Norman Wright Mechanical Equipment hosted renowned climber Ed Viesturs at their annual client retreat in Squaw Valley last Thursday. Ed Viesturs is perhaps the most accomplished and respected American high altitude mountaineer in history. Ed spoke about his entire climbing career from his early days as a guide on Mt. Rainier through the completion of his Endeavor 8,000 project in which he became the first American to climb all fourteen, 8,000 meter peaks without the use of supplemental oxygen. Ed is one of the most responsible, thoughtful, and ethical climbers in the game. His motto: “summiting is optional, getting down is mandatory”. He is always willing to assess conditions, respect turnaround times, and pull the plug on summit attempts if conditions are not favorable. He once retreated just 300 feet from the summit of Everest. Shelving his own summit attempts to assist injured parties is standard protocol for Ed. He spoke about his involvement with the Everest Imax production filmed during the 1996 climbing season. The film crew ended up being critical responders to the tragedy in which six climbers died including guides Rob Hall and Scott Fischer.
Ed is the author “K2 Life and Death on the Worlds most Dangerous Mountain” and the national bestseller “No Shortcuts to the Top”. He has a new book coming out this October that examines the difference between commitment and obsession, specifically as it relates to Annapurna, which takes the lives of 50% of those who attempt to climb it.