8000 Meters Facts
Viesturs and David Breashears back on Mt Everest in Spring 2004.
This spring 2004, we expect Ed Viesturs to join an expedition that includes
David Breashears on Mt Everest. After Everest, Ed is expect to attempt
Annapurna in an attempt to finish the 14 8000 meter peaks. We are told David
Breashears will be filming as part of an Everest 1996 project. David is
expected to attempt the summit again...
For 44-year-old climbing veteran Ed Viesturs it isn't the final goal that
matters so much as the journey. Ed is arguably America's leading high-altitude
climber, having summited Everest 5 times and is the only American to summit
the world's six tallest peaks - without supplemental oxygen. Ed is currently
working on summiting the world's 14 peaks over 8,000 meters, again without
using bottle oxygen. He has climbed 13 to date.
Growing up in the Midwest flatlands near Rockford, Illinois Viesturs
wouldn't have experienced anything taller than a hillock let alone a true
mountain. The child of immigrants he had his first mountaineering experience
vicariously through "Annapurna," French climber Maurice Herzog's account of
leading a 1950 expedition to the summit of this uncharted 8,000 meter
Himalayan peak. After some basic rock-climbing in Wisconsin Ed moved on to the
University of Washington where studied veterinary science and became a guide
on Mount Rainier (which he summited 187 times).
The move West brought Ed close to his first summit climb -- Mount St.
Helens (pre-explosion) in 1977. From there he moved on to Kangchenjunga
(1989), his first 8,000-meter summit, and then to Everest itself in 1990. In
1997 He became the first non-Sherpa to summit Everest 5 times and live to tell
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