The Ancient Historian

Ancient history, mountaineering, cycling and other outside adventures

Archive for the category “Ed Viesturs”

Korean climbers on Annapurna-update

The sad news came yesterday, as reported on Exweb, that the search for the three missing climbers has been called off. They are presumed dead; their photos are on display in a temple in Kathmandu. Terribly sad news. Ironically enough, Ed Viesturs new book, The Will to Climb, talking about this own experience on Annapurna, statistically the deadliest mountain on the planet, is next on my reading list.


Ed Viesturs with great wisdom

I guess it is an Ed Viesturs theme night for me. I came across this video, and it contains such good advice I think, not just for Rainier but for any mountain. Like he says, “No shortcuts to the top.” It is awfully easy to to push too hard when you have enthusiasm for getting some mountains under your belt, and I love what he says here. Same goes with descents. Hard to find an analogy with cycling, but one comes to mind, and that’s when you are in a group ride and someone is pushing at the front. It is often easy to let your guard down and to follow mindlessly without realizing that the person can push you beyond where you should be going. I’ve seen a lot of crashes that way. Both sports, it seems to me, require great self control, and thinking.

Ed Viesturs on Colbert backstage-hilarious

Talk about a good sport, and pretty funny too.


I can feel it fairly intensely now; departure in three weeks! I did my gear checklist, all there except a few small items. Finally starting to get some core work in, and some long rides planned for this weekend beginning early tomorrow AM


Meanwhile, hey it’s Summer. Which means Summer reading. I wont bore you with all the reading I have to get done for work. I have a guilty pleasure in taking breaks and tucking into my regular mags like Velonews and The Economist. But more fun still are mountaineering books. There’s no end to them, and lots of good ones in fact, unlike the mountaineering movies. Why can’t anyone make a good one? Anyway. I promised a while ago I would review Ed Viesturs K2 and I will soon. It’s a good one. I am finishing now Freddie Wilkinson‘s One Mountain Thousand Summits, and I just got today a signed copy of Jim Davidson and Kevin Vaughan’s new The Ledge, already getting great press. That one looks great.


More soon.




SB ’11 with Ed Viesturs

And speaking of great mountaineers (and personal heroes) Ed Viesturs was speaking at SB ’11 in Monterey this past week. A friend of mine went to this, and made me incredibly jealous. He was representing one of his new ventures, Source 44, and the logistics behind his recent Antarctic expedition and reducing carbon footprints on expeditions. Hoping the talk will be posted somewhere.





Ed Viesturs wraps up Everest summit # 7

A nice video interview of Ed Viesturs is posted on Take a look. Great stuff. No rest for the weary; he’s getting ready to head up Rainier in early July!

Ed Viesturs talks about using o’s on the ascent

There have lots of comments on seeing Ed Viesturs with an oxygen mask on while he summited. He is of course famous for climbing all 14 8000er’s without supplemental oxygen. You can see photos, great ones, over on the Firstacsent blog. But he is also famous for being cautious and a thinking man’s mountaineer. Ed explains why he decided to use O’s on his way up from the south summit in the latest Firstascent video. Sure makes good sense, given the cold and the crowds, although I doubt anyone would even question it.

Ed Viesturs reports on arrival back to camp 4

And also notes the crowded mountain on the ascent and descent.

Listen here at

Summit !

Looks like most of the first wave of the FirstAscent team has now summited. Very nice! For Ed Viesturs, that’s number 7!  It’s not easy to compare this athletic feat with other kinds of performance, other than to say this is phenomenal and a major accomplishment. The overused word awesome applies here. And apparently (this according to great reporting from Alan Arnette) these guys went up and down in superb time. So impressive, especially when you consider the crowds reported. (See next post). Congratulations to all-something over 30 already on top, and more to come in the next day or two.

…and now above the Hillary step and near the top

Sorry, I was meaning to go to bed, but I am glued to the news. FirstAscent very near, and I guess a whole lot of other people too. Lots of folks summiting this morning as I write this.

These climbers deserve a bit more press; they are making it seem easy, but there are great athletes at work here

Ed Viesturs explains the last bit of the climb; a piece of cake 😉

You can see how daunting the ridge is to the Hillary step on the Firstascent blog.

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