The Outside Blog over at Outside Online is reporting that climbing legend Ed Viesturs is returning to Everest this year as part of an all-star team of climbers making their attempts on the highest peak on the planet. This will be Ed’s 11th time on the mountain, and he has made six successful summit attempts already.
Considered one of the top mountaineers in the world, Viesturs is the only American to have successfully topped out on all 14 of the 8000m peaks, without supplemental oxygen no less. After completing his climb of Annapurna back in 2005, the last of the 8-thousanders on his list, Ed announced that he was retiring from climbing the big peaks, although he has stayed plenty active on other mountains and various adventures, including a polar ski expedition to Baffin Island last year.
Ed will join mountaineering luminaries Peter Whittaker, Dave Hahn, Melissa Arnot, Seth Waterfall, and Chad Peele in the attempt on Everest. Lou and Jim Whittaker are serving as consultants to the team as well. The expedition is sponsored by gear company Eddie Bauer, who are attempting to get back to their roots with a new line of outdoor gear called First Ascent. The First Ascent website has some nice video of the team testing out the new gear and preparing for their expedition.
This should be a fun expedition to follow this year when the Everest season gets underway in another month. There are some great stories here, such as Dave Hahn going for another Everest summit, as he is already the man with the most summits on the mountain who isn’t a Sherpa.
It’s also great to see Eddie Bauer returning to it’s roots as well. Over the past ten years or so, the brand has become a shadow of it’s former self, sold on discount racks at Target and in its own stores in upscale malls. Most of the stuff was aimed at the urban crowd looking for a distinctive label, and there was little of interest for those that actually wanted to wear it on a trail somewhere. This new First Ascent line looks like good, quality gear that you can take on an adventure. Something Eddie Bauer hasn’t offered for some time. Hope it turns out well.
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