First Ascent Team #2 Summits Everest!
Hahn, Waterfall and Arnot Complete the First Ascent Success
High winds and snow placed the second team’s summit bid in jeopardy right up to the time they left their tents at Camp IV around midnight on the 22nd. But grabbing a narrow window of opportunity when the winds diminished slightly, the team opted to go for the top. Climbing as quickly as conditions and the extreme altitude would allow, they reached the summit around
“It was a tough one,” Hahn said. “But we had a really good team. Everyone was really highly motivated and we got it done.”
This was Hahn’s eleventh Everest summit — more than any non-Sherpa in history. It was Waterfall’s first trip to the Himalaya, while Arnot summited Everest in 2008 as well.
In addition to assembling several of the world’s most celebrated mountain guides, the Return to Everest expedition has introduced breakthrough video and audio production techniques that have revolutionized the coverage of high-altitude mountaineering. Unprecedented, high-resolution footage, images and sound have created a compelling canvas for the climbers’ approach, acclimatization and successful summit bids. The drama of massive avalanches and the challenges of sudden weather changes and extreme altitude have played out on the stunning film. The entire expedition has been broadcast on the First Ascent blog and has built an avid online following.
The success of the second summit team punctuates the return of Eddie Bauer to its roots. Beginning in 1953, the company outfitted major mountaineering expeditions with down clothing, sleeping bags and other gear. Over the next 30 years, Eddie Bauer outfitted many of the most significant first ascents in American mountaineering history, including the first American ascent of Everest, in 1963. For the past 18 months, Eddie Bauer has been developing the new First Ascent mountaineering gear in collaboration with their First Ascent guide team. The “Return to Everest” expedition marks the expeditionary launch of the new line.
“We made our reputation as America’s premier expedition outfitter,” says
Positioned as “guide built gear,” First Ascent takes a new approach to designing and developing gear. “Viesturs, Hahn and I agreed,” says Whittaker, “that most of the mountaineering gear out there is overbuilt. I can’t tell you how many times that we, as guides, actually cut features off a product because it doesn’t serve a necessary function. To us, that’s just extra weight. Our goal was to create the simplest, lightest, best gear in the world. Everything you need, nothing you don’t.” Nothing ended up on any First Ascent piece that wasn’t approved and tested by the First Ascent guide team. And nothing was left off that would compromise performance. Because in the guides’ words, “We live in the mountains. Our clothes are our life support.”
Five of the six First Ascent guides participated in the Return to Everest climb. Those five include:
Eddie Bauer's mountaineering history: 1953 - K2, Pakistan/China 1953 - Logan & Cook, Yukon 1953 - Inca Highway Expedition, South America 1954 - Makalu, Nepal/Tibet 1955 - Lhotse, Nepal/Tibet *1958 - Gasherbrum I, Pakistan/China 1958 - Antarctica 1958 - Slick-Johnson Snowman Expedition, Nepal 1959 - Eastern Kanjroba Himal, Nepal 1960 - Andes, South America *1960 - Masherbrum, Pakistan/India 1960 - McKinley/Denali, Alaska **1963 - Everest (South Col), Nepal/Tibet *1963 - Everest (West Ridge), Nepal/Tibet 1964 - McKinley/Denali, Alaska *1965 - Kennedy, Yukon 1965 - Antarctica 1966 - McKinley/Denali, Alaska *1966 - Vinson Massif, Antarctica 1967 - Andes, Peru 1967 - McKinley/Denali, Alaska 1971 - Everest, Nepal/Tibet **1973 - Dhaulagiri, Nepal **1974 - Peak Lenin, Russian Pamirs 1974 - Coppermine River, Northwest Territories 1975 - Mt. Logan, Yukon *1976 - Nanda Devi (North Ridge), India 1976 - Brooks Range, Alaska 1976 - Thule-Grise Fjord, Canadian Arctic *1977 - Great Trango Tower, Pakistan 1978 - Baffin Island, Canadian Arctic 1979 - Vatnajokull Glacier, Iceland **1980 - Makalu, Nepal/Tibet 1980 - Dhaulagiri, Nepal 1980 - Ellesmere Island, Canadian Arctic 1981 - Spitsbergen Island, Norway 1981 - Rainier (Pelion Project), Washington State 1981 - Everest, Nepal/Tibet (2) 1982 - Ama Dablam, Nepal 1982 - Ellesmere Island, Canadian Arctic *1983 - Everest (East Face), Tibet 1983 - Northwest Passage, Canadian Arctic 2008 - Cotopaxi, Ecuador 2009 - Aconcagua, Argentina *First Ascent **First American Ascent
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