De­feated by Ever­est, climber vows to re­turn

Times Colonist - - Classifieds -

KATH­MANDU (AFP) — A Dutch­man who failed in his at­tempt to con­quer Mount Ever­est wear­ing just shorts vowed yes­ter­day to have an­other half-naked crack at the world’s high­est peak next year.

Wim Hof, known as “Ice­man” for his abil­ity to with­stand seem­ingly im­pos­si­ble lev­els of cold, man­aged to reach 7,400 me­tres (24,278 feet) in shorts on Ever­est ear­lier this month — a new world record.

But he told AFP he still wanted to com­plete what he de­scribed as moun­taineer­ing’s last great chal­lenge.

“Hil­lary did it with clothes and oxy­gen, that was the be­gin­ning,” he said of Ed­mund Hil­lary and Sherpa Ten­z­ing Nor­gay’s his­toric first suc­cess­ful climb of the 8,848-me­tre (29,198-foot) peak in 1953.

“Af­ter, [Rein­hold] Mess­ner did it with­out oxy­gen, and now some­body is do­ing it in shorts. A big­ger chal­lenge you can’t get,” he said in an in­ter­view.

“Next year I will try Ever­est again, and then with a paraglider with two French peo­ple we will fly down,” said Hof, who is 48.

The Dutch­man was beaten back by a re­cur­ring foot in­jury he sus­tained while run­ning bare­foot inside the Arc­tic Cir­cle last year.

“I went up with no prob­lems what­so­ever, but then this pain, this con­stric­tion of the veins inside my left foot be­gan, and I knew I had to turn around,” he said.

But he said his other ex­trem­i­ties fared well in the freez­ing tem­per­a­tures on the approach to Ever­est’s sum­mit.

“The nat­u­ral pro­tec­tion of the pe­nis is that it con­tracts it­self. It just goes in, like a fish­ing rod,” Hof said.

Hof in­sists that he has no spe­cial pow­ers — just 25 years of train­ing in med­i­ta­tion and yoga.

Wim Hof, bet­ter known as Ice­man for his abil­ity to with­stand seem­ingly im­pos­si­ble lev­els of cold, ex­er­cises at a ho­tel in Kath­mandu yes­ter­day.

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