Next April CSU student Thomas Haines will leave Fort Collins and
the United States behind on a quest to achieve every
mountain-climber’s dream — to climb the tallest mountain in the
world: Mount Everest. He and his team will be climbing the less
traveled Northeast Ridge, which is technically a more demanding
route than that climbed by most expeditions attempting the
mountain, not to mention that the natural conditions of Everest
only add the difficulty of his expedition.
At over 29,000 feet the effects of the altitude and low
atmospheric pressure on Everest quickly begin to take a toll upon
the human body, and even a mild storm may be deadly. There is only
a two-week window of opportunity, when the jet-stream lifts and the
weather permits climbers the chance to sneak up to the summit.
Merely one-third of those that attempt the ascent actually
Oxygen is extremely scarce atop Everest; if a person were to be
dropped off on the top he or she would pass out in minutes and
death would follow shortly after. It may be difficult for anyone to
imagine himself or herself in those extreme circumstances, but
Haines is up to the challenge.
His extensive mountaineering experience has helped him prepare
for the trip, and climbing the tallest mountain in the western
hemisphere, Aconcagua reaching 22,841 feet, has given him a chance
to experience high altitude mountaineering. In addition, he has
climbed Chimborazo and Cotopaxi, both semi-technical volcanoes in
Ecuador rising to 20,700 feet and 19,400 feet respectively. Perhaps
Haines’ greatest accomplishment yet occurred in the Canadian
Rockies this summer on Mount Robson. Due to the technical
difficulty of their route his team was only the third to complete
the ascent this year.
“For a mountaineer, Everest is the ultimate challenge,” Haines
However, pursuing this dream does not come cheap. An expedition
to Everest can range anywhere from $25,000 to $75,000.
“One of my biggest obstacles is raising money for the climb,”
So far his local sponsors include Coopersmith’s and Rocky
Mountain Bagel Works, but even with this sponsorship he is still
short $6,000. You can partner with Haines on his climb by joining
him as a donor. A simple way to do this is to buy one of his
“Everest Expedition” shirts, which are $20.
“I would really appreciate any financial support (anyone) would
be willing to give,” he said.