Mahon team puts off bid to summit Mount Everest | AspenTimes.com

Mahon team puts off bid to summit Mount Everest

Tim Mutrie
Aspen Times Staff Writer

A 70-year-old Japanese mountaineer became the oldest person to reach the 29,035-foot summit of Mount Everest Thursday, but a summit attempt by the team with Aspen’s Ted Mahon didn’t materialize.

At least not yet … so stay tuned.

A planned live TV broadcast of the Global Extremes Team’s attempt yesterday on the Outdoor Life Network was abandoned when lead guide Chris Warner reportedly decided to dedicate the team’s resources toward a rescue operation instead of a summit push.

Details of the situation weren’t clear last night, except that the team spent Wednesday night at 27,400 feet at the Everest high camp on the northeast ridge. Thursday morning they had planned to attempt the summit.

“Due to unforeseeable complications, the Global Extremes: Mt. Everest – 4Runners of Adventure live broadcast of our team’s summit attempt of Mt. Everest, scheduled for [Thursday], has been delayed,” E. Roger Williams, the president and CEO of the Outdoor Life Network, said in a brief statement posted on http://www.olntv.com.

“We will provide updated programming information as soon as we have confirmation of date and time.”

The live summit bid was scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m., Aspen time, yesterday. Instead, viewers were met by studio hosts in Connecticut and climber-turned-commentator Conrad Anker and others speaking from the 17,000-foot base camp on the north side.

All team members are reportedly OK, but it’s not clear how the team will proceed at this point. Another Global Extremes finalist had also dropped out, as of the team’s push to Camp 4 at 27,400-feet, guide Chris Warner said in a dispatch on http://www.sports.yahoo.com.

Of the five “amateur” athletes that were selected for the Everest attempt, only three remain in the hunt for the summit. Colleen Ihnken of Alma decided not to attempt the summit, Warner confirmed in the May 22 dispatch, leaving Aspen’s Mahon, Jesse Rickert of Gunnison and Petit Pinson of Three Rivers, Calif.

The three are accompanied on the mountain by Warner, cameramen/ guides Mark Whetu, Jake Norton and Mike Brown, as well as five Sherpa guides: Loppasang, Chhul-dim, Karssang, Phuru and Lapka.

The Steve and Mike Marolt-led Ski Everest Expedition, meanwhile, is back at advanced base camp (21,000 feet) recuperating for a summit attempt sometime this weekend.

Unlike the majority of the expeditions on Everest this spring, the Marolt team, including twins Steve and Mike, Jim Gile, Jeremie Oates, John Callahan, Tim Carlson, Kevin Dunnett, Dr. Jon Gibans and Roger Gocking, is not using bottled oxygen, Sherpas or porters. The Marolts’ summit push can be followed at http://www.everestnews.com.

[Tim Mutrie’s e-mail address is mutrie@aspentimes.com]


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