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 will be part of the welcoming team when Haines descends
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
“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
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
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
|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;