Posts Tagged ‘Climbing’

Astronaut on His Way to the Top of Everest

May 19, 2009

img_3964Astronaut Scott Parazynski woke up and shoved off from the last stop before the Summit of Everest – the High Camp – at about 10:45am ET – 8:30pm on Everest. He and his IMG teammates will climb through the night toward the summit, and assuming all goes well, will be there for a dawn that can only be topped…from space I suppose. If he makes it, Scott will be the first and only human to see a sunrise from orbit and from the highest point on Earth.

I spoke with Keith Cowing, who is helping Scott get his story out, back at Everest base Camp at about 10:30am ET. He says there is a medical emergency on the mountain now, which might – or might not – delay Scott  (who is a physician in addition to being an astronaut).

As it stands right now, Scott should be on the summit at about 7pm ET tonight- or everest_route_map4:45am/May 20 on Everest. Stay with me here…and follow the adventure as well on the following twitter feeds: @milesobrien @keithcowing @SPOTScott.

Scott’s blog is at

And perhaps the coolest thing: Scott is carrying a SPOT Satellite Messenger Device – which will provide real-time tracking data on his location. Follow him there at

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Astronaut Summit Push #2 begins Saturday

May 15, 2009

Astronaut Scott Parazynski is now back at Everest Base Camp after a few days in lower, thicker air. After some bad weather – and bad luck on the mountain – in general, things are looking up. But on Everest, that can change in an instant. Right now, if all goes well, Scott will be on top of the world early on May 20th (which is evening May 19 in the US). But he is worried there will be an “Into Thin Air” traffic jam at the top. If that happens, he will wait another day. “It is not a race…it is a marathon,” said Scott. You can read his blog at and track his every move in real time at

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Back at Base Camp – Bad Weather, Bad Luck

May 9, 2009

Astronaut Scott Parazynski and the IMG climbing team are back now at Everest Base Camp after bad weather and some bad luck prompted them to turn back from their first summit bid of this climbing season.They will take some time to rest and head to lower, thicker air and will not likely see the summit anytime before May 20.  Scott checked in from the EBC comm tent – speaking with me about the weather, the loss of a sherpa guide in an avalanche – and how this is a lot like a shuttle main engine abort on the launch pad…

Scott writes this in his blog:

I had been in great spirits up through the Icefall, simply pleased with my time and conditioning — but by the time I got up to Camp II, my climbing partner had had to abort his summit bid, and a fatal avalanche had let loose from the West Shoulder of Everest. Chilling. I want nothing more than to top out on Everest in the next few days, and never pass through the Icefall again…

Scott’s full blog posting is here and you can follow his tracks with the help of the SPOT Satellite Messenger here.

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Man versus Mountain

May 6, 2009

Astronaut Scott Parazynski is learning his bid to summit Everest can be a lot like a shuttle launch – heavily dependent on the whims of weather. The window for “topping off” – as they say in the mountaineering biz – is now “moving to the right” – as they say in the rocket biz. For Scott, this means more time to (literally) cool his heels at Everest Base Camp. In my latest Skype vidchat with him, he allowed how it can be at times tedious – and lonely for a dad and husband.
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(Legal) Blood Doping at Everest

April 30, 2009

COLUMBUS, Ohio (April 30 @ 11:30pm EDT) – Just got off the Skype with Astronaut Scott Prazynski and his Media Sherpa Kieth Cowing at Everest Base Camp. Great conversation. Got a bunch of questions in from Twitter and Facebook. Feel free to leave questions you might have below. Scott is hoping to summit on May 9 – the full moon. Mother Nature may throw a momkey wrench into those plans however. We won’t have video from Scott for a few days as he is heading into thicker air – to do some legal blood-doping at a village a few thousand feet below Base Camp.

Scott’s blog is here. The maps (politcal, satellite and topographic) showing his tracks up and down the mountains – courtesy of the SPOT satellite tracking device – are found here.

Among the questions I posed on behalf of the Interweb Nation:
Neel Patel: How long does it take to acclimate to a new atmospheric elevation so that the climbers don’t develop hypoxia and hyperventilation.
Terry Kathleen Kirchhoff: What is the average cost to participate in a successful climb for an American?
Dale Andersen: Will Scott be measuring barometric pressure at the summit or if he will log it during the climb. It would make for an interesting plot.
Andrea Mikulin Winters Kalbfleisch: Which part of the climb is the hardest…base camp 2 to camp 3 for example, the summit, the climb down, the Hillary Steps?
Brian Okeefe: What is he doing to clean up the mountain?

Sabine Hope: How are his lungs feeling?

Sasha Winderbaum Dds: What are the temps like ?

fox_in_space: what’s the power source for Your equipment there? How much low temperature affects Your gear?

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Skype vidchat with Astronaut Scott Parazynski at Everest Base Camp

April 27, 2009

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Mallory, come quickly! – great chat with Scott Parazynski and Keith Cowing  this morning (EDT) – their afternoon (Everest time). Scott is in good spirits and “feeling strong like bull”. He was joined by Keith Cowing (who is his multimedia sherpa for this season). Eric Simonson, the lead dog at IMG made a cameo as well.

You can follow Scott’s footsteps here courtesy of the SPOT satellite tracking device.

And you can read Scott’s blog here. It is quite a tale of high adventure.