Swimming in the Shadow of Everest

800px Lewis Pugh North Pole swim Jason Roberts
When you think about remote places to go for a swim, Mt. Everest isn’t a location that readily comes to mind. After all, it is tucked away in a remote corner of the Himalaya, along the border between Nepal and Tibet, and the region isn’t well known for its large bodies of water.

That isn’t stopping Lewis Pugh however. The Brit has practically made a career out of swimming in remote places, having completed a long distance swim in every ocean of the world, and becoming the first person to swim across the North Pole back in 2007 as well. He has also taken the plunge off the Antarctica Peninsula, and is widely considered the best cold water swimmer in the world. He is presently in Everest Base Camp, acclimatizing, and preparing for his latest expedition which will see him swimming in a glacial lake to raise awareness of the disappearing Asian glaciers.

The lake that he has chosen is situated at 5300 meters (17,388 feet) and has a temperature of 34ºF. He hopes to swim for at least 1 kilometer, which would make this the highest altitude long distance swim ever. Pugh also says this will probably his most difficult swim ever as well, since he’ll be dealing with the bone chilling cold and the altitude at the same time, something that has to be incredibly hard.

While making the trek to Base Camp last month, I noticed some of the glacial lakes in the area. Just looking at them made me shiver. The water just looked incredibly cold, with large chunks of ice floating in it. I know I certainly wouldn’t want to come anywhere close to hopping into one of those. Brrr…

Good luck to Lewis! I’ll keep everyone posed on his progress.

Kraig Becker