The Orange County Register has a series of really great articles about John and Ryan Dahlem, a father and son climbing duo who recently traveled to Tibet to climb Cho Oyu together. John is 65, and Ryan is 38, and the pair have a great deal of experience on some big mountains, including Denali and Vinson, but this was their first trip to the Himalaya together.
For a mainstream article, it does an excellent job of laying out the dangers of climbing one of the 8000 meter peaks, and doesn’t go overboard with the hyperbole on how dangerous it is. The stories are actually broken down into three parts, with Part 1 serving as an introduction tot he climb and the climbers. The author is a climber himself, with a great deal of experience as well, and I think that really helps to tell the story.
Part 2 gets more into the meat of the climb itself, discussing the logistics of the climb, including a bit on the trek to the mountain itself, and what it’s like on the upper portions of the mountain. We’re also treated to detailed accounts of what the storms that rocked Cho Oyu this fall were like.
Finally, the Part 3 is a tale of sadness and success. Sadness, because it notes that two climbers died on the mountain (Guy Leveille and Miha Valic), even as the father and son reached the summit. This article talks about them standing on the summit together, and then making the grueling descent together.
All in all, an excellent set of stories that give a nice, personal look at climbing the sixth tallest mountain on Earth. The fact that it was a father and son team, climbing with Summit Climb, makes it an even better story. Good stuff!
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