Climbing Everest

Dec 102003
Authors: Trevor Harwood

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,”

Haines said.

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.

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