Leif Whittaker on the Privilege of Climbing Mountains

Photos and story by Leif Whittaker The view from the barren promontory above Namche Bazaar in Nepal looked out on a windswept hunk of the Himalaya where the sunrise struck, bathing the world’s highest mountain in flattering gold light. Dad and Mom stood next to me, their breath white in the frigid morning. The alpine air was redolent with juniper. We talked about climbing, a favorite subject of the guides, Sherpa, and photographers who clustered around us. I listened intently to Dad’s stories about his ascent of Mount Everest in 1963 and Mom’s stories about the 1978 K2 expedition. Though they spoke of daring, superhuman feats—like descending from 29,035 feet half blind and without bottled oxygen—I heard a conspicuous tone of humility in their voices, as if they acknowledged how lucky…

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5 Tips From Chad Kellogg’s Everest Speed Training

Getting Sick at Altitude? 5 Tips From Chad Kellogg’s Everest Speed Training Chad Kellogg has trained for more than six years to become the fastest climber on Everest. The lessons he learned on previous Everest attempts and speed climbs of other mountains have given him a strong understanding of what it takes to succeed at altitude. Here are the key techniques Chad uses to prepare for Everest: 1.     Train your heart, legs and lungs in advance. Chad’s Everest program focuses primarily on volume and endurance training. Both types of training also condition his legs for climbing. Most of the locations and resources he uses are free and available to anyone, anywhere. You can easily scale Chad’s workouts to fit your available resources and goals. Chad’s volume training involves high-intensity sets…

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Speed Ascent Recap: Chad Kellogg’s Oxygen-Less Attempt on Everest

Chad Kellogg shares the details of his oxygen-less attempt on Everest. We are proud of Chad and his efforts. Read the details of his summit attempt here: “At 2:45 pm with all hands ready to see me off, I paid my traditional respects for safe travel. Offering incense, water, rice and making three circumnavigations of the team stuppa. When all was in order, I posed with my friends for some photos and reminded myself that this was going to be fun and to enjoy every step.

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Chad Kellogg on Everest – Camp 3 to South Col

I arrived to the South Col 6 hours and 10 minutes after leaving Camp 3. The time was 12:40 pm. May 12th was Mothers Day back home so I put together my SAT phone and called my Mom. The wind was blowing too strongly for a lengthy conversation, but I sent her my love from Nepal and told her that I was thinking of her at 26,000 ft. 

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Chad Kellogg on Everest: The Objective

In April 2013, Chad Kellogg returned to Everest to set the speed record. For Chad, a solo ascent of the world’s highest summit without oxygen is the ultimate accomplishment in speed climbing. Here he explains what this ascent means to him and what he hopes to gain.

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Chad Kellogg Everest Expedition – Camp 3 to the Yellow Band

The scene on Everest has settled down and Chad is continuing to prepare for his speed ascent. He and his partner Rory just completed a round of acclimatization, sleeping at Camp 3 and climbing as high as the Yellow Band at 24,700. Many of you know I love alpine climbing, the small team and the lack of people. You may ask, “what the heck are you doing in the Everest zoo fest?” Despite the hordes of “climbers,” guides and Sherpas, the Mountains are still awe inspiring. I have chosen a style of climbing that is so difficult for me that I have had much to learn from the mountain. Many of you know that I believe in the “old school” technique of the sequential learning curve. You take on the…

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