Friday, May 21, 2004

Holy cow 

Pemba Dorje Sherpa has set a new speed record on Mount Everest, climbing to the summit in just eight hours and ten minutes. From base camp.

I've read a few accounts of Everest climbs, including Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air, based on his shorter Outside magazine article of the same title. Most climbers on the Nepal side set out from Camp IV at the South Col, about 3,000 vertical feet from the summit. They start their 3,000 foot climb before midnight, in order to get back to camp before dark the next evening. As an example, Krakauer's team left the South Col at midnight, with 14 hours to go before their turnaround time. Some more experienced climbers reach the summit from the South Col in as few as 6 hours or so, although 10 hours is a more common time.

Knowing that makes Pemba Dorje's accomplishment that much more astounding. He climbed from about 17,000 feet to 29,035 feet in just over eight hours.

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