Astronaut Reaches Mt. Everest Summit (BB Video Update)

(Download MP4 / Watch on YouTube)

UPDATE: Astronaut Scott Parazynski, the astronaut whose climb we followed in yesterday's episode of Boing Boing Video with Miles O'Brien, has reached the summit of Mt. Everest! Read more about their trumphant ascent here, including the GPS devices they're using to track and publish the effort. He tried this last year, but was injured when he was very, very close to reaching the summit -- so this success, a year later, is all the more sweet. Congrats, Scott!


  1. Look, just getting up before 10am is a monumental challenge for me, so I can’t equate that to climbing a mountain, but Everest is getting kind of ‘old’. Sure, things get a _little_ more interesting when they need to haul up all communications gear, webcams, uplink salad bowls and assorted make-a-wish trinkets for the dying kids back at the hospital, but getting to the top is now only newsworthy within community circles.

    I’m sure some cop from Atlanta climbed up last year to raise money for something or other, but I only took notice of the local cop who did it for a similar purpose.

    Anything of general interest about Everest is mostly about how crowded it is, and morals of leaving someone on the trail to die.

    Now if someone with a YouTube camera shot a horse and a pig having sex on the peak, that would be very different.

    Otherwise it’s just a “look at me” event that does nothing to further the understanding of our being. I think a guy living in the canopy of a rain forest counting bugs for a year is a far more valuable effort.

  2. @1 I kinda agree… Getting to the top of Everest -is- a monumental achievement, but since it’s the biggest it attracts total loonies (Japanese skiers with drag chutes, paragliders, Juran Kropp etc).

    The climber-cartoonist Tami Knight covered the mania in her very weird book “Everest: the ultimate hump”.

    It is a “look at me” event, and that may not be a bad thing in the modern twitterverse where everyone can be a “twitter-shitter” a-la Penny-Arcade, but those who have gone before have certainly degraded the achievement.

    Bummer that Everest is considered commonplace, but you can have a personal epic on a local mountain or climbing area that is just as relevant an experience as climbing Everest. It should be about you, since you should be doing it for you.

  3. Oh, and I’d like to add that the SPOT devices, while neat are -not- a measure of security on Everest… It’s like being at the bottom of the ocean with 30 seconds of air left and asking for a rescue, ain’t going to happen!

    If you’re up everest and you trigger a SPOT, it won’t magically make flying rescue squads appear as you are above the max flying altitude of -any- helicopter. Your -radio- and your -team- are your rescue options, -if- they feel like risking their lives to save your miscalculating arse.

    SPOT is great tracking your progress, and maybe for rescuing errant mariners and hikers, but what is even better are good skills and preparation. Self-rescue is key, and there are many books on it for each sport.

    Read the horror stories for whatever sport it is you like… then imagine yourself there… what would you do?

  4. The Khumbu Himal is really beautiful. It would be worth the climb just for the view.

  5. While it’s tough getting to the summit, getting down safely is the real measure of success.

  6. Marsha – yup that’s just what I was about to say… lots of people die on way down, just like you never hear of people getting hurt going UP the stairs… the the way down that hurts people

  7. I want the same kind of challenge, but can’t afford the trip. I’m going to run a triple marathon, hitting myself in the head with a wooden mallet the whole way, twittering and blogging the whole thing. Don’t miss it!

  8. Now, if he’d gotten there by dropping down onto the summit, that would be more interesting.

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