Everest 2012: Conrad Anker Leads Nat Geo/North Face Expedition

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As I mentioned a few days back, we’re just a few short weeks away from the start of another spring climbing season on Everest. Even now there are climbers across the globe who are busily packing their gear, making last minute arrangements and preparing to set out for Kathmandu. One of those climbers is Conrad Anker, who will lead an expedition sponsored by National Geographic and The North Face.

Anker and his team, which will include Corey Richards, Kris Erickson, Hilaree O’Neill, Emily Harrington and Sam Elias, will be taking on the West Ridge, which is a more technically challenging climb. The expedition looks to celebrate the first ascent of that route back in 1963 and Richards will film the entire climb for a documentary film project.

In support of the expedition, Nat Geo has launched a new website that has everything you would want to know about Everest and then some. That includes a great piece on how the gear used to climb the mountain has evolved over the past fifty years. The site’s blog will also provide insights into the climb leading up to its start and will host dispatches and progress reports directly from the team starting around mid-Apriil. Even more extensive coverage will be available in real time directly from the National Geographic Magazine iPad app, which will be released on April 16. That is likely about the time that they’ll be establishing Base Camp on the mountain.

In addition to climbing the mountain and documenting the ascent, the expedition team has some other goals in mind as well. They’ll be working closely with a team of geologist who will be in BC throughout the expedition as well, taking samples from the region and exploring the unique geography and geology of the region. Some of that work will also be applied directly towards developing a new curriculum to be used with fifth graders.

This will be yet another exciting expedition to follow this season. The fact that Conrad is a part of this and Corey is filming means that we should get a good look at the West Ridge route, which is seldom seen and not nearly as well known as the routes along the North and South Faces, which are used so commonly.

Watch for updates from the team starting soon.

Kraig Becker