 7 p.m. Thursday (Feb. 28) at the Mountain Gear retail store, 2002 N. Division St.
Top recent outdoors-related stories in The Spokesman-Review include:
The National Parks Service has approved long-awaited upgrades to Mount Rainier’s Camp Muir – one of the main stops for the thousands of people who climb the mountain.
Pacific West Region director Chris Lehnertz determined that upgrading the high camp would have no impact on the park, giving the green light to replace the camp’s nonhistoric structures.
Mount Rainier National Park superintendent Randy King said the project will cost about $700,000 and take three to five years to complete, the Tacoma News Tribune reported.
Camp Muir is the highest backcountry camp, located at an elevation of 10,080 feet.
ADVENTURE FILMS — The trailer for this year's Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour has been released (above) and, as usual, it doesn't disappoint. The action you see in this trailer will be played out in Spokane on a bigger screen in this year's World Tour weekend at The Bing — tonight, Saturday and Sunday.
The shows for tonight and Saturday are sold out but tickets are still available for Sunday.
The Mountain Gear staff is meeting with the Banff World Tour host at noon to begin the task of selecting the available films for each night. The decisions are based on film lengths, diversity of films and what films have been licensed to show on the road to get a good mix of different films for each night.
I'll post the lineup as soon as the decisions are made.
See you at the shows!
MOUNTAINEERING — Jess Roskelley of Spokane teamed with John Frieh of Portland in late October for a three-day "smash and grab" outing to pioneer a new route on Mount Wake in the Alaska Range.
Roskelley, the son of Spokane mountaineering veteran and county commissioner candidate, at one time was the youngest American to summit Mount Everest.
- See the S-R story announcing his completion of that chilling 2003 Everest climb with his father.
- See my wrap-up feature with details about the Everest climb.
Timing the recent Alaska Range trip with a great weather forecast, Frieh and Roskelley flew by ski plane to the Ruth Glacier, got right to business to scale a route they've named The Cook Inlet (4,500′, V AI4 M4). They were back at their skis 15 hours after leaving and flew out the following morning.
"Autumn ascents in the Alaska Range are unusual, but if you can put up with the reduced daylight and deeper cold of post-equinox climbing, you may be rewarded with less avalanche danger and, of course, no crowds," says climbing writer Dougald MacDonald in this report on the climb.
MOUNTAINEERING — Spokane Mountaineer John Roskelley is mentioned in a new climbing novel and serves as an inspiration for one of the characters, says author/climber Nick O’Connell of Seattle.
The Storms of Denali, is a disaster epic that O'Connell ranks in the tradition of Into Thin Air and The Perfect Storm. Four young men set out to climb a new route on the 20,320-foot peak, the highest and coldest summit in North America. They battle avalanches, fierce winds, and mind-numbing cold to ascend a classic new line up the south face. In confronting these obstacles, the group splinters, leading inexorably to tragedy.
O'Connell will be reading from the novel Thursday (Aug. 9) at 7 p.m. at Auntie's Bookstore in Spokane.
See a video trailer of the novel featuring the author and scenes from Denali.
An extraordinary novel. Through verisimilitude and candor rarely found in the nonfiction literature of North America's highest peak, O'Connell plumbs the motivations, risk, and nuances of an ordinary climber's life. The mounting tension, deft characterizations, and sun-burnt realism of The Storms of Denali transport the reader more vividly than any other book about the mountain.
—Jonathan Waterman, author of In the Shadow of Denali and Running Dry.
MOUNTAINEERING — Safely below the snowline, I was hiking in the Alps near Chamonix, France, last week when 9 climbers were killed by an avalanche on Mont Blanc, the highest peak in western Europe. It was particularly eery for me and my family, since we had just shared a train ride with a South Africa couple who had just climbed the peak — and we had shared breakfast on a previous day with a man who was headed up to climb.
The tragedy in bringing international attention to what appear to be increasing danger and unpredictibility in snow-country climbing and backcountry skiing.
Following the tragedy in the Alps as well as another on Mount McKinley, the New York Times has published this report citing veteran climbers pointing out that today’s conditions are combining to create a volatile highball of risk.
MOUNTAINEERING — Sad news from Mount Rainier National Park as a ranger attempting a rescue fell 3,000 feet to his death on Thursday.
MOUNTAINEERING — Spokane's John Roskelley, perhaps America's premier mountaineer in the 1980s, will present a slide show and share climbing insights in a presentation Thursday (June 21), 7 p.m., at the Mountain Gear retail store, 2002 N. Division.
The photos and stories will relate to Roskelley's latest book, "The Roskelley Collection: Nanda Devi, Last Days and Stories off the Wall."
The book compiles his previous works.
MOUNTAINEERING — The solo climber who died early Thursday after falling about 1,000 feet on the south side of Mount Hood was an experienced mountaineer from Portland, a Clackamas County sheriff’s officer said.
Mark Cartier, 56, fell from close to the 10,000-foot level, landing on the west side of an area known as the Hogsback near Crater Rock, Sgt. Adam Phillips said in a story on the Associated Press wire.
Cartier “was described as an extremely experienced mountaineer and rock climber,” Phillips said.
He had been on a standard climbing route. Other climbers who saw him fall alerted authorities.
In a statement, Cartier’s wife, Deb Weekley, said her husband was a past member of Timberline Mountain Guides who “always exemplified the description of preparedness and calculated risk” and used Mount Hood “as his special playground.”
“He climbed the mountain as he has done hundreds of times before,” she said. “The only thing different this time was that he didn’t call me saying he had made it down.”
Cartier had climbed mountains in Oregon, California, Alaska, Europe and the Himalayas, his wife said.
Cartier was a close friend of many members in Portland Mountain Rescue, said volunteer Rocky Henderson, who had crossed paths with him many times before and was with the group that helped extricate his body.
Read on for more details from the Oregonian and AP.
MOUNTAINEERING — A climber has died after falling about 1,000 feet on the south side of Mount Hood, the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office said today.
Sgt. Adam Phillips told the Oregonian no identification would be released until the body is recovered off the mountain.
Other climbers saw the man fall Thursday morning and alerted authorities.
Phillips says the body was found at 10,000 feet in a gully below Hogsback Ridge in an area near Crater Rock, according to a report moved by the Associated Press.
Zac Snow, a 27-year-old climber from Ashland, passed the area where the man fell. He told The Oregonian he couldn’t see the fallen climber but said it was pretty steep where the climber had been.
Good weather attracted dozens of climbers to the peak late Wednesday and early Thursday.
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.
CLIMBING — Learn the Nuts & Bolts of climbing gear from Eddie Whittemore, a highly regarded Black Diamond sales rep, TONIGHT, 7 p.m., in a free program at Mountain Gear Retail Store, 2002 N Division St.
The informal-informative presentation will cover how climbing gear is manufactured, how it is tested and the standards; then a bit about caring for gear to make it last, and when to retire it for safety.
A Q & A session will conclude the evening.
Whittemore invites you to bring your gear and your questions.
CLIMBING – Karl Dietrich, an accomplished North Idaho mountaineer, will be presenting a slide show of his alpine adventures at 6 p.m., March 29 at the Laughing Dog Brewery in Ponderay, sponsored by the Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center.