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Architecture for One

Mountain Lab: An Interview With Scott McGuire
"As a form of minor architecture," the resulting short article explained, "tents are strangely overlooked. They are portable, temporary, and designed to withstand even the most extreme conditions, but they are usually viewed as simple sporting goods. They are something between a large backpack and outdoor lifestyle gear—certainly not small buildings. But what might an architect learn from the structure and design of a well-made tent?" Amongst the group of people we spoke with that day was outdoor equipment strategist Scott McGuire, an intense, articulate, and highly focused advocate for all things outdoors.

posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 21, 2014 - 14 comments

The deadliest day on Everest

The Value of a Sherpa Life - Grayson Schaffer reports on Friday's Everest avalanche that claimed the lives of 16 Sherpas in an instant. "And, yes" he says, "there is something that needs to be done about it." In the wake of this devastating tragedy, many Sherpas are threatening a strike and the government is mulling total closure for the upcoming season, which has 335 permits in the queue. Footage of the avalanche. Previously, in The Disposable Man: A Western History of Sherpas on Everest, Scaheffer spoke of the high risks, low pay and shocking mortality rate: "... no service industry in the world so frequently kills and maims its workers for the benefit of paying clients." [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Apr 21, 2014 - 66 comments

Killers' Mountain

Inside the Nanga Parbat MurdersOne of the worst massacres in mountaineering history happened this summer in Pakistan. Will it happen again? from Outside Online, July 30, 2013 (more details in Climbers Recount Murder on Famous Pakistan Peak at National Geographic and Chilling Accounts of Nanga Parbat Massacre at Climbing). One Pakistani Taliban group claimed the attack was retribution for a U.S. drone strike that killed Wali-ur-Rehman on May 29, 2013. After a dangerous investigation by Pakistani Army forces and local police, 20 perpetrators were arrested by August 19, 2013.
posted by cenoxo on Sep 2, 2013 - 10 comments

World's highest fight

Last weekend, almost 60 years after the first ascent by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, fights broke out between three Western climbers and a group of sherpas, at around 7200m on Mount Everest. [more inside]
posted by daveje on Apr 30, 2013 - 47 comments

“The important thing,” he said, “is moving.”

Becoming the All-Terrain Human: [New York Times]
"Kilian Jornet Burgada is the most dominating endurance athlete of his generation. In just eight years, Jornet has won more than 80 races, claimed some 16 titles and set at least a dozen speed records, many of them in distances that would require the rest of us to purchase an airplane ticket. He has run across entire landmasses­ (Corsica) and mountain ranges (the Pyrenees), nearly without pause. He regularly runs all day eating only wild berries and drinking only from streams."

posted by Fizz on Mar 23, 2013 - 24 comments

Reinhold Messner

"Murdering the Impossible" - a 2006 National Geographic profile of Reinhold Messner, "the greatest climber in history". [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Nov 13, 2012 - 22 comments

“You will know how to deal with everything from a tension pneumothorax to torsion of the testes.”

First, Do A Little Less Harm: "As Mark Jenkins knows, wilderness first aid can hurt. (Just ask his patients.) So he finally did what everyone should do: he took a class from real experts." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 17, 2012 - 48 comments

Cold Genius

John Cunningham Climbing Ben Nevis, 1976 (slyt, 8:09)
posted by villanelles at dawn on Sep 11, 2011 - 16 comments

"Yeah. That was a good moment."

The North Face of the Eiger has claimed the lives of at least 64 climbers attempting it since 1935. The first succesful attempt in 1938 took a team of four 3 and a half days. The first succesful solo climb in 1963 took 18 hours. In 2008, Swiss Climber Ueli Steck broke his own record by 1hr7, soloing the face in 2hr47.33. Watch him.
posted by protorp on Feb 20, 2011 - 46 comments

K2: "The night will be long but beautiful."

A few days ago on K2 in the Pakistani Karakoram mountains an icefall trapped climbers more than 8 kilometres above sea level. Eleven died, from the cold and lack of oxygen, from falling or being hit by debris. The expedition website of Nicholas Rice provides an intimate and compelling account of the entire season of activity on K2 and neighbouring Broad Peak.
posted by Flashman on Aug 6, 2008 - 19 comments

The views are incredible

Ed Viesturs summits all 14 mountains over 8000m After 16 years of trying, Ed Viesturs has become the first American to summit all mountains over 8000m (the "Eight-thousanders"). This, in itself, is an amazing achievement; however, even more remarkably, all of Viesturs climbs were done without supplemental oxygen (facilitated, in part, by his genetic abnormalities).

The Eight-thousanders were first climbed in 1986 by Reinhold Messner. Since then, only 12 other people have accomplished the same.
posted by Elpoca on May 12, 2005 - 27 comments

The Savage Mountain

The Savage Mountain Amongst peaks over 20,000 feet, K2 is the hardest and most dangerous. Edurne Pasadan became the 6th woman to summit on July 29th, but can she survive the curse of the women who climb K2 ? K2's danger and challenge has attracted a wide assortment of characters, ranging from the bizarre Aleister Crowley to the glamourous Araceli Segarra . The deadly toll continues. Two Russian climbers are missing on the mountain. Read a history of 50 years of K2 summits, and accounts of another ascent here.
posted by F4B2 on Aug 8, 2004 - 5 comments

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