Dawa Nuru Sherpa of Thame. With 6 Everest summits this incredible kind and
skillful climber will bring experience and humility to the "Pathfinder
2006," Everest expedition.
Mount Everest -- our closest
point to heaven. It is not the size of Everest that makes it the greatest of
all the world mountains, but the richness of its history. The mythology of
the mountain resonates in every step taken on its ridges and flanks. Every
expedition is a world stage where climbers act out chilling sagas of triumph
Defined as the highest
peak in the world in 1852 it was called “Peak XIV”, even today it’s altitude
is still disputed. In 1865 Andrew Waugh, then the British surveyor of India,
named the peak for his predecessor, Sir George Everest. The name stuck. But
Everest already had many names, most unknown outside a particular region.
For Tibetans, it was "Chomolungma“, "Goddess Mother of the Earth”. The
Nepalese call the mountain "Sagarmatha“, "Goddess of the Sky”. There are
probably still others, but through it all the name Everest was never lost.
We would know even less
about this great mountain and its surrounding peaks were it not for a unique
group of people who have lived in the shadow of these mountains for
centuries. The Sherpa people are Buddhist and are thought to have migrated
from Tibet and even as far as Mongolia. They inherited the Khumbu district of
Nepal which surrounds Everest. The Sherpas are synonymous with Everest and
have served virtually every expedition from the Nepalese side since the early
Their cheerful nature,
courage, and fierce loyalty made them treasured among early mountaineers.
They are valued for many attributes, but it was their knowledge of the area,
and particularly the mountains, that quickly made them indispensable members
of any climb. They are physically adapted to the high altitude because their
villages have been situated above 10,000 feet for centuries. Living this high
for many generations enables the Sherpa to take advantage of their peculiar
genetic and physiologic makeup allowing for amazing feats of strength and
endurance at breath-taking altitudes. Their lung capacity is regularly
demonstrated by breaking trails, carrying heavy loads, and rescuing injured
or debilitated climbers, as well as leading successful expeditions to the
top. Although the Sherpas’ achievements are known among serious climbers,
most of the world would be surprised to learn that Sherpas lead the world in
Everest summits. Sadly, they also have the highest casualty rate.
Extraordinary feats have
been accomplished by Sherpas with little recognition. Ang Rita Sherpa made his
10th ascent of Everest without supplemental oxygen, and his name is unknown
outside of climbing circles. Apa Sherpa now heads the list of Everest
ascents with 15 astonishing summits! He has received little recognition for
this incredible record. While few hope to top Ang Rita’s and Apa
accomplishments, many climbers aspire to follow the magnetic pull of Everest’s
mystique, a place for the media to report courageous acts and for families to
mourn the loss of loved ones.
For those of us who climb,
risk is a part of our lives. Choosing the level of risk is an individual
decision. The desire to explore new places and to devise new methods of
reaching those new places is deep within us. This quest to seek the unknown
is once again underway.
“Fantasy Ridge”, the last major unclimbed
ridge on Mt. Everest, was so named by George Leigh Mallory because he believed
that this ridge could only be climbed in “fantasy”. For nearly 100 years,
Mallory has been correct. In the Spring of 2006, a group of climbers plan to
disprove Mallory’s assessment of the ridge.
"We will follow in the
"footsteps" of other great climbers, but our footsteps will fall on snow, ice
and rock that have never felt the weight of boots and crampons. We seek a new
route up Everest via Fantasy Ridge. Our plans will be complicated; our
expenses will be high. Our task will be formidable, but our spirit will carry
us forward. We look ahead to this new challenge in new territory. We accept
the risk. Everest beckons from a new vantage point, unknown and untried. We
embark with the spirit of all who have gone before us on traditional paths.
With the mountain’s blessing we hope to become the “new golden few” who will
triumphantly stand closest to heaven."
The expedition is open for
sponsorship. In addition, access to the video/photo documentary will be
available in exchange for financial support. The expedition will report
exclusively to EverestNews.com. POTENTIAL SPONSORS: FOR
INFORMATION ABOUT THE MEMBERS
OF THE TEAM AND DETAILED PLANS FOR THE CLIMB, PLEASE
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