British Mountain Guide Kenton Cool has climbed Everest 11 times now. At Kendal Mountain Festival he gave us the inside story of his epic achievement, climbing the 3 mountains of the Everest horseshoe, in a single push with Sherpa Dorje Gylgen, earlier this year.
This was a really interesting talk, delivered with great humour and humility. Kenton’s observations about the reasons we go climbing hit the nail on the head. The mountains he climbed in a single week included Everest (8,848m), Nuptse (7,861m) and Lhotse (8,561m). This was the first (and probably the last) time this has been done.
Yet the success of standing on the summits of all three awesome mountains was not what made the greatest impact on the speaker or prompted the audience’s standing ovation at the Kendal Mountain Festival.
His passion for wild and mountainous places is evident in every tale Kenton related. So is his deep respect for the people who live and work in this unforgiving landscape.
Not wanting to spoil the fun, we’ll give no more away here, except to say that Kenton’s description of “topping out” on one of these mighty giants was both funny and terrifying. Anyone who has ever found themselves floundering in horribly unconsolidated snow will relate to this anecdote particularly well.
Kenton Cool chatting to Georgie after his entertaining and incredibly moving insight into the ups and downs of high altitude mountaineering and how it can effect us.
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