202 Rewind: Ed Viesturs: American Climber Of Fourteen 8000 Meter Peaks
While I am in Nepal preparing for my epic Mt Everest & Lhotse climb, here’s a “Rewind” replay of one of my most popular episodes with Ed Viesturs.
Climbing mountains is an incredible feat that takes incredible people with incredible goals. Ed Viesturs is one of these people who has climbed fourteen 8,000 meter peaks. It took him 18 years and 21 attempts to get to all those summits.
From all these climbs he learned a lot of things from guys who were above him, and these guys learned from guys above them. One of these life lesson essential to reaching impossible goals is tempering ambition. It’s an 8,000 meter climb, but when you get to the 5,000 mark you need to think where motivation has taken you so far. At this point you should ask if it’s okay to turn around and try again when it’s safer. Ed shares his wisdom and experiences as a Mount Rainier guide who breaks down goals to keep moving and get to the top.
Ed is a guy who I’ve climbed with years ago but he’s the only American to have climbed all fourteen 8,000-meter peaks. Those are peaks that are over 26,000 feet. He did so without any oxygen. Everybody that climbs the Everest has tanks on their bank. They’ve got the big face mask. That’s certainly what I will have when I climb up that mountain.
He’s done it. It’s his own will, power and strength that gets him up and down these mountains. Obviously, he’s got a very strong lung capacity. I had such a blast talking with Ed. We go back, we talk about his earlier days cutting his teeth with great mentors like Lou Whittaker on Mount Rainier, teaching him the ropes on how to climb safely.
Then we get into when he was filming the IMAX piece which, unfortunately, coincided with the same time that the whole Into Thin Air, the Everest tragedy happened in 1996. It actually turned into a rescue mission for him. He tried to go up and get Rob Hall and Scott Fischer, two of his buddies who ultimately did not make it. It was a very emotional moment of talking about when that happened. They did decide to press on a couple of weeks later to finish the IMAX piece and those guys are still sitting up there. To pass your buddies and have that moment, it’s pretty emotional. We talked about his choices about no shortcuts to the top, about why he’s still standing and where he’s at today.
Ed is a phenomenal guy and full of inspiration. He has life in the right frame mindset of how to go about it and he shares that with many corporations throughout America.
Resources Mentioned in This Episode: