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Letters from 1999

Thanks for the World Cup (December 30, 1999)

Your site is the best that I have found for following the World Cup Races because of your prompt reporting and results.

Keep it up.

Bob Spencer

Admirable Decision on Everest (December 27, 1999)

Just a note to say how much I enjoy the climbing info on It's my premier source of news on climbing.

Also, a note to Mr. Anderson. I admire your unselfishness in turning back on your winter attempt at Everest due to the illness of one of your Sherpas. Very admirable. It makes me proud to be a small part of the climbing community, albeit a beginner. I consider your adventure a success! Hope to hear more about you in the future.

Lynn Stephens
(in the shadow of Mt. Timpanogos)
Orem, Utah

Attempt Marked a Success (December 26, 1999)

I just wanted to express my admiration for the members of the abandoned winter summit attempt of Everest. I live vicariously through the courageous climbers who achieve heights I (literally!) only dream about.

I was pulling for you to summit on New Year's, but you did the right thing. I would have hated to have read about a tragedy up high. Your attempt was a success in that it reminded me that there are still brave adventurers who dare to achieve what has never been done — or what is said to be impossible.

Thanks to for keeping mere mortals like me in touch with the heroic climbers of the Himalaya and other magnificent mountains. And thanks especially to the brave climbers. We don't hear enough about just how inspirational their adventures are.

Tony Torio
Toledo, Ohio

Ed Viesturs - 10 or 12? (December 17, 1999)

To Peter Potterfield and,

Thanks for running the Viesturs interview. As described by many, Ed was calm, collected and focused and it was good to hear him talk about his life and climbing.

However, considering that one of the main topics of his career is attempting to climb all 14 of the 8000m peaks in the world, no mention was made of the doubtful summits. There are two of these, and while Viesturs has been candid about them not being the 'true' summits, Mountain Zone and the rest of Viesturs' sponsors have turned a blind eye to these facts and keep stating he has climbed 12 of the 14 when it is most probable that he has done only 10.

The world is not questioning Viesturs' integrity and ability. But sooner or later, these doubtful summit 'successes' will come back and bite him if they continued to be shrugged off by his sponsors, undiscriminating magazines and web sites like Mountain Zone.

Either he climbed these summits or he has not.

Yours sincerely,
David Lim

Thank You (December 15, 1999)

Just a quick thank you for the great interview with Ed Viesturs — it was fascinating! This was my first "virtual auditorium" event and I greatly enjoyed it. Thanks also to Ed Viesturs for taking time for the interview and sharing a little of himself with those of us who so admire mountain climbers. I'm looking forward to more!

Thanks again,
Gloria Wegener

Questions Too General (December 15, 1999)

Although I am a sailor and not a climber, I follow climbing avidly (there are many similarities) through books and I just followed your live broadcast with Ed Viesturs and have a few comments/questions:

It is quite frustrating to see so many good questions not asked. Also, I am surprised at the level of questions sent and/or selected which are for a very general audience.

I have read lots of books (including your excellent In the Zone) and feel that with only reading you can become quite knowledgeable and want to ask more precise questions.

Anyhow, keep up your excellent work and I hope you have more in-depth live broadcasts in the future (suggestions: David Breashears - who wrote a good book, High Exposure - Todd Burleson, Wally Berg, Dave Hahn). Best regards from France, the country of the Alps...inism


Editor's Note: Two editors worked behind the scenes to help screen the hundreds of emailed questions submitted during the Ed Viesturs live event. The editors regret that the questions in which you had a keen interest were not presented.

Too Old to Climb (December 15, 1999)

Just want to say that you are a credit to the mountain climbing community out "here." Us old climbers follow every "step," including the Hillary Step. I saw your show Sunday night regarding the North Side Assault — it was too short, but great exposure for Mountain Zone. Keep up the great communication from the mountains; we are out here listening and reading.

George Brown

Give Us the Real Thing (December 15, 1999)

Dear MountainZone,

Not sure if this is the right place to send a comment like this, but it's the only incoming slot I could find. I just wanted to comment on your coverage of Newcomb et al. on Vinson.

While the dispatches were better than nothing, let's face it, these guys are skiers and climbers, not writers. The complete lack of any pictures from the trip REALLY killed my interest in coming by each day to see what was happening. One can only read so many "And then we had a most righteous tour. And behold, we named the slope CBOH for Cool Buzz on High..." updates before the eyes glaze over.

I'm sure the technology involved is not cheap, but any pictures at all would have been good. You seemed to have a bunch of photos of them landing down there, which I assume were digital. Why no shots from the actual climbs and skis? That's what we want to see!

Following a climb without pictures is sort of like following a concert on line with no music. Imagine, "And now he's playing his guitar...awesome man!" Give us the real thing, not a description of it.

Keep up the good work!

Joe Smith

Editor's Note: With current satellite technology it's impossible to transmit images from Vinson because of its latitude. However, stay tuned for galleries to follow when the team gets back to the States.

Reaction to Radio Spot (December 7, 1999)

I wanted to write to let you know how disappointed I am that you would publicly make fun of a serious disability in one of your commercials. The commercial I am referring to is the Mountain Tourette commercial. Tourette Syndrome is a very serious disability that is already hard enough to deal with — without it being taken so lightly.

I am a teacher and have dealt with students with this syndrome. It is hard enough for them to make friends without careless advertising such as yours. I believe that your advertising is irresponsible. We need to be educating people about the truths of disabilities such as this one and others — not poking fun at it, even if it is a lighthearted attempt to drum up business. Personally, it has turned me off to your company all together.

Alyson Hagen

Editor's Note: marketing staff apologize to those who took offense at the ads. The campaign was created in the spirit of fun, but in retrospect, was not a good idea. The spots have been pulled.

Self Promoting MZ (November 17, 1999)

I think it's kind of odd that, of all of the letters posted in your '99 letters section, not one of them is negative. You guys are either the best human beings on the planet or the most one sided, self promoting ones. Even 60 Minutes runs a negative editorial once in a while.


Conrad Anker Interview (November 15, 1999)

Thank you for the beautifully laid out article and audio transcript of the Everest expedition!

Please keep up the excellent work.

Interview: Conrad Anker
Expedition: Everest

Viva La Ruta (November 9, 1999)

Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the reporting on La Ruta de los Conquistadores race by Terry Schneider. It gave me a feel for the country as well as the race. Great stories.

Suzanne de Beaumont

A Note to Ginette Harrison (November 1, 1999)

Goodbye brave, adventurous one!

Michael Mishek

You're Doing a Great Job (October 29, 1999)

You really are. The news is here first and more completely than the papers — never mind TV. (Climbing is not a feature for them.)

Thanks for keeping us informed — albeit about the tragedies.

Joan McCann

Joint Trail Hiker (October 29, 1999)

I wanted to let you know I loved the Joint Trail story. The author brought you into the story and down into the trail. It gave me the chills to read about a place where I love to hang out.

Everest Poster (October 27, 1999)

Almost weekly, someone stops by my office to look at my Everest poster that I got from you guys. Everyone loves it! They all ask where I got it and I tell them MZ!

I just re-read Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air for about the fourth time and loved it just as much this time. Hope many people saw the excellent article on Mallory in the recent National Geographic — wonderful pictures and text. When you think about what he and Irvine accomplished, it's really amazing. You guys rock! Keep up the great work. The web site keeps getting better all the time.

Kathie Ludwig

Dave Hahn Fan Club (October 20, 1999)

Dear Lords of the Zone,

I'm just here to say thank you for the work I know it took to get a regular column out of Dave Hahn, whose dispatches from Chomolungma the past couple of years rivaled (in my opinion) those of the most highly regarded mountaineering authors.

If his initial column about Alex Lowe is any indication, we Zoners are in for more of the same high quality reading as the months ahead unfold.

Thanks for yet another reason to make a daily visit to the Zone — as if the breaking news, thoughtful expedition coverage and auctions weren't enough.

By the way, great ad in the new issue of Outside magazine. You folks have really done an amazing job growing your site.

With every regard,

Scot Hillman
Tulare, California

New Look (October 20, 1999)

I pulled up your new format this a.m. and I love it. I hit the hiking section and WOW...pretty cool. I especially like the Hiking Pub section — that was a very pleasant surprise. I always post in the hiking forums and have my own Colorado thread fact, there might be some online romance started from the hiking forum section.

Anyway, just wanted to say I enjoy the new format.


Margaret Carew

Gratitude and Congratulations (October 19, 1999)

Hi, I've been a MountainZoner for quite a while. I like being able to follow great men and women as they go into great places to do great things. Everyone has the trail that they hike, the route that they climb, but it's nice to imagine being in some of the places that people like Chris Sharma, Jon Krakauer, Ed Viesturs, and the like get to go.

That isn't what I'm writing about today. I'm writing to thank you for the respectful way that you all have handled the Shishapangma accident. Your readership appreciates it, as do the family and friends of Alex and Dave. They were great men, worthy role models, and I am grateful that they have not been degraded by you, especially after their passing.

Jim Davis

Hahn Strikes a Chord (October 18, 1999)

Thank you for the beautiful story, Climbing with Alex Lowe.

Yes, Alex Lowe "was all about life," and "special...and worthy of our pain." I admired him deeply because was all of those things and more.

I never had the good fortune to meet him (oh, how I envy those of you who knew him!), but I have long followed his life and his climbing, and I knew his goodness and his "specialness" through the pages of magazines and books, video, photography, and internet coverage. He showed me (and continues toawe inspiringat life is all about." I shall sorely miss him, but I will always have what I have learned from him. His life touched me deeply.

I am not a climber, and I never will be a climber, but I thank all of you who travel the mountains of the world for sharing your beautiful, awe-inspiring, extraordinary lifestyle with me over the years!

I will miss you, Alex.

Apopka, Florida

(October 18, 1999)

Excellent article on Alex Lowe! I followed Dave Hahn's dispatches from Everest '99. He makes you feel like you are a part of the expedition.

Mike McIntosh

A Wise Retreat (October 15, 1999)

My family and I have watched the 1999 Cho Oyu climb with great interest...a member of our family, Dave Shaffer, was on the team that climbed with Eric Simonson and his group. We watched every day for dispatches, and really enjoyed the pictures that came back from the mountain. The internet site is a wonderful idea, and we hope it will continue to be available for future climbs.

I just wanted to let Mr. Simonson know how much we appreciate the efforts he made to make this adventure fun for all of us and safe for the climbers. We were glad he made the choice to turn back. We recognize that it was a difficult decision for everyone. Our family prayed daily for the safe return of all the people involved when it was clear that the climbing conditions had become so dangerous.

Thank you, Eric Simonson and, for including us in your adventures!

Gabrielle Simonson
(no relation)

Rediscovering the Inner Mountain Climber (October 1, 1999)

Just wanted to drop a note and tell you that I am rediscovering myself among the mountains and is helping me. I just moved to Alaska and the mountains I see daily make me ache with excitement. I think about climbing each one, which I will do. I appreciate the advice and guidance that your web site provides. Thanks, and keep it up.

Dave Taylor
Anchorage, Alaska

Lowe the Wordsmith (October 1, 1999)

I was interested and amused to see Alex Lowe's October 1 dispatch from Shishapangma, littered with such words as "soporific," "illimitable," "transmogrification," and "protean." Obviously, the guy has pulled as hard on his vocabulary as he has on rock on his way to becoming the world's preeminent all around climber. I wonder if anyone manufactures a lightweight thesaurus that other team members can carry to try to hang with Alex?

What can't this guy do well? At least we mortals should take heart that he used "soporific" and "butt cold" in the same sentence.

Pat Bryant
Charlotte, North Carolina

It Takes a Village to Maintain a Trail (October 1, 1999)

Hi there,

I know one mountain biker doesn't cause erosion and that is true — one biker doesn't. I have been riding this trail in northern Virginia for years, it goes from Reston all the way to Great Falls, about eight miles one way and it has a little of every thing on it. I remember when it was no wider than my bike. On some weekends there must be five hundred riders on it, per day. FIVE HUNDRED!!!! And there must only be twenty people that do any work on it at all.

I once had a person say to me 'if I didn't have to be somewhere I would help you.' They are in the woods. It takes them twenty minutes to get out of the woods, but forty-five minutes later I see them in the parking lot running their mouths. But I am not doing it for them; I am doing it for me so I can still ride here ten years from now.

The men and women who do work on the trails there are the ones you should be writing about because, they are saving everyone's butt. If it wasn't for them, there would be nowhere to ride at all. Look at the PISGA National Forest, where all the work is done by volunteers and it is one of the best places to ride on the East Coast.

Thank you

Raid Pierre Harvey (October 1, 1999)

I'm from Quebec Province, and I was going thru all your subjects about mountain bike races and so on. Over here in Chicoutimi they have a 290 km mountain bike race over three days and this year they had 580 inscriptions from people around the world. Just to give you an example, the winner was from Australia. It's call Raid Pierre Harvey. I can tell you that it's a tough race and the organization is great.

Denis Ramsay

Partial Critique on Oxygen Readings (September 30, 1999)

I enjoyed the dispatches from Vern Tejas and Bob Elias about their recent climb, but wish to correct an error that was in the "facts" section of the web page. Normal oxygen saturation at sea level is not 95% — it is 99-100%.

The pO2 (partial pressure of oxygen) is normally about 95 at sea level, but these two are not the same, and there is a VERY non-linear relationship between the two that leads to considerable misconception and misunderstanding (even sometimes among those physicians who do not frequently deal with pulmonary physiology). There is a big difference, because while a saturation of 100% gives you a pO2 in the upper 90s, a sat of 95% gives you a pO2 of only about 75. This value would suggest a very significant degree of lung disease (assuming the person is at sea level).

This relationship is best described by a curve almost horizontal at the right top, then sloping diagonally downward moving right to left. The short flat upper right portion is the nearly linear relationship between oxygen saturation and pO2 when the saturation is between 98 and 100%, but as the saturation decreases the pO2 decreases even more. Thus, when Vern's saturation at 20,000 feet elevation was 60%, his pO2 was only in the low to mid 30s! This is a value far worse than most patients in respiratory failure, in any intensive care unit! In reality, his pO2 was probably somewhat higher than that because of the various adaptions that occur with acclimatization to altitude (some of which work by the same mechanism as does Diamox), and because of the individual physiology of elite high altitude climbers.

Thank you for making these expedition dispatches available — I really enjoy following them. I am interested in seeing more results from their study.

David Polaner, MD, FAAP
Pediatric Anesthesiologist and Acting Chief, Pediatric Critical Care
Floating Hospital for Children at New England Medical Center
Asst. Professor of Pediatrics and Anesthesia
Tufts University School of Medicine
Boston, MA

Cho Oyu Coverage (September 29, 1999)

It was fun for us armchair listeners to hear about a wise retreat...if this had happened in 1996, maybe the outcome would have been different. I am not qualified to judge what happened, just offering my humble opinion.
Climb On!


Wanting Whitewater (September 28, 1999) Dear Editor

I really enjoy your site: the information, gear, and fun stories all wrapped up together is great. I personally enjoy climbing, snowboarding, and many other hobbies.

For the past year, though, most of my time has been spent on a mountain sport that you designate no space in your web site: whitewater boating. Whitewater rafting, kayaking, and canoeing are all mountain sports; remember that it's loss of elevation, much like skiing, that boaters are after for the really fun drops and rapids.

It's also a sport that is in huge growth: new boats are being designed faster than consumers can buy them and wear them out; more people are beginning to become involved in the sport; the sport is open to everyone, whether young or old, strong or weak. There are wonderful aspects such as conservation and dam removal issues that are prevalent in our society now that could be incorporated into this site, as well.

Additionally, boaters generally are passionate about talking and interacting with other boaters, not to mention keeping up with the new gear on the market. So, what do you think? I don't know how you can NOT have it be part of your site. Maybe what you need is someone who is super juiced on the sport and knows a something about each one of those aspects I spoke of above — a whitewater editor of sorts. Maybe you need me (call me if you're interested; I think I'm probably qualified, plus law school is a drag). Well, at least think about it. You guys really seem to have everything else pretty dialed in, maybe this could make it even better.


Steven Ledbetter
Lake Oswego, Oregon

Light Loads (September 24, 1999)

Ed Viesturs and his partner evidently climbed Dhaulagiri alpine style, with packs that each weighed only 42 pounds. Unbelievable! I would be most interested to see a list of exactly what they brought. Any chance?

Richmond, Virginia

Skier's Sweetheart (September 24, 1999)

I talked with a couple of friends who are following the exploits of Team Sahib Americanos as they move towards Shishapangma. Seems there's some question as to Andrew's "singledom" as he writes in his bio. I say "hey, at least he's not married or that'd be polygamy — something we're used to here in Utah" (though Sahib Andrewson and I are not hitched) but they say he's not *really* single.

Okay, whatever. We've been doing the parallel parking thing for nearly two years now, but no matter how it's sliced, we've not stood before a priest, deacon, or justice of the peace.

Am loving every last word and tidbit from Nepal. And I got a call from my BOYFRIEND yesterday morning. He sounds great (because he is) and was looking very forward to getting the hell out of that dodge city they call Kathmandu.


Skier's Best Friend (September 24, 1999)

And now a message from the dog whose dad is Andrew:

DeaR dAD,

Hi. I misS you. WheRe are you? DiaNe told me you're in TiBeT and there R monk-eys. And snoW! Bring soMe baCK. I'm spenDinG a lot of TIme in the truck-I don't get OuT unleSS i hAve to. I weNT to woRk yesTErday and SarAH gaVE me loTS of treats. And I saW ApoLLo and MoKI and bUtch and I slePT near your deSK. Will you WOrk again at THe desk?

I'm eaTing and SLeePINg and hikING and hOPing for Milk and steAK.

I love You dAD. Bye.


Climbing in China (September 22, 1999) is one of the few web sites I go to virtually every day. Your coverage of Everest this spring, and the Baltoro climbs, as well as the other climbing and mountaineering stuff, is relentlessly excellent.

I am concerned, though, about your supporting the expedition to Shishapangma, as well as Cho Oyo. Climbing both of those mountains involves paying substantial tribute to China, one of the most repressive and destructive countries in the world.

The government is destroying their natural environment as quickly as they possibly can (most notably with the Three Gorges Dam, but almost everywhere else in China as well). They invaded, destroyed, and partly depopulated Tibet, and are working hard to destroy the leadership of Tibetan Buddhism, as well as slaughtering their own people at Tiananmen square. Again, this summer, they killed their own people for belonging to what amounts to an exercise club. I could go on...and on...and on...

I climb enough to know how much it can take over your focus and upset your priorities, but it seems like could provide plenty of coverage of expeditions without subsidizing and providing free marketing for the Chinese government.

Pakistan is certainly no paragon of civil liberties (nor, for that matter, are we above reproach) but the wholesale indifference to life as well as nature in China sets them apart from the rest of the civilized world. Just because our President and Congress defer obsequiously to them doesn't mean you need to, as well.

Thomas Breit

Tour de Wolf (September 20, 1999)

Dear Editor,

Just a brief note to see if your are aware of the Tour de Wolf, to be held in Memphis, TN, 11-06-00.

It is an AMBC National Final. This is the 11th year for Tour de Wolf. I was able to go last year and it was a very big event!

Tinker Juarez, Steve Tillford and many others were there to sign autographs and share interesting stories. There is to be a kayak boat ball tournament and also a family fun ride. I have nothing to do with this, but it was fun last year. We are planing to to again this year. Will you?


Virginia Tyler
Lexington, TN

Skiing Brethren (September 15, 1999)

Many people think that Andrew McLean's little jaunt to climb and ski Shishapangma is sick and deranged. As his brother, I can tell you that the opinion is echoed by his family and even by his less insanity-plagued friends. People who know him have seen Andy "mature" from the wee little psycho who climbed Devil's Tower with homemade PVC chocks, to his current mutation as a skier of supposedly un-skiable routes.

Every adventure he tackles seems to get progressively more technical, more specialized, and (unfortunately) more dangerous.

I can recall talking with him after he skied a route on Denali (one steep enough to kill a climber the next day) and I asked him when he was going to the Himalayas.

"When," I asked, "are you going to the Himalayas?"

Andy said something along the lines of "No, that stuff isn't my bag. I like the smaller, more approachable lines."

After years of living and skiing around Utah's Wasatch range, however, Andy had used up most of the really audacious chutes. He even wrote a "tour guide" of them which, to many people, confirmed either his brilliance or his latent insanity when clamped into a pair of well-sharpened planks.

For my part I knew — or at least suspected — that he was gunning for a major expedition after Denali. He was, after all, hanging with what my mother might call "The Wrong Crowd." Folks like Alex Lowe and Mark Holbrook are not in the habit of nurturing a sessile lifestyle and their working relationship at Black Diamond probably sealed the probability of this adventure, this wildly extended gear test.

Is my brother deranged? Yes, absolutely, he is. The route on Shishapangma is ridiculously exposed — even without the titanic icefall at the bottom — and I think most observers of will agree with me when they get a peek at some better photos of it. Rational people prefer the bunny slope, more adventurous sorts will seek a double diamond, and psychological abnormalities — the so called "type-A personalities" — end up in places like Shishapangma.

Still, all mental questions aside, I have only marginal worries about my brother's current mission. Andy is one of the best skiers on the planet, and he is in damn good company with the gang of mountain freaks he has assembled for this expedition. If any Americans are going to ski an 8,000-meter peak, these are the ones to do it. Furthermore, there is the fact that Andy has a long list of first descents to bolster his chances...but the only reason he has succeeded so often is because of his even longer list of "failed" attempts.

Factors such as crappy weather, poor snow conditions, or just "not feeling right" will all be considered during this expedition — as with all of his others. That realization is, to me anyway, the most calming thought I can salve upon my worry warts. The fine line between insanity and stupidity is never crossed with my brother and that's why I am confident I'll be skiing with him this Christmas — at a nice, boring, ski area.

Alex McLean

P.S. thanksfortheweb

Angry About Expedition (September 15, 1999)


I would like to use this forum to express my disgust at the way that the Simonson expedition has exploited George Mallory 's reputation for its own personal and professional gain. The crass commercialization of the expedition and, worst of all, the posting of photographs on the web - with copyright scrawled across them - frankly makes me sick. Anker and the rest are after money and fame and the sooner they admit it the better. The exploitation of another country's mountaineering dead should be condemned by all reasonable people.

Julian Barrett

IMAX Reviewer (September 7, 1999)

I'm very impressed by your site. I have just read Dave Breashears' book. I have a couple of observations that I believe should be made. Firstly, Dave Breashears has made a career out of exploiting Mt. Everest, starting with his first guided ascent of the mountain. Considering the consequences of that move, I gag at his mentioning ethics during his book.

Secondly, it is amazing to me that the Everest "True Adventure" has not been criticized for its complete disregard for documentary ethics. I know for a fact that many scenes of the film where staged on Mt. Hood. Ed Viesturs soloing for the summit? Did Dave he have two IMAX cameras on the mountain? Mt. Hood again.

Leaving for the summit at dark? With perfect light balance in everyone's head lamps? Mt. Hood again. That he only took a mono-pod to the summit is odd in that the summit insert shots of leaving pictures of Tenzing are rock steady, etc.

I would like to do a serious analysis to see just how much of even the "summit" was real. Also, the use of stunt riders for the mountain biking scene, and the use of artificial holds for the women's rock climbing scene are obvious. Ice climbing with aiders in the Khumbu icefall? Give me a break. Who's going to call bull shit on this kind of manipulation?

Bob Carmichael

Brian Blessed (September 6, 1999)

Having just read Matt Dickinsons book, The Death Zone, and seen his excellent documentary, Summit Fever, I became particularly interested in the plight of Brian Blessed, who has tried, and unfortunately failed to reach the summit of Everest three times. Could anyone tell me if he ever made it since then, or if he plans to try again in the near future. If so, good luck to him because if anyone deserves to summit, he does.

Thank you Lizzie Mochor, England

Mystery Climbers (September 4, 1999)

Hello there. I'm very interested in hearing about the Cho Oyu climb and have been keeping track of your progress this last week. I would really like to hear about the actual climbers who are doing this with you: who they are, where are they from, etc. Also can you go more into detail about your actual daily routine on the mountain: what time you get up, what your group does at camp, etc. It would give me more of an idea what its really like to be there.

Take Care and thanks,
Kristie Fritz
Seattle, Washington

A Pleased Peddler (August 23, 1999)

WOW! Is all I have to say. I had the pleasure of being at Mount Snow for the NORBA Finals. Marla and Missy were not only incredibly fast, but very friendly and humble. I need to add that Marla's time, in particular, beat most of the men.

I wish that this sport would get more media coverage. It's one of my favorite activities and it takes a hell of a lot more guts than swinging a golf club.

Renay Bisson
Northampton, Massachusetts

Krakauer's Claims (August 21, 1999)

I just finished reading Anatoli Boukreev's book and have read Krakauer's book in the past. I have just a few comments. Krakauer is just a ridiculous loser if he has anything bad to say about how this mountain genius conducted himself on that fateful day.

Regarding Krakauer's claims on Anatoli's lack of oxygen use, it is proven he had the ability to scale the world's greatest peaks without it. He proved it that time too. Why was he the only one trying to save lives when everyone else was collapsed in their tents? He didn't need oxygen. It is fact.

Why was Krakauer passed out in his tent when a true hero that he is just trying to slam out in the storm saving lives? Jon Krakauer...shame on you!!!! You couldn't carry Anatoli's backpack up a hill. Shame on you for eternity.


Ode to A Guide (August 16, 1999)

Hi, this is Adam Heller,

I was on Wally Berg's first Kilimanjaro climb this year. If you listened closely, you might remember Wally mentioning an epic poem that my dad Jamie wrote. We never got a chance to share it with you by dispatch so we typed it out and thought that you might want to share it with the web community. I hope you enjoy it.

Adam Heller

Ode to Wally Berg
By Jamie Heller

We all have limitations that we sometimes need to test,
Otherwise we're never sure, we've done our very best.
How we go about this, can vary quite a lot,
As we attempt to show the world, the talents that we've got.

Runners have the marathon to demonstrate their speeds,
and knights slay evil dragons, to show their valiant deeds.
Hunters shoot at elephants, and buffalo and bear,
and Wally goes to places, where there's hardly any air.

On top of these huge mountains, the weather's rather rough,
and way up there the lack of air, makes climbing sort of tough.
But as your brain cells die away, you'll find you conquer fear,
and when your brain is fully drained, then you're a mountaineer.

Then you can follow Wally if you're steady and you're slow,
and he will take you places, where no humans ought to go.
Along the way you'll master skills, to be more self reliant,
and once your common sense is gone, then you'll become a client.

So camped at 15,000 feet, we'll wait 'til late tonight,
then hike up where there's still less air, and bathe in clear moonlight,
we'll hike until the sun comes up, 'til Africa's tomorrow,
and stand upon the sun-drenched peak, of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

It's time for us to go now, the summit will not wait,
Signing off are Adam, Jamie, Elizabeth and Kate.

The following morning July 28, 1999, we (even Wally) reached the summit.

Mallory (August 16, 1999)

I don't understand why the team that found George Mallory found it necessary to cover up his body and keep his whereabouts unknown...

Does the team realize that if someone found Mr. Mallory before them and covered him up, they would never have found him? What makes them think they should be the only ones to explore the site of George Mallory? We cannot have everybody that discovers something cover it up so no one else can rediscover it. Historical sites belong to everybody. Besides, at 27,000 feet, you are not going to get a lot of people visiting.

John K.

Kudos to Simonson Team (August 15, 1999)

Congratulations to Eric Simonson and team for the amazing discovery!!!!!!!!!

Wishing you all the best for a safe journey back home.

Abhiprasun & Suchorita Chattopadhyay
Calcutta, India

Annapurna (August 14, 1999)

Hey folks!

You guys and gals do a wonderful job bringing the majesty of the mountains to my desktop, and I thank you, profusely. I have always been fascinated by mountains and the stories of those brave, insane souls who climb them.

As a kid, I read about the Eiger and the Matterhorn and various Everest attempts. This interest deepened in the wake of the '96 events (about which I have an opinion but it's based on nothing but hearsay so I'll keep it to myself). However, having seen the film and read the books I was motivated to read ever more about the Himalaya.

When I read the account of Maurice Herzog's successful climb of Annapurna, I was FLOORED! What an adventure! They didn't even know where the damn mountain was!!

Take care and climb safely,

Reaction to Mallory Photo (August 13, 1999)

I was disturbed to see a photograph of Mallory's body an your web site.

As a British climber, I find the publication the image of Mallory's corpse totally unacceptable for a number of reasons. Firstly, it offers no documentary proof of identification. All of that is proved beyond doubt by the artifacts recovered from his body. Also, the photo serves no purpose other than to titillate those people who have bought Vanity Fair this month and depressingly, people who visit your otherwise excellent site.

Everest has claimed many people, none more important than Mallory and Irvine. The question of weather they reached the summit must be solved. The collection of artifacts and the careful documenting of his body position will add clues to solving the riddle and is to be commended, but I feel strongly that photographing his body was a mistake. It deflects from the good work done by the expedition and is a desecration of his final resting place.

Glibly saying that no other climbers need return to the site is an obvious deflection from the fact that it has been cruelly desecrated by those images. I'm not surprised that the press did not ask questions about profiting from those images. Since when has the press shown sensitivity in profiting from unpleasant or exploitive pictures?

I feel that all climbers should take a stronger line on this kind of thing, and I feel that your excellent web site has been diminished by showing these pictures.

Martin Skeet

Stud Muffin (August 12, 1999)

David Hahn is a stud! The activities he undertakes for his job up on Everest are incredible!

A. Mordokowicz

Stop the Superlatives (August 11, 1999)

Don't get me wrong, Alex Lowe is definitely one of the best climbers in the world, but for you to label him as the "World's Best Climber" is an insult to the climbing world. As Alex said, climbing is a lifestyle and is too subjective for such labels. I could argue that Chris Sharma, Ben Moon, Seb Grieve, Reinhold Messner, Francois Legrand, J.B. Tribout, Ed Viesturs or a host of others are the "World's Best Climber."

Placing such a label on any one climber slights the accomplishments of other climbers pursuing other goals. Your myopic focus on big mountains and big walls blinds you to the fantastic accomplishments of sport climbers, boulderers, and even competition climbers everywhere. Climbing is such a multi-faceted sport that to label a practitioner of one aspect as the world's best climber cannot be rationally justified.

I appreciate your efforts to give the accomplishments of these great climbers the notoriety they no doubt deserve, but please do so in a manner that is respectful to the climbing world. It is sad to see the reporting of climbing events reduced to the base level of hype reporting.

Joe McLoughlin

Mountaineering Hub (August 11, 1999)

Just want you to know how much I enjoy your web site. I log on everyday to see what's up in the mountaineering world. I always find a lot of information and interesting things to read. I also love the interviews. Keep doing what you're doing!


Respect for Anatoli Boukreev (August 9, 1999)

Although I never met Anatoli, I feel like he was one of the greatest men to ever climb Mt. Everest. I feel that never again will a climber as strong and dedicated as Anatoli appear.

Anatoli has received criticism from both the Outside magazine piece and Jon Krakauer's book, Into Thin Air. Krakauer was a member of another expedition on Everest that year, and while his writing is correct from a journalistic standpoint, it did not fairly credit Anatoli Boukreev for his heroic actions on May 10th, 1996, on the South Col of Everest.

Just one year before he died, Boukreev was involved in the deadliest Everest climb ever in which 12 people died. He played a vital role in the rescues of Charlotte Fox, Lene Gammelgaard, Klev Schoening, Tim Madsen, and Sandy Pittman. Boukreev could have just rolled over in his tent as Jon Krakauer did and let them die. Instead, he selflessly went out into the storm twice and saved climbers who were, technically, not his responsibility.

Anatoli knew that one day the mountains would catch up with him, and he would die. His accepting that proves to me that he was an extraordinary climber and man. The world will truly miss you, Anatoli.

John Dexter
Norfolk, Virginia

Austrians Successful on GII (August 9, 1999)

Hi folks!!!!!!

On July 29th, three Austrians summited Gasherbrum II after 10 days of bad weather. I was one of them. We made it in semi-alpine style with no Camp IV. Even Camp III we didn't build up for ourselves. We used the French one (thank you very much).

Also two Spanish (Universidad de Valencia), one French, and one American (Mountain Madness) summited on this day. It was the first and the last day with good weather for a long time. The Spanish Catalonian Expedition tried the summit of GI, some others I think tried GII yesterday but had no success because of bad weather.

I just returned to Austria after an horrible walk over the Ghondoghoro Pass to Hushe.

Many greetings from Austria and good luck to all parties in Gasherbrum Base Camp (there is also a North Face sponsored American group trying some new route on GIV).

Florian Wolf

Three-Legged Wolfe (July 30, 1999)

Hey there,

Just read the online article on "the Three-Legged Wolfe." I was one of Brett's team members at 24 Hours of Moab last year. No doubt about it, he can shred with the best of them!! I wish he was racing with us again this year. We look forward to his further exploits into greatness. Rip it up three-legged wolf man!!!

Jed Dennison
Missoula, MT

Praise for Dave Hahn (July 27, 1999)

The dispatches from Everest were amazing, especially as you wrote what you saw and experienced. You really brought home both the excitement and danger and did not gloss over the problems. Can I expect to see a book published?

Val Marshall, Everest enthusiast

That Cathy Tibbets Can Write! (July 26, 1999)

Is it just me or was that the most perfect first paragraph ever? I felt like sending it to my old boss at the Kansas City Star, the newspaper. What a thoroughly enjoyable article, right down to the crack, excuse me, at the end, about not taking high altitude sanitation, uh, sitting down. She's very funny.

What a great race. What a great story. What a great writer.

Jean Harrison

Everest '99 (July 21, 1999)

I just wanted to thank you for your incredible coverage of the north side expedition. Although not a climber myself (however, Andy is from my hometown), I found the coverage to be of great interest and intrigue. How exciting to log on each day to experience this historic event! Thanks again...


Thank You (July 19, 1999)

Just a note to say thank you for the free subscription to Walking Magazine. You folks are just terrific.

Warm regards,
Lisa Chakan
Port Chester, New York

Comments from Mars—the 1996 Everest Tragedy (July 19, 1999)

Hello folks, this is a great site, and I must compliment the climbers for incurring the additional gear and effort that enables all of us to enjoy the panorama and majesty of Everest.

I just finished Mr. Krakauer's book and it certainly has piqued my interest. While working at Yellowstone Park in college (1979), I had a very close call while climbing in the Tetons. I recall that 15 minutes of terror like it was yesterday, and I can really appreciate the perspective of those who go beyond 25,000 feet.

It was important to review the comments from the other climbers who partook in the accident on that fateful May 10th, especially Toli Boukreev. I feel Mr Boukreev was not given enough credit for his remarkable heroics and indomitable will and endurance.

As readers, we must keep in mind that there are differing perceptions of the events leading up to the tragedy. I feel Mr. Krakauer is a gifted writer, and although for the most part attempted to separate himself from the subject and its participants, he was obligated and to a degree entrapped by the writing itself.

Ultimately, both Hall and Fischer had safety and the best of intentions for their clients. After I finished the book and lay in bed tossing and turning the entire night pouring over the details in an attempt to discern a predominate breakdown or lapse of judgment which accounted for this tragic end. By the morning, I surmised that it was not one or two breakdowns leading to the incident, but a combination of many that were correlated. Couple this with the unpredictable weather and the climbers were flirting with a recipe for the ensuing disaster. Perhaps more than anything else, one thing that could have jaded the judgment of both Hall and Fischer was the fact that the were competing fiercely against one another. To a greater extent, both guides were so driven (perhaps by acclaim, money in the sense of potential future business, and recognition) to granting success to their clients, that they lost site of the simple fact that they were also in competition with the mountain itself.

At 41, in relative good shape, and with interest rekindled, I aspire to again climb, albeit with modest objectives and expectations. As I finish, my young son asked, "What if you hit the lotto dad? Then time and money would not be an issue, and you would be able to climb anywhere." What if?...

Thanks again for the great page.

Terry Onufer
Mars, PA

Mallory on Everest (July 19, 1999)

I wanted to convey my regards to the research expedition.

I have a deep respect for the attempt made by the expedition. Carrying out research at such a high altitude was a risky undertaking. Also the search was like finding a needle in a haystack. It is great that one of the bodies was found. That too of the fiery mountaineer.

I think that whatever the two had suffered together and achieved is remarkable. That too without oxygen.

I had read the epic of Mount Everest about seven years ago and was astounded by the mark this expedition made.

It was nice to hear that one of the bodies has been located. A similar attempt could be organized for recovering the bodies of Pete and Joe on the Northeast Ridge. This too is a mystery unsolved.

Parag Pendharkar
Pune, India

Shaums March Article (July 16, 1999)

I wanted to say that I appreciated your auction site, but even more important to me, the article on Shaums March. I just started biking a little over a year ago (bought a slightly used Schwinn S9.6 MTB) and entered my first race about a year ago. I'm not looking to go pro, but I do want to be competitive.

As an African American, minority goes to a new level when you grab a bike. It's good to not only see another African American biking, but doing extremely well at it. I'm proud of Shaums and what he is doing, and I hope he can make it big in the sport.

James Doanes

A New Fan and the IPPG (July 12, 1999)

Email certainly has made the world a smaller place! A few days ago I received a message from a man in Dallas, Texas who had been referred to me by friend/client in Austria for whom I had organized a trekking peak climb in Nepal last April! The Texan and Austrian had met through the pages of So today I thought I would look you up.

Thanks for bringing us all together. I am impressed by the treasure box of information found in your pages.

I have lived and been involved in volunteer work in Nepal since 1995 and will return to Kathmandu in mid September. To say that this time has been a life altering, mind expanding experience would definitely be an understatement! I have served in many little ways but have learned so much from the wonderful Nepali people that I have met and with whom I have worked. Of course, there have been some frustrations, but they have been far outweighed by the good times.

Having a lifetime fascination and love of mountains, I had dreamed of the day when I could visit the Himalaya but never really believed that time would come. After taking early retirement in June, 1995, however, my dreams came true, and now I am doing some of the things I probably should have done when I was 20!

In addition to managing a health and education project for two years, supervising volunteer teachers and nurses on assignment in Nepal, distributing medical supplies and equipment, and setting up school libraries, I have had the opportunity to teach English and mountain first aid to trekking guides and provide business consulting services to several trekking companies. This latter activity has opened up other opportunities to plan, organize, plus act as group leader for trekking expeditions and brought me many new friends from around the world.

Readers of Mountain Zone may be interested to know about a relatively new organization based in Australia called the International Porter Protection Group (IPPG). IPPG is building a roster of representatives around the world with the aim to 'foster the well being of the most vulnerable group of mountain worker, the porter, by raising awareness among trekkers, mountaineers, trek and expedition companies, leaders, sirdars and staff.'

A summary of their objectives is as follows:
1) To ensure that adequate clothing be available for protection in bad weather and at altitude.
2) That leaders and trekkers provide the same standard of medical care for porters as they would expect for themselves.
3) That porters not be released by (companies or expeditions) because of illness without the group leader or trekkers being informed.
4) That sick porters never be sent down alone, or without someone who speaks their language and understands their problem.
5) That sufficient funds be provided to sick porters to cover the cost of their rescue and treatment.

These guidelines, at first read, may seem very obvious but, unfortunately, failure to follow these simple rules has resulted in many instances where porters have lost their lives or been maimed and have been unable to obtain future employment. By publicizing the needs, educating employers (clients and companies), lobbying government bodies and agencies to promote the safety and well being of porters and monitoring/collecting data on the subject of porter abuse, IPPG hopes to raise public awareness of this situation. Improvement in working standards for porters and other trekking and expedition staff is not only the responsibility of the companies who employ them but those of us who depend on their services.

IPPG is a grassroots network of volunteers. There are no membership fees. At the present time, there are country representatives in Australia, USA, UK, France, Germany, New Zealand and Switzerland. The organization's 2nd International Conference will be held in Kathmandu on Sept. 29, 1999. Anyone interested in more information about IPPG activities or membership can send me an email.

Positive changes are being made in the trekking industry in Nepal. Recognition of the fact that porters are one of the industry's primary resources that must be honored and cared for is critical to the sustainable growth of tourism. 'Caring for porters must become the norm of the industry,' says Dr. Jim Duff of Australia, International Coordinator of IPPG. When all is said and done, it really boils down to seeing your porters as wonderful, hard-working, loyal employees and showing them the same respect you expect from your associates.

This has been a much lengthier epistle than I intended, but you did invite me to write! I look forward to future visits to Mountain Zone. Bye for now.

Elsie James
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Grettings From Argentina (July 9, 1999)

Hello! I'm from Argentina, and I am writing you with the very little English I know. I congratulate you because your pages are very interesting and impressive, especially the photo of Mallory in the mountains (dead). I'm 14 years old, and I live in a small village near Buenos Aires that is called Hurlingham.

Thanks for reading my message. Grettings.

Heroes (July 8, 1999)

Thank you so much for this site. Also a thank you to Dave Hahn for a well written article.

Recently I had an interesting correspondence with a retired professor (cyclist, climber and caver) and a very non-athletic doctorate student from north Texas. These letters concerned sportsmanship, integrity, heart, joy and why the body is a temple from which we worship. It took many days, many hours, thousands of words and quite a bit of butting of heads before the one in Texas began to contemplate the possibility that through the body one achieves greatness of soul.

She has never reached for the impossible hold and felt fingers find purchase, never rocketed a horse over a five foot high, five foot wide gate and known Pegasus exists, never hunched over spinning pedals in the rain and known bliss. If I could give her these things, I gladly would. Because I cannot, I will send her this article. She is a writer and will appreciate that aspect, the 'story,' and maybe also will have another window on our world.

Stephanie Daniels

The One Who Has Said... (July 8, 1999)

I have never climbed a mountain but have been intrigued about the writings that I have read. I want to say that the finding of Mr. Mallory's body is a significant finding coming into the new century and leaving the old. He was and still is considered a great climber of his time. The climbers who have found him are to be greatly appreciated. I hope the family members are happy to know the whereabouts and the ending of his great life. Mr.. Mallory will always be known as the one who has said, "Because it is there."

Big...Small...They're All Great (July 5, 1999)

I thought that this web site was very well put together. I'm very interested in anything that deals with mountains; big...small...they are all great. The Adirondacks where I call home are a far cry from the Himalayas, but a man can dream and now see thanks to you guys.

Hello From Slovenia (June 29, 1999)


I think you are one of 'da greatezt' on the web. You are giving adventures, stories, pics and sports to mountain lovers all over the world.

29-30 May there was UCI Grundig World Cup mountainbike downhill and dual slalom in my town, Maribor, Slovenia. I checked a little bit on Internet, what people are saying about it, and saw that you have the most complete coverage. Including pics (they are great). Thanx.

See ya...and good vibes from Slovenia.

Matej Hasaj

Anatoli—Loss of a Hero (June 26, 1999)

Having just read The Climb, I was inspired by Anatoli's heroism and philosophy. I eagerly went onto the Internet for news on his recent climbs only to find out about his untimely death on Annapurna.

Prior to reading The Climb, I had read Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air and was amazed by Krakauer's criticisms of Boukreev. Boukreev was justified in his role on Everest in May 1996. His heroic rescue of fellow climbers stranded during a storm was indicative of his integrity and courage. His bravery and strength in a terrible situation is an ideal to which most of us can only hope to live up to in times of life-and-death crisis.

I never had the privilege of meeting him. I have not even done any high altitude climbing, but I feel inspired by his undauntable determination to achieve his goals despite the hardships in his life.

He was, by all accounts, an amazing athlete. His incredible physical and mental strength and focus are the ideal to live up to for all athletes. As a runner and backpacker, I can only dream of having his endurance, strength, and determination.

I had looked forward to following his amazing 8,000 meter career. Now I can only read of his legacy.

Boukreev wrote:
'Mountains have the power to call us into their realms and there, left forever, are our friends whose great souls were longing for the heights. Do not forget the mountaineers who have not returned from the summits.'

Anatoli's soul rests in the mountains he loved. Keep soaring for the heights! Rest in peace. You will not be forgotten for you have inspired the rest of us to bring out the best in ourselves.

Paulette Koss
San Diego, CA

Everest Withdrawal (June 24, 1999)

Hey Guys,

I still log on for my daily fix...but honestly, I'm going through withdrawal! I miss all the action and adventure! Life is suddenly very boring since the crew returned to the U.S. I just can't get enough of the MountainZone.

Beth G. Preston
Loxahatchee, FL

An Avalanche of Books—Everest from your Armchair (June 23, 1999)

So you think Everest is getting crowded? You should have seen the book signing line when David Breashears came to Portland! The man who shot the IMAX Everest film was on tour for his new book High Exposure, the latest entry in what I call the 'Everest Storm Publishers' Sweepstakes.' Everest and everything to do with it is big business these days, and Breashears is the seventh climber to try his hand at cashing in on the events of May, 1996.

It was a late-starter, but the chances are good that High Exposure will easily pull ahead of the chasers and into second place. Breashears has already contributed the fabulous, wide-angle photos for Everest: Mountain Without Mercy, the coffee table book that ought to be subtitled 'Everything You Wanted to Know But Were Afraid to Ask.'

The winner is John Krakauer by a vertical mile, of course. How popular has his bestseller Into Thin Air become? If all the copies sold were piled into a single stack it would stand taller than Everest itself. I found that amusing statistic in Matt Dickinson's book The Other Side of Everest, which started in at number six and is now working its way up through the field.

There's only one reason publishers are still happy to bet on the deadly season of May, 1996—it sells! So you'll find all your favorite themes making return appearances in High Exposure: the ominous clouds racing up the Khumbu Icefall, the amateurs with more money than sense, the gritty pros flunking life and death decisions. Keep a handkerchief ready for the poignant last phone call from a dying man to his wife. Then cheer as Beck 'The Iceman' Wethers staggers back from the dead with various body parts frozen solid.

And don't forget Anatoli 'Who Needs a Pack?' Boukreev, our token ex- Communist, and the debate over his speedy descent for a quick lunch at the South Col. If he'd listened to his agent he'd be in third place now and slugging it out on the Jerry Springer Show with John 'It Wasn't My Fault' Krakauer. As for the South Africans, well they made such a mess of the whole climb they needed a referee and two books to sort things out.

We all know the ending of this mini-series by now. So if you need a change of scene, try Dickinson's book about events on the Tibetan side. This time, the controversy centers on two Asian teams, who prove that hypoxia is as tough on them as it is on us. The dead are three Indian climbers who started their summit day at the comfortably suicidal hour of 8am. The villains are the ruthless Japanese, who ignored the dying Indians as they made their own bid the next day.

To be fair, David 'Where's My Camera?' Breashears' book covers his entire life, but he doesn't deny that it's his chapter on May '96 that gets the most attention. At first, we were told it was human error, but it's not polite to blame the dead. So the buck was soon passed to 'The Storm,' which was upgraded by the newsroom to 'The Great Storm,' and achieved its full, marketing potential as 'The Great Killer Storm.'

Thus Matt 'Come On, I Feel Great' Dickinson's book is subtitled, 'Climbing the North Face Through the Killer Storm' (although he actually climbed the North Ridge). But hey, it was dangerous enough and that 'North Face' tag sure did wonders for the Eiger. Actually, Matt is a really great guy and has written a first class book. I read it in one sitting the night before our interview. Breashears is modest to a fault.

Dickinson was also making a film called Summit Fever for National Geographic, which simply can't stay away from Everest. So when you've memorized the route on the south side 'til you could follow it blindfolded, live dangerously by checking out the Tibetan side of Everest. You'll find it's a pleasant change from the deadly icefall. There are none of those annoying trekkers at Base Camp and superb views the whole way. Best of all, you'll be following in the footsteps of the immortal Mallory and Irvine, just in time for the start of the 'Great George Mallory Handicap.'

Yes, you read it here first! He's been dead for 75 years but George Mallory is about to hit the big time. I've been assured there are at least three new books on the way, a TV special on PBS in January, and appearances on Larry King and Opra. I'm not making this up folks. The old guy may be turning in his icy grave, but hey, the world needs him.

Come to think of it, maybe he wouldn't mind too much. After all, he's the one who blurted out 'because it's there,' in 1924 to a pesky reporter in New York. And that's what we remember him for! It has stuck in my mind since I was a boy. It's brief, to the point, and it still puts doubters in their place. Think of all the stupid things he might have said. What else could have the same authority? I rate this the century's great, outdoor sound bite. If Mallory had been really sharp he would have trademarked it on the spot.

Six years before, Mallory had been fighting in the trenches in World War I and must have been familiar with the hollow phrases the politicians tossed out to justify the carnage. It was nasty business, but 'a man has to do his duty.' On the last day of his life, crouched in a cotton tent that was flapping like a machine gun, donning his army-style clothing, he must have drawn strength from those memories. Like his fallen comrades he was going 'over the top' for King and Country.

But this was already his third expedition to Tibet, and he knew it would be his last. The spirit of the Empire drove him on when self-preservation demanded that he turn back. We British like the right stuff in our heroes: the Charge of the Light Brigade and all that. You Americans have General Custer galloping into the Little Bighorn.

Well, we need peacetime heroes now, especially since Michael Jordan retired. Mallory was a 'jolly good chap' who 'gave it his best shot,' even if he wore a tweed suit and nailed boots. Unfortunately, it's his example that has left the upper slopes of Chomolungma strewn with corpses, a condition that Mallory would probably find highly distasteful and very unBritish. But hey, he started it all!

Peter Marsh

Acadia Danger! (June 21, 1999)

Hello, my name is Philip Murphy, and I want to express my gratitude to such a splendid place in our world, Acadia National Park. My girlfriend, Oahn, and I never had such a wonderful time together. It was by far the best trip we have been on together, and we are frequent weekend travelers. So thank you, but there was one problem I was concerned about.

Reaching the top of South Bubble Brook Trail, I was amazed by the view and the erratic Rock I had seen from down below. I was ecstatic. There it was, a boulder the size of a tractor trailer, different and so bizarre. I stood there in amazement of the power of the environment around me and the history of how that beautiful area was formed.

I was amazed at the balance of the rock hanging over the cliff. Then some kids were pushing it as if to push it off the cliff. They were young, but I'm sure a great deal of people at any age do the same thing. What a great tragedy for those that would never experience the sight. So please have someone do something to prevent such a tragedy. I'm sure over time a gang of hoods will succeed and ruin it for everyone.

Thugs (June 20, 1999)

I don't think it is ecologically responsible to post articles glorifying self-indulgent thugs riding on forbidden terrain. It was clear from the article that the riders knew they were on roads and trails that were closed. Irresponsible riding like this is what gives good mountain bikers a bad name. I think the $100 ticket was well warranted, and they had no reason to be upset.

Selfish people rarely get what they deserve, and that ticket was just a small reparation for all the bad that bikers like them cause. If everyone ignored trail closings, we would be left with a whole lot of abused, unmanaged trails that would be no fun to ride and ugly. I hope that, as editor, you can select articles that show the good side of the mountain biking sport instead of the bad.

Tip DS

It's Official...You've Done It! (June 18, 1999)

You guys have become the main source for mountain bike racing news. I used to get my information from VeloNews. However now that road racing is popular again, they have turned their back on mountain cycling. Nothing wrong with road cycling, I am actually an avid roadie as well. However no one, and I mean no one is currently doing the kind of coverage you are doing. I just want you to know that there are people in this country who have a deep rooted passion for this awesome sport. XC, DH, Road, BMX, Track, call it what you want, we love it and will support those who support cycling. Thank you for the great site.

Keep up the great work,
Alex Sanchez
Scottsdale, AZ

The Himalayas Are in My Blood (June 17, 1999)

Just wanted to say thanks for such a wonderful site and account of your trek in the Everest region. I just returned from a trek with Overseas Adventure Travel in the Everest region. I was lucky enough to arrive in Tengboche 10 May 1999, the day Matt Lau and the NBC crew broadcast live the Today Show! What an experience! Time only permitted a trek to Tengboche Monastery. However, the Himalayan mountains are in my blood and another trip, this time to Kala Patar, is in my future!

Night March in the Western Cape (June 15, 1999)

Hallo to all the folks at MountainZone

I am involved with a youth organization called the Voortrekkers here in South Africa. We recently held our annual challenge/competition in the Western Cape which we call (roughly translated) a Night March. Children compete in teams against each other on a course with intellectual and physical challenges. The competition is held at night and takes place somewhere in nature, usually in a mountainous area. It takes roughly 3 hours to complete. It is a very good test of innovation and teamwork.

The challenge has a different theme each year, and this year I used the search for Mallory and Irvine as the theme. I took a lot of info from your page and compiled a story of a group being assembled to search for Irvine and Mallory's lost camera. Unfortunately I cannot send you the whole thing because it is in Afrikaans. At the first point on the course, we had a computer onto which we downloaded your pages and the participants had the opportunity to browse through it quickly.

The children (about 100, all aged between 13 and 15) enjoyed it immensely and found your story very interesting. They all said that they learned a lot.

I thought that you might like to know that your page is reaching a big audience and hopefully made a few new fans of the continuing saga of Everest. Thanks for a very interesting site.

Jan Brink
South Africa

Waiting and Watching (June 8, 1999)

I have been absolutely enthralled with your web site, which I stumbled upon quite by accident. The Mallory & Irvine Expedition has captivated my imagination, and I can't wait for them to go back. For sure, I'll be here, waiting and watching. Please give my best to all the climbers and staff who work so hard every day to bring such a wonderful journey into my life.

Sharon Baldwin

From an Avid Visitor (June 8, 1999)

An avid MountainZone visitor since '96, one who has closely tracked Everest ascents every year since then and who dreams of seeing, if not climbing, Everest, I just wanted THANK both MountainZone and Alpine Ascents for providing dispatches.

I hope that Vern continues to provide names and information on his party especially since my friend Matt is leaving today for Anchorage to climb Denali with him. I am so looking forward to tracking their progress each step of the way....Hoping that the weather is kind and that they experience only the best of everything!

Jennifer Rosenberg
Denver, Colorado

I'm Not Crazy....He Is! (June 7, 1999)

Bravo !!

Your site has served as an inspiration for a person relatively new to mountaineering sports. It helps me to know that there are people out there who are crazier than myself. Finally, I have a defense for people who call me crazy: "I'm not crazy....He is!!"

J. Gabriel Bier
Salt Lake City, UT

Envy and Appreciation (June 7, 1999)

I enjoy reading the articles in my email, and while reading them I really envy the men and women who are able to have the experiences mountain climbing, backpacking, hiking, or mountain biking.

The experience of living God's creation by being in the outdoors is beyond description. There are probably millions of us who would love to have these experiences, but for various and sundry reasons we can't. But they allow us to live vicariously through reading and seeing photos of their travels.

I have had some experiences backpacking in the Grand Canyon and the Ozark Mountains, but bad knees prevent me from doing so now. Even at that, I thank God I had the privilege of seeing up close and personal a small portion of God's creation.

May God bless everyone,
Mort Stepp

My Hat Is Off! (June 2, 1999)

My hat is off. After following the Mt. Everest events and in particular the stories of the trek [and] marathon, I was quite impressed with the personal touch your writer, Cathy Tibbetts, put into the stories which made me (the computer nerd-systems analyst) feel like the stories had been written more to a level which made it interesting for me.

Looking back to see what else had developed in that part of the world, I stumbled into the story about the race called the Beast of the East. Again I found myself smiling about another great story and a team that sounds tough as nails. Great story Ms. Tibbetts, you make an ex-Navy diver want to drop the keyboard and give it a try. And congratulations Team Balance Bar for finishing what looked like a week of pure hell.

S. Thomas Cooper

Smiles (May 31, 1999)

Hello there!

I really like your web site. It is a good resource. Have a nice day!

Laura Home

Wally Berg (May 27, 1999)

Hi MountainZone,

...Just making the observation that Wally Berg sure does have tough luck with the weather on his expeditions. It wasn't too long ago that the weather prevented him from reaching Antarctica. Sorry about that, Wally, but each expedition (as he well knows I am sure) is a learning experience and an adventure whether the summit is reached or not.

Carol Reese

Remember the Beauty of his Soul... (May 26, 1999)

I feel as if I am behind in the news. I've just heard the news of Anatoli's death at Christmas time and even now, 7 months later, what a shock. I Krakauer's book as well as Anatoli's personal account of the Everest tragedy in 1996.

Anatoli was certainly a great mountaineer, the likes [of] we will not see again, but it was his soul which was pure. To risk your life for the sake of others, especially in such difficult circumstances, is the highest calling anyone can respond to. Anatoli's life is a shining example of self-sacrifice and passion. Let us remember the beauty of his soul and spirit and may he know the One who gave him life as he now rests in the mountains he loved.

Thank you, Mountain Zone, for keeping us updated on the successes and losses in the climbing world with such delicacy.

Camie Hoffman

All the Inside Stuff with Bitchin Photos (May 26, 1999)

Just want to let you know that you have the best mountain bike coverage on the net, period. VeloNews, whatever, you guys have all the inside stuff with bitchin photos. Keep up the good work.


Climbing to the Heavens (May 25, 1999)

Having just returned from an amazing trip to the Eastern Sierras to do some backcountry snowboarding, I was moved to put my overwhelming feelings down on paper. Though our climb was at half the altitude of those climbing Everest, it was nonetheless a TRIUMPH and an EPIPHANY for me and I feel so proud of myself. I simply wanted to share my experience with you all. Thanks for the inspiration you have given me through your web site.

Tanya Seamans


Climbing to the heavens
One calculated step at a time
One deliberate breath after another
A lift of the leg
A reach of the arm
Focusing not up nor down
But inside.

Climbing to the heavens
With the wind rising up to assist
The thin air so delicate and pure
Like each tiny crystal of ice
Upon which we depend to support us
In our ascent.

We appear to those below us
So far at a distance
As the tiny ladybugs upon the snowy wall we climb
Appear to us so near
Like the most insignificant of specks upon a vast white backdrop
And the feeling is tremendously humbling.

At once to feel so small and yet so present
In awe of the mountain and dwarfed by it
And with hearts so swollen
And senses so heightened in the knowledge that
The mountain has allowed us to sit atop her
To dance down her velvety slope
And has held us safe in her arms.

We have achieved a symbiosis with her.

Climbing to the heavens…
I wish I could bottle up the experience
The labor
The sweat
The exhilaration
And douse myself in it when I need refreshment
Like clear, icy runoff from snowy peaks
Peaks that offer themselves up
Dressed in snowy splendor for the enrichment of our spirits
And the exhilaration of our bodies
As we return from our ascent to the heavens.

Climbing Inspiration (May 23, 1999)

A couple is the first web site I've gotten into the 'habit' of visiting. I got hooked on the Everest pages and found much of the rest of the site equally impressive and engaging.

I'm 56 and started climbing last year with a group that went up Mt. Rainier with RIM. We trained downtown and ran by the Mountain Zone offices on Western every other afternoon on the way to the Bell Street steps. I'm heartened by the piece on Stimson Bullitt going strong at 79—means I've got at least 20 years of climbing ahead of me if I work it right....Oh yeah, I summited and loved every minute of it.

Bill Deign

Thanking Phil Borges (May 23, 1999)

Came across your Webster through AOL's Tibetan forum. Really enjoyed Phil's tribute to the legendary Tibetan cultures. Wonderful photography capturing emotions, beliefs, and cultures all within a single expression....I wish to thank you also, for your accessibility.

Pi Jai

Got Current? (May 21, 1999)

While I am not currently a climber (unless you include the 800 foot hills around La Crosse, WI), I am drawn to the sport of mountaineering and find your web site absolutely fascinating. Hearing the dispatches from Everest and Denali and going through the archives has kept me up late at night trying to 'get current.'

I am extremely impressed with the way you are able to put us in touch with the excitement. Keep up the outstanding work. Best wishes to the Denali team with Wally Berg and thanks to the Simonson team on Everest for bringing history alive.

Knut Brye
La Crosse, WI

The Many Things They Were Learning... (May 20, 1999)

I want to thank you for your site. Today I took my 4/5th grade students, all of whom have a learning disability in reading, to our computer lab to explore your site.

We had read a book about Everest, talked about the Mallory and Irvine research, and learned many vocabulary words ahead of time. Still, I anticipated they would look at the pictures online and be finished....How wrong I was.

The students slogged through paragraph after paragraph, sharing with me the many things they were learning. The purpose of your site may not be to encourage children to read, but it certainly did just that today!

Thanks again,
Linda Coale

Just a Short 'EM' (May 19, 1999)

I, being an avid backpack, hiker, and just an all around outdoor enthusiast for over 30 years, have been enjoying your web site—the verbiage, trek in general, and especially the pictures. You should have invited me.

Kudos to the team!

Fran in Pa. (May 19, 1999)

This is absolutely the best, most interesting, exciting, and informative site I have found on the web....You have done a very good job, and I thank you.


The Highest Thing in South Florida is the Landfill (May 18, 1999)

I love is absolutely my favorite web site! I check in first thing in the morning and as soon as I get home from work. I feel like I know everyone on all the expeditions.

I'm not much of a mountaineer—the highest thing in south Florida is the landfill. I've climbed Mt. Washington in New Hampshire and most of the 4000' peaks in New England. Mt. Everest is totally a dream for me...but I love to dream!!!

Thanks a million!

NICE SITE!!! (May 13, 1999)

I'm trying to get better about telling people when they've done a good job. After finding your web site, I just had to write and let you know that it's one of the better ones out there. You've done an excellent job.

As an amateur photographer, I appreciate the section on photography; as a graphic artist and 'web site developer,' I found the layout and the artwork very well done; and as a former 'mountain boy' from western Colorado (who's now stuck in the city) you really made me homesick!


Blown Away (May 13, 1999)

I just found your site about a week ago and was blown away. I can't tell you how much I have enjoyed following the Everest Expedition as well as Ed V.'s. Being from Alabama—we don't get a whole lot of 'mountain news.' Keep up the good work.

Paul C.

Ed's Climbs (May 12, 1999)


Just a short note to let you guys know that your coverage of Ed's climbs were great. I kept up with his adventure on a daily basis and really enjoyed it.

Keep up the great site,
Bruce Yoshida
Nanaimo, BC, Canada

Climbing Pages (May 12, 1999)

I am a climber, and your climbing pages are great. Without a question you are my favorite web site...incredible, awesome...keep up the good work.

Thank you,
Robert Sagerman

From Slovakia (May 10, 1999)


I am from Slovakia and that what you doing on Everest is amazing. I'll see more pictures from this expedition.

Thank you!!!!
Yours, Mathew

And It Is Cool (May 8, 1999)

I love Mt. Everest, and it is cool.

From Aaron, age 6

Thank You (May 7, 1999)

I just wanted to express my thanks for this year's wonderful expeditions and your wonderful and generous coverage. Your site is a pleasure to navigate, and the streaming video and daily dispatches are really enjoyable. I don't know that I will ever climb Everest myself, but getting so close to the great peak and learning more about the rigors of 8K climbs is really special to me.

Best regards,
Lee Ann Summers

Mallory Find (May 7, 1999)

Just want to thank you at Mountain Zone for all the great information you have made available to us regarding the Mallory & Irvine Expedition and the finding of Mallory's remains on Everest. I collect and read old mountaineering books, and the climbs and early explorations by those brave men in the 1920s and 1930s were outstanding.

Thanks again for the great job you do. I visit your web site daily.

What Shall Prevail? (May 5, 1999)

This is truly awesome stuff, folks. Truly awesome. Great layout and use of available web technologies—good hybrid of technologies. The dispatches are unbelievable stuff—beyond anything fiction, just stunning.

You are a pretty well-kept secret. I hope you can cover the costs and flourish. This is the kind of stuff that contributes to the greatness of the Internet, versus the pure shit which prevails.


An Inspiration to Us All (May 4, 1999)

Just a quick note of thanks to Mountain Zone for allowing us mere mortals to follow the adventures of those with a truly soaring spirit, who have the courage, stamina, and more importantly, the incredible will to attempt to summit Mt. Everest.

The dispatches, photography, and 'motion pictures' give all of us an opportunity to share in the excitement of reaching the summit—not diminishing the extraordinary journey along the way—the Khumbu Icefall, the Hillary Step, the majesty of the Lhotse Face.

The climbers you follow are heroes of our age! Their strength of spirit should serve as an inspiration to us all.

Paul W. Ehrfurth

Fantastic Page in History (May 4, 1999)

I just want to convey my best wishes for the summit bid to Pete and Bill on the south side, although they may already be there by now....

I also would like to congratulate Eric's team on the north side on such a tremendous find! It has been exciting following this, and I look forward to more news as they continue. Rest up guys! What a fantastic page in history you are writing.

With all of the dispatches that have been sent, I feel as though I know these guys personally, and I anxiously await each new update.

And even more congratulations go out to Ed Viesturs and Veikka Gustafsson for their completion of summitting both Manaslu and Dhaulagiri!!! Wow! I'm thrilled for them! Only two more left, Ed. Best of luck to you. Enjoy the celebration!

Carol Croft

Thanks! (May 4, 1999)

Thanks for excellent reports of the expedition. Keep safe!

Chester, England

One Die-Hard Fan (May 2, 1999) To whom it may concern,

I absolutely LOVE your web site. I am fascinated with the sport of mountaineering and enjoy being able to go online and see everything that is happening in the Himalayas. Keep rockin'. You guys do a GREAT JOB!

p.s. My favorite are the pics of Everest!!!!!!!!

Greg Schonauer

A Thrill to Read (April 28, 1999)


You are excellent!! What more can I say? Your site is a thrill to read—inspirational, informative...just plain excellent! Keep up the good work! I have told many people to plug into this site, so I hope this helps to keep you going!

Christa Rollins
London, UK

Color, Composition, Lighting, and Stop-Action (April 28, 1999)

Dear Stephen (Matera):

Thanks so much for an enjoyable break in the usual trite jokes, babble, and boring content on the Internet these days. Especially after the mind-numbing news out of Colorado and the disheartening 'sick joke' reactions by so many other high school students across the country. Your photo gallery was a joy to behold. The color, composition, lighting, and stop-action were all so superb.

I am a former U.S. Navy Photographer who has pretty much dropped out of the pursuit of that 'just perfect' shot. The only shots I take now are the usual ones of grandchildren, etc., with a lazy man's 'point and shoot' 35mm. I must admit that your work stirred in me the old feelings to go at it again like I did years past when Pres. Truman and then Gen. Eisenhower were some of my Navy news assignments. Wish I could send some now historical, but alas, 'official' Navy photos, which I would love to have now.

Much thanks and appreciation to see work as it should be done.

Charley Cronin

My Poseur Status will be Short-Lived (April 25, 1999)

I was prompted to write because I was so impressed with your web site. Unfortunately, the appeal is mostly attributed to the fact that I am a wanna be (though we are spenders). The streaming video is evidence enough of the truly ideal, targeted content that will make a niche markets profitable on the web. Are you public by the way?

The individuals who have enabled themselves the opportunity and experience to attempt to perform feats even close to the magnificence of the ones I wish to attempt, don't live lives that conform to reality. As soon as I unload this expansive dump to a motivated developer, I'll have my chance too. Predictably, I will be very well-equipped, but my poseur status will be short-lived. Can I translate unemployed company man ambition into freestyle? I'm ready to live.

Go ahead, laugh

Everest 1999 (April 24, 1999)

Dear MountainZone,

Thanks for providing the coverage of the Everest 1999 expeditions. To think that we're in touch with a group of people, not only on the other side of the world, but also 23,000 feet up a mountain is fantastic. Wow! Send my thanks and greetings to Athans and Simonson.

Much good luck to the mountain teams,
Jeff Rush

Mountain Bike World Cup Coverage (April 23, 1999)

Dear Editor:

I don't know how you cover so many interesting subjects and cover them so well. Anyway, I wanted to express my gratitude for your excellent coverage of the cross-country World Cup mountain bike races. I always head to to get a true unbiased account that, quite frankly, is not all that easy to get elsewhere.

I am the father of a prominent female rider who is not American (I fortunately have dual citizenship and live in Denver). Most American sites show their pride too much and forget about what actually happened with other riders. MountainZone is the best. You treat it as an international sport and provide us with the simple facts. Thanks, I really appreciate it.

Keep up the good work,
Hank Sydor

Great Coverage (April 23, 1999)

As an old climber myself, I am enjoying these pieces. Keep up the good work.

I've never been over 19,000 feet, and I am certain that acclimatization, pulmonary and cerebral edema are constant worries. My best to the team.

George R. O'Connor
Parkville, Missouri

Congratulations! (April 23, 1999)

Congratulations Ed Viesturs on your successful summit of Manaslu!! Good for you!! I have followed your daily progress and dispatches and have enjoyed them very much. Can't thank you enough for sharing your experience with us. You can't know what a thrill it is for us 'wanna be's'. I...truly enjoyed your dispatches and appreciate you taking the time and effort to share with the world some of what you were experiencing. Best of luck with your climb on Dhaulagiri—God speed!

A fan from Bend, Oregon

Congratulations Steady Eddie! (April 22, 1999)

I doubt you will see this, but congratulations Steady Eddie. I followed your expedition everyday on Every day that there wasn't a transmission from you I would get a little worried, but I remembered what you said: "I don't go looking for danger. I go looking for challenges."

Congratulations and good luck on Dhaulagiri.


To Each His Own (April 21, 1999)

I am writing in response to a letter written by Dlntbn on 24 Mar. 99. I don't feel it is appropriate to judge others for their choices in life. The people that climb and the expedition leaders that climb as a career do so because it is what is right for them.

How is what they do any different than what a cop or fire fighter (or any number of other dangerous professions) does for a living? Climbing is their calling as is any other profession or passion for any other person in the world. It's something that's "inside". Something that one cannot necessarily put into words for another. They love their families I'm sure as much as the next guy, but they do what they do because it's who they are and what's inside. It's what makes us our own person.

I think one should try to see through another's eyes sometimes, because it is there that one may see more of what's out there . Also think about where we'd be today if it weren't for a few people doing a few dangerous things to better themselves and the world we live in—astronauts, explorers, etc. I don't think anyone has the right to judge others for what it is they feel they must do. "To Each His Own."

The Keiths

Everest Marathon (April 20, 1999)

Namaste guys,

I just love It makes me feel as if I'm back in Nepal again. (So does arguing with my husband, who is from Nepal...)

Enjoyed Cathy Tibbetts' story about the Everest Marathon very much. It may have been exhausting, but Cathy looks healthier and more beautiful in her "after" picture than she did "before".

I would like to add to her advice about bringing your own antibiotics and other medications. You can get all that stuff for a few rupees at any pharmacy in Kathmandu. It spares you the humongous drag of getting prescriptions from your doctor here in the States (and doctors here just hate giving out prescriptions for antibiotics, in case you haven't noticed). You can get Tylenol with codeine—expensive here, el cheapo in Thamel, and good to have on hand for those nasty coughs; most decongestants (which really are no match for the major mucus factory your head will become, trust me on this); amoxycillin; erythromycin; worm pills; and any other drug your paranoia requires.

Most of these drugs are made in India, and you should check the packets for the expiration dates to make sure they haven't been sitting around longer than they should have. But I've found that they work. Actually, I sometimes ask visiting Lamas to bring a new supply to me in New York, rather than spend $125 to hang around my doctor's office for three hours when I have a sore throat.

Also, it would have been nice to see pictures of the other Nepalis who finished the marathon. One gets sick of hearing all the Westerners' names mentioned followed by: "and seven Sherpas". Bhujnuhunchha?


Manaslu (April 19, 1999)


Thanks for the audio reports from Ed Viesturs on Manaslu. What a thrill it is to be able to "share" this great experience. I have written to you before, when Chris Boskoff was on Makalu last year. I am a retired (tired) mountaineer. I understand Chris Boskoff is going to try Everest pretty soon. She is training about 15 miles from where I live, on Mt. Si in the Cascades. I will be watching her attempt on the Big One. Thanks again for providing this great service.


Everest web site (April 19, 1999)

What an outstanding web site. I am so glad I found it.

I work at a bookstore and I can't tell you how many copies of Into Thin Air I have persuaded people to buy since reading the original magazine article by Jon Krakauer. I have closely followed the climbs before and since then and was incredibly delighted to find this site through another link, not even associated with climbing.

I found this sight to be so interesting, visually stimulating, and I will definitely will be making frequent stops at this now-bookmarked spot.

Keep up the good work, and thanks so much.

Laura Ellegard

Cool Site (April 6, 1999)

You guys have a pretty cool web site goin there. I was entertained by the article regarding the Lake Chelan ride, I'm gonna have to check it out. Now that I know that rangers and gendarmes are swarming the area, I may have to look into camouflage mountain biking attire... Thanks for the warning! I look forward to more reviews on the local trails in WA. as well as more sun!

Pete Kim

Altai Ski/Snowboard Expedition (April 1, 1999)

Dear Mountain Zone,

I just can't tell you how much I treasure being able to go onto your web site everyday and learn about my sister, Kit Katzenbach, on her expedition to Altai. To know that they are all ok and enjoying their trip means more than you know to me and my entire family. My next task is to figure out the media player so I can hear their voices! Thank you again - it is a wonderful service. And if you have communication with the group, please tell Kit that we all say hi!

Ann Katzenbach Harris
Pasadena, CA

Tweak Freak (April 1, 1999)

I appreciate the game. There's no better way to learn snowboarding terminology than being able to implement it yourself by playing the game. Thanks for the education. Rob

About Altai (April 1, 1999)


I have to say that first descent from Mt. Belukha already made! It was in 1997 and it has made Russian guy. If you are interested it I can provide you more information about that event because the organizer of that expedition was my friend Maxim Ivanov.

Maxim Malanchuk

Thanks for the email. I am very interested in finding out more about the earlier Russian ski expedition you are talking about. Please send me whatever you've got.

More about first ever made descent from Mt. Belukha. It was at 22-24 of august 1996. In the expedition took part: Maxim Ivanov, Igor Scherbakov and Dmitry Schitov.

The route of ascent: Tomsky hut, Berelsky pass, Mensu glacier, south-west ridge of Mt. Belukha (East).

There was difficult whether condition so Igor Scherbacov refused from attempt in the middle of glacier. Maxim Ivanov ( expedition leader) felt into avalanche, and can't continue ascent (it was near bergschrund) but Dmitry Schitov rich the summit and ski down at the south-west ridge. I was there that time, and summited Mt. Belukha. It seems to me, that august is more suitable to ski in Altai than march or even April. There are a lot of snow in august, I mean fresh snow.

Very interesting for attempt to ski on "bottle" (butilka) route. It's on north face of Mt. Belukha. 55-60 degrees, snow-ice "sand-watch" narrow in the middle. Scot Schidt will tell you about it. We planning to try it some day. I mean " X-mania" Russian extreme TV . I take part in that matter. In our plans this year first attempt to descent from Mt. Ushba (central Caucasus). You can find that peak in every Caucasus photo album. If you are interested to co-operate in this project welcome!

Nice to see you interest in Russia!

How I found you (March 31, 1999)

Found you through Juno.
Love your page and products


Helmets (March 26, 1999)

I couldn't help but notice your article on helmets had a real "marketing" angle to it. The same was true when SkiZine's web site threw together a quick (Boeri promoting) article which made strong arguments for everyday skiers to go and invest in this valuable piece of protection. It was no coincidence their article was on the web within a week of the Bono / Kennedy tragedies. A marketing coup if you ask me. As the wall Street Journal related the helmet issue (based on significant research by a national skiing safety expert) after 12 miles per hour they are all but useless in preventing head trauma. Every article I've seen on helmets seem to describe those who don't wear one as mentally challenged in not understanding the benefits. If the REAL facts on skiing safety, head trauma statistics, helmet impact strength, the 12 mph limitation were brought out, I'd say we're being given information. In the context most articles are written, they're pure advertising hyperbole with one! objective in mind.....SELL HELMETS! Thanks for the opportunity to express my observation.

Zane Russell

Everest (March 24, 1999)

I think and I am also agreeing with a previous writer (which is posted in your site) that Jon Krakauer was in no position to have judged Anatoli Bookreev. I have recently read his book, Into Thin Air, and have noticed that someone could have easily said something about Jon when during the storm in 1996 J. K. played a role in the death of Andy Harris. I don't think he should have said anything about Bookreev. But I do think that people shouldn't judge Krakauer either unless they can put themselves in their places and the tragedy they went through in '96, losing half their team including the guides, Rob Hall (Adventure Consultants) and Scott Fischer (Mountain Madness).


Climbing (March 24, 1999)

We've all heard the "because it is there" thing, but that seems like such a wasteful, stupid reason for people with families to put themselves in danger. The only hero in the Makalu Gau story was the helicopter pilot who tried to save as many of the poor mentally deficient fools as he could. In addition, I think people who are in the business, however financially rewarding, of taking advantage of these poor mentally deficient fools by "leading" them to their death (or looking for ones who have already died!?!?) have a lot to pay for in the next life.

Best wishes

Climb/Into Thin Air (March 23, 1999)

To put it bluntly Jon Krakauer absolutely shits me! and what makes it worse is I have never met him. The only thing I know about him is what he has written , and peoples rebuttals about what he has written about them.

I have never met Anatoli Boukreev either but I think he is one hell of a man and mountaineer.

Krakauer seems hell bent on destroying Anatoli's name and reputation with fiction and inaccuracies.

How can Krakauer challenge Anatoli's state of mind against his own on the mountain? Who was the one laying in his tent while other people were outside dying? (Krakauer)

Krakauer claims that because Anatoli climbed without oxygen he made bad decisions, this seems to be the basis to his argument. To me it's clear that because Anatoli didn't use supplementary oxygen, he was able to keep a clear mind and assist those that needed it most.

I know happened that day is now well into the past, but it just saddens me that Krakauer will always have the last word on this and that Anatoli cannot respond from his icy grave.

I don't know why Krakauer persued Anatoli with such vengence. What is it that he's trying to accomplish?

Maybe Krakauer is trying to ease his own conscious for his attribution to the disaster that day.

Robert Pirie
Queensland, Australia

Metric Please (March 23, 1999)

Your site is absolutely wonderful. I re-live my visit to Nepal and the mountains every time I visit the Mountain Zone.

Just one little wish: please give us elevations and peak heights in meters (as well as in feet for those who relate to that system) Nepal is a metric country and so is a huge area of the world 'zoning' in on your site.

The interviews are precious! Keep up the good work! Thank you!


The Climb (March 22, 1999)

The Mountain Zone,
I had just finished reading The Climb, and that day my friend and backcountry ski partner told me of Anatoli`s death on Annapurna. I was shocked and left with a hollow feeling, because he was the one person I would have wanted along in the "death zone". I don`t think there is any body else who could do what Anatoli was able to at 26,000 feet in a white out. I think that John Krakauer`s hypoxic memories will be unable to stand up to the truth about the one man who was thinking and acting rationally on summit day /night on May of 1996. High altitude climbing has lost a giant of a man , but his legend will live on. Thanks for the open forum.

Tim Sharp

Wrist protectors (March 19, 1999)

Regarding the doctors' comment that the industry needs to advocate wrist protectors for snowboarders. Why? People need to make their own decisions and also need to take responsibility for their actions. It is quite obvious that there are certain risks associated with snowboarding and many other active sports. It is also quite obvious that certain people should confine their activities to eating potato chips and watching TV. It is not society's responsibility or the governments to save stupid people from themselves or to guide educated people that choose to take certain risks. There are inherent risks associated with many sports and it is the participants responsibility to assess those risks and act accordingly. You could also sustain a head injury, a shoulder injury, or a leg injury while snowoarding or while participating in a plethora of other activities. Should the industry also advocate protective devices to prevent these injuries? Let people that lack a grasp for the obvious make mistakes and pay for them.

Future generations will thank us.
Sean M. Courage

Your site (March 18, 1999)

Hi. I just stumbled across your site and was extremely impressed. There are lots of good climbing sites out there, but I have never encountered one with such a rich explanation of the cultural side of expeditions. I especially enjoyed the link on Tibetan Culture and Buddhism. Keep up the good work. I look forward to the upcoming cybercast of the Everest climb.

Dave Berger

Keep up the good work (March 17, 1999)

I actually discovered your web site after my trip to Nepal (trekking in the Annapurna Region), and I have checked up regularly on it ever since. I'm really looking forward to your coverage on the upcoming Everest season.

Keep up the good work, and keep informing us armchair climbers,

Yours sincerely,

Erik Meijerink
The Netherlands

Everest 98 - money on the mountain (March 17, 1999)

Dear Mountainzone Editor,
A few matters reported in Mountainzone's Everest 98 coverage deserve clarifying. As a serious illness prevented me from writing as speedily as I should have, I am writing this now, on the start of the Spring Everest climbing season.

I take exception to your bulletins which describe the retrieval of the Trimble GPS unit from near the summit of Everest in May 1998.

The truth of the matter is that Wally Berg, the head of the scientific expedition, was responsible for bribing Dorje Phulilie Sherpa ( then in my employ ) with a large US$ sum to retrieve the device when there were willing and able members in his own team to do so. Dorje found the temptation to great to resist and retrieved the device on the day of our team's successful summit push ( May 25th ), possibly distracting him from his paid duties on that day.

This was not a gentlemanly thing to do and only detracted from the overall lofty scientific and other goals set by Bradford Washburn.

Yours faithfully,
David Lim
Singapore Everest Expedition 1998

Safety Equipment (March 14, 1999)

I am writing to address what seems to be a lack of advocation for wrist guards in snowboarding; I am 30 years old and I just suffered a severe break of my left wrist that required percutaneous pinning. I am a doctor and this has put a serious cramp in my practice productivity.

I have never seen any advocation of wrist guards, nor any riders wearing them, whether it be beginners or extreme riders on the 1/2 pipe. My accident took place at a very low speed, so I'm sure there are plenty out there at higher risk than me. I think the sport needs to look at this issue more closely and awareness of this risk should be brought to the sports participants.

Dr. Patrick M Felton

'96 Everest Climb (March 13, 1999)

My brother climbs extensively, and I've recently become interested in Everest, so I've read 'Into Thin Air', 'The Climb', as well as anything else I could get my hands on regarding the courageous men & women who have summited & attempted Everest.

I'll say this: I am disgusted with Jon Krakauer. He was obviously incredibly jealous of Anatoli Boukreev's climbing ability, and felt that, to assure his own self-deluded superiority, he should malign the Russian climber's performance on Everest in May '96. Maybe it was just greed. Maybe JK was so obsessed with getting his book out and reaping the financial rewards, that he stepped all over people far braver than he could ever dream of being. He's hardly in a position to have judged Anatoli Boukreev.

Chris Reid

Just got out of the Army (March 11, 1999)

Hey your site kicks some ass!! I just got out of the army and moved back to AZ and I also just found your site. I've been into the mountain thing for about four years now. Boarding and climbing and all sort of stupid army s**t and well I love it. I'm a huge fan of Barrett Christy and I was hoping if you could point me in the direction of the biggest picute on the planet of her doing her thing in the air with a board busting a mad air or something. HELP ME OUT, any way thanks for the time and keep up the good work and tell Snowbowl in AZ they suck for closing early this year.

Thanks, later,
Love Irish

Makalu Gau's story is pathetic (March 8, 1999)

I'm frankly a bit disappointed in MountainZone for its use of the Gau story. This man represents all that is trashy and dangerous about the current fascination with mountaineering. He is almost completely incompetent and repeatedly endangered the lives of others, consumed by some almost megalomanic sense of purpose. His expensive rescue off Denali a season or so before the Everest debacle is case in point.

While I believe that all human beings deserve respect, I also think that they do not deserve false praise for their idiocy. Krakauer's book is more than enough; panegyrics for Mr. Gau are out of place and really exploit what is a beautiful endeavor/sport.

So shame on you. And shame on us for consuming the pathetic antics of these clumsy men who would be Gods for the price of climbing gear and a permit. Long live Hollywood in California; let's keep it out of the mountains.

Sam Brown
An avid amateur mountaineer

Editor's Note

Sam Brown,
Thanks for your note regarding "Makalu" Gau.

Clearly, we are aware that many climbers share your views. However, regardless of his abilitites as a climber, Gau played a role in one of the most infamous mountaineering tragedies of all time. It was in that context that we reported his take on the events of May 10, 1996.

Snowboard Video Reviews! (You forgot some info!) (March 8, 1999)

Well, this is basically about the KaPow snowboard video that you gave 4 snowflakes for. You didn't mention ANYWHERE that it is available on _DVD_ with Dolby Digital 5.1 (6 seperate channels of sound!) audio for music! This thing is the best i've ever seen, interactive menus, and TWO BONUS videos are included with it as well! Lots of extras on here, it cost me $25 from a local SunCoast store. Just thought you should let some of the video freaks know that their fav Snowboard videos are starting to come out on the best digital video format ever created!

Peace! Thanks for the awesome site!

Interview with Makalu Gau (March 8, 1999)

Hi Zoners,
In the interview with Makalu Gau, I saw the following "On May 10th, 1996 at approximately 3:00 pm, Makalu Gau became the first Taiwanese to summit Mt. Everest.". Actually it is not true!

The first Taiwanese to summit Mt. Everest successfully is in 1993 from northern route at Tibet, and two years later, in 1995, a man and a woman from Taiwan also summit Everest from northern side. They all returned safely. Makalu Gau should know that fact, I do not know why he said he is the first one?

Charlie Huang / Taipei, Taiwan

Makalu Gau Story (March 2, 1999)

Hi, MountainZone folks,
That story by Jane Bromet on Makalu Gau was a zinger. What made it so real was the fact she was there and able to tell the story of his Everest climb so well. Her one-on-one interview with Gau authenticates his story and made it real to us flatlanders. Let's hear some more of her experiences!

Robert Randall

Kudos (March 2, 1999)

I've got to tell you - Your site is a lot better than the last time I looked at it. I really appreciate the freesking stuff; the competition results, pictures, stories - all of it. Keep it up.


Makalu Gau (March 2, 1999)

I only know about Makalu Gau, is what I have read, and none of it has been good. It is clowns like him that give mountaineers the reputation for recklessness that most of them don't deserve. His actions on Denali before 96 are proof of this. The only good that came of his episode is that he can't climb anymore. One less dangerous rescue that will have to be performed. If he writes a book about the experience, every damn penny he makes should go to the REAL climbers who were able to save his sorry ass.


Letter to the Editor (March 1, 1999)

Dear Editor:

I would just like to say that I really enjoyed the article "Busted at Pot Peak"! It was so funny. Course it really sucks to be busted by cops out in the middle of nowhere! In fact it really pisses me off because I can relate to it! Like once me and about 6 other friends were skateboarding through the streets of Vancouver and never got hasseled by security or cops the entire day. This is Very VERY unusual! Then we go home to our 'skatepark' by the Ladner Leisure Center and about 3 cop cars pull up next to our car and gives us a $50.00 fine for having a burnt out tail lite, and told us our car was dangerous to the public because of this! Holy s**t I felt so violated! They also asked us to leave the park because they said we were being a pain to everyone else (who we knew!)...
Cops suck. They just discriminate those who just want to have fun. I think you should get about 100 or more people to go back to Pot Peak and just bike all over the damn place(when it's closed) ha ha ha!


TinaFan14 (February 27, 1999)

Hey Guys,

My name is Dan Schipper. I'm fourteen and am considered a highly advanced rider. Ever since I began boarding 5 years ago, I've looked for inspiring things or people to keep me going. That's when I heard of "THE Tina Basich". For the past five years I have learned to ride greens, pulling brodeos and frontflips. My dream of one day meeting her finally came true last year, third session at HCSC(High Cascade Snowboard Camp).

It was my last day there and I was having a conversation with Mike Basich. All of a sudden I turned to my left and said, "Hey Mike, That's your sister isn't it? " He was like, "Oh yeah there she is, why?" I was shocked. I was speechless. He threw a snowball up at her and I was still in too much shock to speek. I finally worked up enough nerve to go up and talk to her. I walked over and was like, hey whats up, I'm a huge fan of yours, I was like oh bye the way, thanks, she was like for what? Well in english we have writing stuff all the time and you're the subject of just about every story. And hey I got an A. She was like cool, wanna take a picture, I was like sure. So when I went up to her and had my friend take the picture she gave me a big hug. I was like damn this is soooo cool. So we were talking and all and rode for a little while and thats it. I just wanted to show people throught this letter how cool, amazing, and just over all special Tina Basich has been to me personally and with my riding. Oh and I wanna say what's up to the best coach at HCSC, Jason Mcalister. Well anyway, thanks again and if you get a chance please send this out to Tina.

Dan Schipper

You must come to me and carry up (myself) to the summit
(February 26, 1999)

I'll wish to sing in the summit...Please, Do It.
My name is Francisco, you come to me.
It do not care; is an's come any where... bye bye.

Francisco Jose Upegui Puyo

Snow B (February 14, 1999)



Sugarbowl Woes (February 11, 1999)

On Wednesday February 10, Northern California skiers woke up to arguably the most incredible ski conditions of the decade - several feet of powder, no wind and clear blue skies. Nothing could stand in the way of enjoying these awesome conditions, unless you were one of the unfortunate souls wearing a Sugarbowl lift ticket. Instead, we were plagued by lift breakdowns (Judah), constant stops (Silverbelt - 8 times from bottom to top, 2 runs in a row), half the mountain closed (Disney opened at 11:30 and Crows Nest still had snow on the chairs at Noon). For those unfamiliar with Sugarbowl, those 4 chairs comprise 90% of the mountain. In 90 minutes I was able to ski 3 runs for a total of less than 4,000 feet of vertical. Pretty pathetic especially when you consider Sugarbowl's lift ticket price of $45 - the same price as nearby resorts like Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows. Wednesdays at Sugarbowl are 2-for-1, but this Wednesday was a day you wished you had paid the full price elsewhere; for at least you would have been able to enjoy the day for what it could have been.

When Sugarbowl staff was confronted with the situation, skiers was met with denial and excuses. Lift operators had no idea when the mountain was going to open. I heard "Well its only half price today", "We had 10 feet of snow last night". However, I stayed Tuesday night at the lodge and there were stars shining at 7pm. The sentiment among fellow skiers waiting for hours in the Disney line was there was something very wrong going on; Why weren't the Disney and Crows Nest chairs open at 9am, 10am or 11am? Most resorts are preparing for the next day at night, but obviously this was not the case at Sugarbowl as we observed the snowcat digging out the Disney lift towers at noon, and remembering the parking jam an hour earlier as the Judah lot was being plowed.

A resort's code of honor should be to provide the best possible skiing experience to its customers. With this in mind, Sugarbowl should have simply closed its doors and encouraged skiers to keep driving.

Mike Grant

Avalanche Story (February 5, 1999)

Thank you to Paul Baugher for his clear and forceful article on avalanches. I live in Canmore, have skied for years in the backcountry, have read up on the subject but this article is short, informed and compelling. I will copy it to hand round.

Barbara Belyea
Dept of English, University of Calgary

The Rest of Us (February 3, 1999)


I read the story about climbing in the Wind Rivers today. I think that Riley Morton's ability and experience represents the majority of climbers around the country. It's great that a climber of moderate ability (at least his modesty shines brighter than his ego) gets publication space on your web site. I find it more interesting than reading about the latest 40 day, 3,000 pitch, 5.15 climb in Greenland or Madagascar.

Thanks and keep up the good work,

Cascade Volcanoes use limits (January 28, 1999)

Dear Sirs,

I am writing you to convey to your readers my disgust with current and proposed USFS action that would severly limit access to many popular climbs here in the Pacific Northwest.

In its most recent proposals, The Forest Service is putting forth a plan that would restrict climbers on The South Route of Mt Hood to only 25 per day! This in spite of the FS's own admission that the number of climbers on this route has remained virtually unchanged since the turn of the century, (at over 200/day on sunny weekends) and thier own assessment that environmental damage has been minimal.

The "solitude" provisions of The Wilderness Act seem to be thier sole reason for wanting to adopt these draconian measures.

To myself, a climber for over 20 years, it seems that the very organizations I have supported for so long, mainly The Sierra Club and The Wilderness Society, have turned against one of thier own in pressing The Forest Service in this direction. ( These are the same groups that called for a ban on fixed anchors in all wilderness areas)

"Elitist" is such an over used word, but I can think of no other adjective that adequately describes the so called "purists" who care so much about solitude that they want it imposed on everyone. No one climbs the south side of Mt Hood expecting to find solitude.

Now, novice climbers denied thier permit to climb the easiest route up Mt Hood will no doubt attempt more difficult routes beyond thier abilities to complete safely. Or they might push on in bad weather knowing this may be thier only opportunity to summit, as another permit might not be obtainable.

I never thought I'd be asking this...but is it time to re-write The Wilderness Act and get rid of these "solitude" provisions?


Brian Rybolt
Fircrest WA

Re: Hans Prosl (January 27, 1999)

Dear Editor

I want to clarify my note re: Hans and killing myself.

It's not that I don't like Hans or his writing, its simply a case of extreme jealously emanating from every pore of my skyscraper locked body in mid-town Manhattan.

Darren Cross

P.S. I probably won't kill myself so don't worry about it

Hans Prosl (January 27, 1999)

Dear Hans

If I have to read anymore articles written by you from Tahoe I'm going to kill myself.
If I have to read anymore articles written by you from Crested Butte, I'm going to to kill myself.

Darren Cross

Mauna Loa (January 27, 1999)

I enjoyed the story of the grueling trip to Madame Pele's home. It's fortunate that he didn't meet anyone coming up the other side. The South Trail is a day-hike to the summit. It starts at 11,000 feet at the parking lot of the weather station. A paved road leads to it, no need for 4-wheel drive.

We drove up from Kailua-Kona after work on Friday and spent the night there. That acclimatization seems to be sufficient for avoiding altitude sickness ( we've done the same on Mauna Kea where the parking lot is at 9,000 feet). We stepped off at 0730 and reached the crater rim at 1100. Weather was closing in so we took a break and headed down, getting home for supper. Amen to his comment on a'a and boots; the locals tell people to wear an old pair and kiss them goodbye afterward. Thanks for the interesting stories of hiking, etc.

Gene Dixon

Editor's Note:
Last time we checked, the author of the story was decidedly female.

Compliment (January 22, 1999)

What a great web site! Makes me want to start climbing.

Al Nagel

Ski together, Stay together (January 22, 1999)

I met my husband on the ski slopes. He asked how he could get a date and I answered, " keep up for a day" and he did. Not only that but I had to keep up with him! So, I married the guy. Each year we ski instruct together and travel to Jackson Hole, Wyoming for a week of skiing adventures together. This February is our Honey-moon so we'll be there for 15 days. We love your videos and in hot, depressing July and August we pull them out along with our ski boots and spend the weekend talking about when the first snowfall in Michigan will be. It would be nice to have our one year anniversary at Mike Wiegele's Resort in Blue River, British Columbia or be able to actually drive out to Jackson Hole in the Nissan Pathfinder so wish us luck in the contest. Again thanks so much for the videos! They keep us geared up for our ski trips that we scrounge for every year. Maybe someday we'll for-go the trip and buy a house but for now life is an adventure and the greatest adventures are on the snow-covered steeps each winter...

Amy Weiland

More about Peru (January 18, 1999)

I found your Peru Trek story very interesting. Too bad A. Patrick left his gear unattended. Not even in the U.S, with possibly the exception of Alaska, is a climbers gear or food safe.

ALWAYS be sure of a price for sevices ahead of time and stick to your guns!Tourists are viewed as being extremley wealthy (regardless If your a poor climbing bum!), because you can afford a plane ticket. The hill people work very hard for so little. The temptation of all "Your unattended stuff" is overwhelming to them.

The rule is Haggle,haggle,Haggle.The price you pay will affect the next guy.Dont agree to the first price, take your time play the game.

Eduardo Figueroa is not from N.Y.!!!! Ive known him and his family for 12 years, definately Uno Peruano!!!

Places to stay in Huaraz. Look around, gone are the days of cold showers after weeks in the hills. Many great Hostals can be found for 10 soles per person a night. With HOT water 24 hours a day. Many advertise hot water, but few truly provide it without hassle. Remenber, gas and electricity are expensive even by our standards. Look at a room, check the hot water before you agree and pay, that's typical.

Lima is a rapidly expanding cosmopolitan city. Like any other, there are incredible neighborhoods to stay in such as Miraflores and San Isidro. These suburbs have all the amenities you could want. Hotels, Pension's(bed and breakfast), at all price ranges($4-$120,per night). Incredible restaurants, the best supermarkets in the world. Central Lima is great to see the Old Colonial aspects, but not a good impression of Lima.

BRING YOUR ATM CARD. ATM's are everywhere, travelers checks are more difficult to change. Not all banks accept them, they also charge a premium as much as $6 per $100.

Peru is a great place for all forms of tavellers,take your time and have fun!!

Brett Wolf

Year in Review Page (January 18, 1999)

The Multi Freakin Media Page for Everest is MOST excellent. God I love to hear those roosters crow in the bazaar!

Deke Smith

Keep it going (January 15, 1999)

I just love your site. Out of all the sites that I visit on a daily basis yours is one that is returned to again and again.

Much success, keep it going,
Andrew C. Kennedy

A Big Thanks! (January 10, 1999)

Dear Editor,

Just a quick note to express my sincere appreciation for your web site. Our good family friend Bob Hempstead (Uncle Bob to our children) in currently on the Antartica expedition. Your web site has allowed our family to follow the expedition. As we always get a spectacular and educational slide show from Bob we are truly enjoying checking in each day to follow Bob and it has also enriched our family prayer time. Each night we check the site for updated news and then pray accordingly. Thank you for your time, effort and expense invoved in bringing "Uncle Bob's" expedition to our home. Thank you for enriching our lives.

The Straub Family
Tim, Dee-Dee, Dane, Dillen and Darcy

More Beautiful Places (January 9, 1999)


I found your site through the official outdoors home page for Washington. They've got useful sites listed there and yours caught my eye because of the "live mountain reports" comment. is a great site! Could we please see more beautiful places in the Washington state area?


Antarctica Expedition (January 8, 1999)

I am new to your site and I am fascinated to hear about Mr. Berg's ongoing travels . Is it possible to e-mail the team? If so, what is their address? Thank you for the great site and please continue the great coverage of this expedition. It provides me with hope that I can leave the Hollyweird scene someday and get on with the real adventures in life.

Very truly yours,

Re: Riding High in Whistler and an Avalanche (January 7, 1999)


What planet are you from, and do I know you? I am currently living in Western NYS and have already kicked out $$$ for new equipment and a pass only to have flatulent old men at the coffee shop brag about how they played golf this morning while me and the faithful are planning a sacrificial rite to the snow gods.....yeah, for real we are going to make a HUGE bungee out of the long undies that none of us are using and throw some "poser" off the Keeler St expresseway bridge telling him/her that he/she will be an eternal snowboard god/goddess so the rest of us may ride in their image .......trick,huh? If you are someone who is cool then write back, if you are just all full of yourself and want to tell the world how great it is to be you.... then go with your bad self, Beavis, and beware the "long undie bungee" may await!

I have actually ridden a board with wheels on it! that is how bad things are! If you are from the west please send us some "POW" I am not asking, I am BEGGING!!!

Good luck with your scene,be kind to the rest of us.
Peace,Brothers and Sisters

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