Youngest Person to Climb Mount Everest Without Oxygen
Mount Everest Expedition is one of the most famous expeditions in the world. The reason being Everest is the highest mountain in the world elevated at 8848 meters.
First ascended by Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Sir Edmund Hillary, it has been a dream of everyone to view the world from the top.
Have you ever thought of how difficult of an adventure it will be to reach to the top of the world without carrying supplemental oxygen? At the height above 8000 meters from the sea level, you don’t have to do something aerobic to lose your breath. Just as you lay there for some time and the next minute you will be struggling to catch your breath.
Summiting Everest without oxygen.
Sounds like an overstatement, doesn’t it? Well, there are a few heroes who have made it possible and this article will discuss their achievements with you. So without further ado let us introduce you to some of the climbers who completed their trek to the top of Everest without artificial oxygen.
1. Reinhold Messner
Born and grew up in St. Peter, near Brixen in South Tyrol, Reinhold Andreas Messner (17 September 1944) is an Italian mountaineer, explorer, and author. Reinhold spent his early days climbing the alps and falling in love with nature and dolomites.
Reinhold at the age of 13 began climbing with his brother Gunther who is 2 years younger than him. By the time Reinhold and Gunther were in their early twenties, they were established as Europe’s best climbers.
Since the 1960s, Reinhold, as influenced by Hermann Buhl, became one of the first passionate supporters of alpine-style climbing in the Himalayas with very light equipment and minimum external help. As a determined nature lover, Messner always considered the usual mountaineering style disrespectful towards nature and mountain.
Messner’s first major Himalayan climb was in the year 1970 to the unclimbed Rupal face of Nanga Parbat in Pakistan.
His expedition turned out to be a tragic success as he lost his brother Gunther on the descent of the Diamir face. Reinhold lost seven toes to frostbite in this expedition and was criticized for continuing the climb with his less experienced brother.
Up to 1970, Reinhold Messner made a name for himself through his achievements in the Alps. Up until 1964, he led over 500 ascents, among which most of them were the Dolomites.
He kept on achieving further first leading him to win the reputation of being one of the best climbers in Europe. In late 1970, Messner was invited to join a major Himalayan expedition, which undoubtedly is one of the major turning points in his life.
Reinhold Messner made himself immortal in the year 1978 as he became the first mountaineer to ascend Everest without artificial oxygen.
Messner with Peter Habeler reached the summit on 8th May 1978 and is known to be the first man to climb Everest without supplemental oxygen. Prior to this ascent, it was doubtful whether this act was possible or not.
Two years later, on 20th august 1980, Messner again stood on the top of the highest mountain in the world, without supplementary oxygen. Well, to everyone’s surprise, Reinhold took a solo climb to the northeast ridge to the summit.
2. Peter Habeler
Peter Habeler(22nd June 1942) is an Austrian Mountaineer and Ski Instructor. Born in Mayrhofen, Austria, Peter developed an interest in mountain climbing when he was a six-year-old toddler.
Among his achievements as a mountaineer are his ascents in the Rocky mountains and climb on the Big Walls in Yosemite National Park.
Besides these, what he is known for is his partnership with Reinhold Messner and summiting Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen.
While he was on his adventure of life, Peter and Reinhold with two Sherpa guides were trapped in the winds for two hours.
Peter was emotionally destroyed by the incident and was totally convinced that climbing to the top of Everest without oxygen is impossible. However, Messner convinced him to try again and during the second attempt, they finally succeeded and created a record of being the first men to reach the summit without oxygen.
After accomplishing a successful summit to Everest, Peter set further records by descending the summit in only one hour from the South Col and climbing in just 10 hours through the North Face of the Eiger.
Besides Mount Everest, the other eight-thousanders that Habeler has scaled are Cho Oyu, Nanga Parbat, Kanchenjunga, and Gasherbrum I. He made an ascent to Gasherbrum I in alpine style with Reinhold Messner.
It was the first time an eight-thousander was climbed in Alpine-Style with some new ushering tactics.
Habeler became a skiing instructor while he was twenty-one and founded a Ski and Mountaineering school back in his hometown. This school is now run by his son, though he still teaches on special occasions.
At the age of 74, he attempted and succeeded an ascent on The Eiger’s north face. I early 2000, Peter Habeler gain attempted to summit Everest but failed due to fluid in his lungs.
3. Melissa Arnot
Melissa Arnot Reid (December 18, 1983) is an American mountaineer known for summiting Mount Everest six times. Born and raised just outside Glacier National park in Whitefish, Montana. After finishing college, she did some small jobs to save money to climb mountains.
Her first climb was to Mount Rainier in 2001 and began guiding on Mount Rainier. By the year 2006, she became the lead guide to Rainier Mountain.
Since 2001, she had submitted Rainier for more than 90 times and she became a certified wilderness EMT.
In 2010, she led a celebrity climb to Mount Kilimanjaro to raise responsiveness for clean water access. In 2014, she placed her first attempt to Everest summit but couldn’t succeed. She was again disrupted by avalanches in 2015 as well.
In 2016, She became the first American woman to summit Mount Everest and survive the descend without artificial oxygen. Arnot reached the summit of the tallest mountain on May 23, achieving the dream that she dreamed for years.
Arnot to a press interview shared her journey to the top of the world. “This has been an emotional journey, to say the minimum. Climbing Everest has always been my dream and achieving it without supplemental oxygen has been a goal of mine for years”
Whether or not Melissa is the first American woman to climb Everest or not is a debatable point. In 1998, a Hawai born woman named Francys Arsentiev made a successful climb Everest without oxygen however, she died on the descent.
To some in the climbing world, Arsentiey is the first woman to make it to the top of Everest without oxygen. However, the fact that she didn’t make it down alive negates her achievement to others.
They say that reaching the summit is only half the climbing. And if this is the case, then it’s possible that Melissa is undoubtedly the first woman to climb Everest without using supplementary oxygen.
4. Adrian Ballinger
Adrian Ballinger (January 1, 1976) is a qualified mountain guide with certification through the American Mountain Guides Association. Being established as a full-time guide for 15 years, Ballinger has led over 100 international climbing expeditions on 5 continents. Ballinger has also been featured on the Everest- Beyond the Limit series on the Discovery channel.
Noted for ground-breaking the use of pre-acclimatization for the commercial expedition, Ballinger has worked for cutting the amount of on-site time half compared to the Everest summit bid expedition. Ballinger has gone on climbs as sponsored by Eddie Bauer company.
In 2016 and 2017, Ballinger went to the expedition on the tallest peak, Everest with Cory Richards and in 2017 he reached the summit from the Northern ridge without using bottled oxygen
As the expedition to Everest was sponsored by Eddie Bauer, they relayed the information from the Everest climb with their smartphone with a service called Snapchat. The top of Everest is powered with 3G wireless data communication since 2010.
They used the technology to post their oxygen-less ascents to the world’s tallest mountain with a hashtag “#EverestNoFilter”.
In an interview, Adrian Ballinger shared his experience of how difficult it was to climb Everest without oxygen. “We both know that many professionals have failed summiting Everest without oxygen. We know there were people who died trying to make it to the top” Said Ballinger.
“There are people who have climbed all other eight-thousanders but still couldn’t succeed on Everest on multiple tries. Even though what we did has been done before, it’s incredibly difficult and extremely challenging” He added.
Adrian was successful to complete the expedition to the tallest peak without supplementary oxygen but his Partner Cory Richard had to resort to an oxygen tank for the final push to the summit.
The idea of climbing to high altitudes without supplementary oxygen has only about 10 percent success rate and is daunting. Though seems impossible, these heroes have made through this scary adventure by putting all their time and effort into making it possible.