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  Mt. Everest 2005: Mountainwaz 2005 Everest Expedition: Scott Wazny details


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“Scott Wazny loves the mountains. Plain and simple, no doubt about it. He loves all mountains.  And now he is going to try and climb the tallest of them all, Mount Everest, via the South Col route in Spring 2005.  Having a long list of summits in his back pocket and plenty of international mountaineering experience to boot, Scott doesn’t necessarily conform to traditional climbing rules.  He likes to go at it on his own terms.  From research and planning to training and funding, Scott is going to have his hand in it all.  That’s why it was no surprise to his climbing buddies in the U.S. when he made the decision that Everest was something he had to try.  He simply called up his Sherpa friend Phur Gyalzen, who he met in Nepal in 2001, and said, ‘Let’s go for it and give something back to the mountain while we’re at it; what do I need for a permit?’  So, that’s where he’s at, heading out on his biggest expedition to date.”   - Ben Hein, climbing partner

In 1997 I relocated to Portland, Oregon from a suburb of Detroit, Michigan.  It was simply the mountains that lured me to move across the country away from family and friends.  Since my first summit of Mt. Hood in April of 1998, I have climbed every major peak in the Cascade Range.  Early in my mountaineering career I experienced international climbing with a trip to the Southern Alps of New Zealand.  Since there never seemed to be enough time to strap on the crampons, I decided to leave my job as a mechanical engineer in 2001 and embark on a round-the-world climbing tour: “Summit Tour 2001.”  During this trip I spent over 2 months in Nepal trekking and climbing in the Himalayan Mountain range.  I reached the summit of 21,247-foot Mera Peak and was rewarded with a stunning view of Mount Everest.  From Nepal I traveled to Europe to experience climbing in the rugged European Alps.  With skillful determination and persistence I climbed to the highest summits in the countries of France, Switzerland, Germany, and Austria.  I also stood atop some of the more well-known peaks in Switzerland including the Matterhorn, Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau.  From Europe I traveled south to Kenya and Tanzania, Africa where I completed the “African hat trick” by climbing to the summits of the three highest peaks on the continent:  Kilimanjaro via the Heim Glacier Route, Mount Kenya (Point Batian), and Mawenzi Peak.

The Beginning: I was raised in a small town in Southeast Michigan and excelled in both academics and athletics.  Being a logical thinker and surrounded by the heavy influence of the automotive industry in the greater Detroit area, I aspired to be an automotive design engineer.  Athletically, track and football were my strong suits.  I went on to win the Michigan state pole vault championship in 1990 and was honored throughout the county for my performance on the football field.  With the strong desire to take athletics to the next level while pursuing an engineering career, I attended Michigan Technological University, which is recognized for excellence in both of these areas.  I graduated in the top of my class in the department of Mechanical Engineering and was a 3-year starting defensive back for the football program.  I earned the respect of my peers on and off the field and was named as one of the team captains my senior year in 1994.  During that season I was named to the NCAA Division II Academic All-American Team.

Life after college took me immediately into the fast-paced automotive industry.  My first full-time work experience came six weeks after graduation when I hired on with General Motors Corporation.  By displaying my dedicated work ethic and determination to once again be at the top, I quickly made a name for myself.  Throughout my 2½-year career with General Motors I headed west to the mountains at every opportunity.  I would virtually spend all of my vacation time in the mountains, whether it was

snowboarding in the winter or extended backpacking trips in the summer.  Over these years my enjoyment for the outdoors continued to grow, so I decided to make a major life change and turn things around a bit.  I determined that I would be better suited to live in the mountains and spend my vacation time visiting family and friends in Michigan versus the other way around.  After earning a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering in June of 1997, I began searching for a job that would take me west to the mountains. 

I found my “utopia” in Portland, Oregon.  In Portland, I was able to live in close proximity to the Cascade Mountain Range while continuing my prosperous engineering career in the transportation industry.  In October of 1997 I began working at Freightliner LLC, a design and manufacturing company of heavy-duty trucks.  I steadily moved up in the company and soon found myself in a supervisory position.  The increased responsibilities were something that I enjoyed to a degree but soon found that too much time was spent at work and not enough time in the mountains.  During the first three years that I lived in Portland, I would frequently leave for the mountains immediately after work on Friday and get back just in time to be at the office Monday morning.  I truly was a “weekend warrior.”  In addition to climbing and snowboarding, I began competing in outdoor activities, which included mountain bike races, adventure races, marathons, and many other multi-sport events.

Summit Tour 2001: I started making preparations in 2000 to leave the corporate world to explore and climb in the great mountain ranges of the world.  Not surprisingly, the first destination was the Himalayas in Nepal, and in February of 2001 this became a reality.  I left Portland not to return until later that August.  The trip started with a month of snowboarding throughout the Western United States and Canada.  Then on March 1st I left the country for Nepal.  The first month was spent in the Annapurna region.  I made attempts on Singu Chuli (Fluted Peak) and Tharpu Chuli (Tent Peak).  In both cases I found myself climbing through tremendously deep snow and thus the avalanche danger was very high.  In fact, that year an avalanche unfortunately claimed the lives of four trekkers hiking on the main path into the Annapurna Sanctuary.  Needless to say, I did not summit either peak, but I did ascend to an altitude of over 16,000’ for the first time in my life.  I spent the next six weeks in the Khumbu region near Mount Everest.  For the first three weeks I was on my own trekking between the small villages and taking as many side trips as possible to get the best views.  Then on the fourth week I met up with my support crew for a climb of Mera Peak.  After withstanding a ferocious storm that literally blew my tent off the mountain, I stood on top of the 21,247’ mountain on April 28, 2001.  I remember it well because it was exactly three years from the day when I climbed my first major mountain: 11,239’ Mount Hood in Oregon.  After this unforgettable 2½ months in Nepal, I swore I would be back some day to climb again in arguably the greatest mountain range in the world.

From Nepal I traveled directly to Vienna, Austria.  After 2 days in the large city I was anxious to get into the European Alps.  I started exploring the eastern side of the Austrian Alps by taking leisurely hikes and soaking up the scenery.  I remembered from my time in Nepal that many of the Sherpa people come to Austria to get trained in climbing.  They learn mountaineering skills on the country’s highest and one of the most technically challenging peaks, the Grossglockner.  With this in mind I had an aspiration to climb the mountain, so I sought out a way to get there.  It was thrilling to walk into a small lodge near the base of the mountain and see a Nepalese flag.  I ended up climbing to the summit and getting back down safely before a large storm rolled in.  It was a very solitary and meaningful time as I thought about the Nepalese people and their culture while scaling the spectacular mountain. 

From Austria I traveled west to France for a successful summit of Mount Blanc and then it was off to Switzerland.  In June I had made attempts on the Matterhorn and Eiger.  I quickly found out that June was not prime climbing season in the Swiss Alps.  The snow conditions were extremely unstable, and I was faced with avalanche conditions.  I ended up leaving Switzerland only to return two months later to complete what I had started on Switzerland’s two most famous peaks. 

As planned, in mid-July I traveled to Africa to climb Mount Kenya and Kilimanjaro.  After a quick 3-day safari to see all kinds of exotic animals, I was off to Mount Kenya.  I had my sights set on climbing the true summit of the mountain, Point Batian. I climbed the North Face Route on the mountain with another climber who had been on that route before.  Our 2-person team made it to the summit and back down in nearly record time.  After experiencing great success on Mount Kenya, it was on to Mount Kilimanjaro to climb the Heim Glacier route - a route that is climbed by an average of 10 people per year.  The route is long and technically challenging; it led us through icefalls, volcanic rock, and glaciated terrain.  Despite guidebooks’ recommendations to climb the route in two days, my plan was to go extremely light and make the push to the top in one day.  I climbed the route with a British fellow I met on Mount Kenya.  We finally reached the summit at dusk after 14 hours of climbing.  Watching the sunset from the top of Africa was truly amazing.  Our descent was in the dark as we followed the standard route down the mountain.  The next day we awoke to an outstanding view of Mawenzi, Africa’s third highest mountain.  I looked over at my British climbing partner, Richard, and without saying a word we both knew what each other was thinking.  So two days later we found ourselves standing atop Mawenzi Peak.  During the African climbs with my newly found British counterpart, I told him of my plan to return to Europe to make second attempts on the Matterhorn and Eiger.  He agreed to climb with me, and we successfully reached the top of both peaks.  After my second pass through Europe in August, it was time to head back to the States.

Life after the “Tour”: Upon my return to Portland in August 2001, I still was not ready to get back into the corporate lifestyle.  Therefore I worked at a ski resort on Mt. Hood where I taught snowboarding five days a week all winter.  As the season was coming to an end, I was faced with the question: “What’s next?”  I thoroughly enjoyed working in the mountains, so I applied with Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. with aspirations to be a guide on Mount Rainier and make a name for myself in the climbing community while gaining exposure to the renowned American mountain guiding companies.  In April 2002, a month before heading to Mount Rainier for the guide tryouts, I tore the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in my knee.  That injury ended my guiding opportunity for that season.  I had surgery to repair the torn ligament in July 2002 and got married that September.  (I had been dating my wife for five years and had been engaged to her prior to my departure from Portland in 2001.)  So the summer of 2002 was dedicated to rehabilitating my operated knee and looking for engineering employment.  I accepted a job back at Freightliner in October and have been working there since that time.  I have also continued to work as a snowboard instructor at Mount Hood Meadows on a part-time basis.

In April of 2005 I am taking a 2-month leave of absence from Freightliner to return to Nepal and the Himalayan Mountains.  My main climbing objective this time will be the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest.  Upon my initial trip to Nepal in 2001, I established a loyal friend, Phur Gyalzen Sherpa, whom I’ve stayed in contact with over the years.  Gyalzen has assisted me locally from Kathmandu by securing the permit to allow me to climb Everest from Nepal on the classic route through the Khumbu Icefall.  I am eager to embark on this expedition and retrace the footsteps of the first people to summit Mount Everest.  I also plan to positively impact the environmental conditions on the sacred mountain.  Since I am climbing solo I have named the expedition MountainWaz Everest Expedition 2005, and this will surely be the highlight of my climbing career to date.   

Expedition Details

Name:            MountainWaz Everest Expedition 2005

Objectives:  

·         Climb Mount Everest via the South Col/Khumbu Ice Fall Route Khumbu Region, Nepal.  Elevation: 29,030 feet / 8848 m

·         Climb Imja Tse (Island Peak) via the Southwest Ridge Route Khumbu Region, Nepal.  Elevation:  20,305 feet / 6189 m

·         Make a positive impact on the environmental conditions at the popular base camp on Mount Everest by removing unnatural elements left by previous expeditions.

·         Display acts of humanitarianism to the people of the Khumbu, specifically by helping the village of Bumburi restore the largest of its three monasteries.

Millet One Sport Everest Boot  has made some minor changes by adding more Kevlar. USES Expeditions / High altitude / Mountaineering in extremely cold conditions / Isothermal to -75°F Gore-Tex® Top dry / Evazote Reinforcements with aramid threads. Avg. Weight: 5 lbs 13 oz Sizes: 5 - 14 DESCRIPTION Boot with semi-rigid shell and built-in Gore-Tex® gaiter reinforced by aramid threads, and removable inner slipper Automatic crampon attachment Non-compressive fastening Double zip, so easier to put on Microcellular midsole to increase insulation Removable inner slipper in aluminized alveolate Fiberglass and carbon footbed Cordura + Evazote upper Elasticated collar.

Expedition footwear for mountaineering in conditions of extreme cold.  NOTE US SIZES LISTED. See more here.

A cold weather, high altitude double boot for extreme conditions The Olympus Mons is the perfect choice for 8000-meter peaks. This super lightweight double boot has a PE thermal insulating inner boot that is coupled with a thermo-reflective outer boot with an integrated gaiter. We used a super insulating lightweight PE outsole to keep the weight down and the TPU midsole is excellent for crampon compatibility and stability on steep terrain. WEIGHT: 39.86 oz • 1130 g LAST: Olympus Mons CONSTRUCTION: Inner: Slip lasted Outer: Board Lasted OUTER BOOT: Cordura® upper lined with dual-density PE micro-cellular thermal insulating closed cell foam and thermo-reflective aluminium facing/ Insulated removable footbed/ Vibram® rubber rand See more here.

 






 

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