Apr 012004
 
Authors: Taylour Nelson

Thomas Haines has come a long way since climbing trees as a

child in Dallas.

Haines, 22, will fly to Katmandu Sunday in an attempt to climb

to the highest point on earth.

If he reaches the summit, he will be the second-youngest

American to conquer the 29,035-foot Mount Everest.

Ben Clark, a former CSU student, is currently the

second-youngest American to climb Everest.

“To the mountain climber, Everest is the ultimate goal,” Haines

said. “It’s going to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”

Haines said the climb will take two months. The climbers will

hike up part of the mountain, then rest for a few days to allow the

red blood cells to multiply and provide more oxygen to the body,

then continue on.

Sam Sinclair, Haines’s friend and companion, will be at base

camp helping with database research and weather tracking.

“I fully believe that Tom is the mountaineer to tackle Everest,”

Sinclair said.

Sinclair will be part of the welcoming team when Haines descends

the mountain.

Dan Mazur, a successful Mount Everest climber, will lead the

nine-person team as it travels with 20 Sherpas and 20 yaks to the

highest point in the Himalayan Mountains. The team plans to climb

the northeast face of the mountain, a more technical climb than

other parts of Everest, Haines said.

“There are three vertical rock sections and an exposed ridge

with drop-offs over a mile each,” he said.

Becky Haines, Thomas Haines’ mother, said she is excited for

Thomas because climbing Mount Everest is a chance of a

lifetime.

“But then there’s the mom part of me that’s concerned for his

safety,” she said. “But we’re not the kind of parents where if our

kids are passionate about something, we’re going to hold them

back.”

In preparation for the climb, Haines has been running, swimming

and climbing five days a week for about a year. Climbing Mount

Everest will cost $26,000, almost $1 per foot. He has raised more

than $19,000 over the last year and a half, and he has taken out a

loan to help fund the trip.

For the past three months, Rocky Mountain Bagel Works has been

feeding Haines, who has tried to gain weight for the climb.

Coopersmith’s Pub and Brewing, 5 Old Town Square, has helped with

donations, and he plans to carry their banner to the summit.

Haines said his passion for climbing started the summer after

his freshman year in high school.

In 1997, Haines and his friends decided to climb 14,000-foot

Mount Heron in Montana, his first major mountain climb.

“We went off on this adventure and I was hooked,” Haines said.

“I was all about climbing.”

He and his friends formed the “14ers club” and made it their

goal to climb all 54 peaks in Colorado that reached 14,000

feet.

Haines has climbed 47 of the 54.

He has traveled to Mexico, South America and New Zealand, and

climbed peaks reaching 23,000 feet.

“Being in nature (to me), is getting away from all the chaos of

our lives,” Haines said. “It’s so simple. Things are so much easier

to understand.”

 

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Thomas Haines and his group will be tracked on

Everest on a Web site, and for updated info on their location and

condition on the Web site;

www.everestnews.com/everest2004summitclub.htm.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

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