Modern Athlete Magazine Issue 143, July 2021 July 2020 - Page 36

Relaxing at Everest Base Camp , snug in her First Ascent Touch Down Jacket
The 7 Summits Challenge was conceived some 30 years ago by American climbers Dick Bass and Frank Wells , to climb the highest mountain of each of the seven continents . The initial list they came up with has subsequently been adapted by various people , as the geopolitical , geographic and geologic borders of continents , tectonic plates and more remain hotlydebated topics . There are now at least six different versions of the 7 Summits list , but the one Remy is working towards is the most widely accepted Messner version , named after legendary Italian climber Reinhold Messner : 1 . Asia : Mount Everest , Nepal ( 8849m ) 2 . South America : Aconcagua , Argentina ( 6961m ) 3 . North America : Mount Denali , Alaska USA ( 6194m ) 4 . Africa : Kilimanjaro , Tanzania ( 5895m ) 5 . Europe : Mount Elbrus , Russia ( 5642m ) 6 . Antarctica : Vinson Massif ( 4892m ) 7 . Oceania : Carstensz Pyramid ( Puncak Jaya ), New Guinea , Indonesia ( 4884m )
Up for the Challenge
To give a bit of context to Remy ’ s goals , Lhotse is the fourth-highest mountain in the world at 8516m , and is part of the Everest Massif , connected by the South Col ridge just above Camp 4 , but due to the extreme challenge of climbing Everest , only a small number of climbers have ever ‘ doubled ’ with a Lhotse summit . The route to climb Lhotse from the southern ( Nepalese ) side uses the same
approach as climbing Everest , going up to Camp 4 , then essentially heading up to the right instead of the left . That makes it sound overly simple , which it most certainly is not . While more than 300m shorter than Everest , Lhotse is just as technical , and as with any peak above 8000m , climbers have to contend with equally dangerous weather , ice and snow , avalanches and crevices , as well as being in the deathzone for many hours .
Thus far Remy , has climbed Aconcagua , Mount Denali , Kilimanjaro and Mount Elbrus , and would have ticked Everest off her list in May if not for the weather . “ We really did go through some seriously s *** weather up there ,” she says bluntly , when asked to describe the experience . “ We had two cyclones hit us , and on the way up , we spent three days instead of the normal one at Camp 3 , at 6800 metres . One night it was so bad that I woke up to find my tent partner praying , because the wind was going so crazy . Everything sounds worse in a tent !”
“ We did eventually get a window to go for the summit , but only 10 out of the 45 climbers on our greater team – we had several sub-teams – summited this year . Seven of them took the one-day weather window on the 12th of May , which I opted not to take as I
Images : Courtesy Remy Kloos

Remy s Everest Diary

Taking in the magnificent view from the peak of Lobuche East
We took a few extracts from Remy ’ s social media posts during her 57-day Everest expedition this past April-May , to try to show what it is like tackling an 8000m mountain .
Everest , Lhotse are you ready for some company ? So , I ’ m at the airport in South Africa , about to board to fly to Nepal . I am deeply grateful for this opportunity to climb . Grateful to my body temple . Grateful to my family and friends for the endless support , guidance and love ! I cannot believe in a few days I get to be humbled by the grandeur of the Himalayas once again . A feeling I have never forgotten . A feeling that keeps me grounded . A feeling that gets me through moments of self-doubt . A feeling that is difficult to put into words .
One step at a time . One day at a time . All leading up to climbing Mt Everest and Mt Lhotse back-to-back , a double summit that has yet to be completed by a South African . I ’ m beyond grateful for every second spent up here in the Khumbu valley ! The snow is getting thicker . The air is getting colder . Breathing is a little harder . Never been happier !
The last week has been nothing short of one wild adventure . We spent time at Lobuche Base Camp ,
36 ISSUE 143 JULY 2021 / www . modernathlete . co . za