Leaving your mark on Mount Everest these days requires a lot of
dough ($65,000 to $80,000), a few trusty Sherpa guides and one
good publicist. For the carabiner-and-crampon set, it's no
longer enough to simply ascend the 29,028-foot peak; you have to
descend with a made-for-TV tale. This was particularly true last
spring, which witnessed the first blind mountaineer to stand
atop Everest (Erik Weihenmayer), the youngest climber to reach
the peak (16-year-old Temba Tsheri of Nepal) and the oldest
climber to summit (64-year-old Sherman Bull of New Canaan,
Conn.). Here are a few of this year's most hyped expeditions.
CLIMBERS: Kimberly Clark, 35; Marjorie Cross, 58; Alison Levine,
35; Lynn Prebble, 49; Jody Thompson, 39
THE SKINNY: Five women are attempting to become the first
all-female team from the U.S. to summit.
TRAIL CRED: All but Prebble have climbed Alaska's Denali (20,320
feet), the tallest peak in North America. Levine, the most
skilled of the group, needs Everest to complete the Seven Summits.
CLIMBER: Jeff Mathy, 23
THE SKINNY: Aiming by year's end to be the youngest climber to
scale the Seven Summits.
TRAIL CRED: The Californian has climbed four of the seven in the
last three years. After Everest, he'll head to Elbrus in July and
Carstensz Pyramid in September.
CLIMBER: Albert Hanna, 72
THE SKINNY: Gunning to become the oldest person to summit.
TRAIL CRED: Chicago banking executive has climbed six of the
Seven Summits and got within 1,000 feet of Everest's peak in 1995
and 2000, the most recent of his three attempts.
CLIMBER: Sean Swarner, 27
THE SKINNY: Once given two weeks to live, the Ohio native is
hoping to become the first known cancer survivor to reach the
TRAIL CRED: Has climbed several of North America's highest peaks,
including Mount Rainier and Gray's Peak, but has yet to climb any
of the Seven Summits.
COLOR PHOTO: DIDRIK JOHNCK/CORBIS-SYGMA More to come Others will follow in the inspiring footsteps of Weihenmayer.