climb. Unprecedented because no one with hemophilia has bagged all seven
summits—the highest mountains on each of seven continents.
“Obviously I hope to summit,” the Denver native told me in a recent telephone interview. “I also hope to raise greater awareness of hemophilia globally. Most
people in the States don’t even know about hemophilia; think about how little is known worldwide. I think having someone with hemophilia pushing the limits
is a cool story in itself, but I hope it raises awareness of the discrepancy in treatment.”
poverty with hemophilia in developing countries. He also has helped establish a blood testing lab in Eldoret, Kenya.
in Tanzania, when he climbed in April 2011, becoming the first American with hemophilia to summit it. He is using a long lasting factor in experimental
studies currently, which, he says, is working well. He plans to infuse on the mountain as needed.
Sherpa Climbers on K2’s Deadliest Day [Kindle]
history of climbing K2, the second highest mountain in the world but known as
the most treacherous, happened on August 1, 2008, when 11 mountaineers from
international expeditions died. What sets this true story apart from other
mountain climbing stories is that it is told primarily from the sherpas’
point-of-view. The authors get inside the mind-sets of the sherpas who brought
the many clients up the mountain that day; their lives from childhood are
replayed, revealing their sterling character, and how most escaped dire poverty
to become rock-stars of the climbing world. But the “goddess” of the mountain
had other plans for the unlucky climbers: reaching the summit too late in the
day, the return became a race against the dark, the cold when disaster struck.
An avalanche buries the lead ropes, scattering the climbers, leaving some suspended
upside-down all night long, others to walk over the edge, and still others to abandon
their fellow climbers. It’s a tragic tale, masterfully told with great
compassion and in-depth focus on each individual. Most fascinating to me were
the many references to the Nepalese sherpas’ faith in the goddess of the mountain,
and the Pakistani guides’ Islamic faith and how their faiths led them to assist
the many climbers and other guides in trouble, putting their own lives at
terrible risk. This story of
heroism and yes, hubris, was a page-turner, and I finished it in two nights.