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Cory Richards Summits Everest Without Supplemental Oxygen; Partner Adrian Ballinger Turns Back Hours Earlier
Posted on May 24, 2016


Today, at 6:34 local time on May 24th in Tibet, Eddie Bauer Athlete and adventure photojournalist Cory Richards made his first successful ascent to the peak of Mt. Everest without the use of supplemental oxygen.

The alpinist shared his journey with the world in real time through a continually updated “Snap”umentary series, #EverestNoFilter, alongside Everest veteran and founder of Alpenglow Expeditions Adrian Ballinger, also a member of the Eddie Bauer Guide and Athlete Team, who made the decision to turn back at the 8,480 meter mark Monday. Though difficult, Ballinger’s decision was a courageous one that demonstrates his astute knowledge and respect for the  power of the mountain and the risks associated with this climb.The team reunited at 8,300 meters to descend together and have since returned safely to Advanced Base Camp at 6,400 meters.

A breakthrough project for expedition journalism, #EverestNoFilter marks the first time a guide or athlete team has given an exclusive, unfiltered view into the extraordinary experience of climbing the world’s tallest mountain. The duo’s Snapchat account grew a following of hundreds of thousands of views per day.

Richards, who was named National Geographic’s 2012 Adventurer of the Year, has made a name for himself sharing what the climbing world really looks like through his emotionally charged film, Cold, which won the coveted Grand Prize at the Banff Mountain Film Festival in 2011. Richards became the first American to summit one of Pakistan’s 8,000-meter peaks, Gasherbrum II, in the winter during that trip.

“This experience has been extraordinary,” Richards said. “Emotion overwhelms me as I look at the path the last five years has led me down — or up, rather — and to be able to share that journey with the world, I’m humbled and very grateful. I owe immeasurable gratitude to Adrian without whom this journey would not have been possible.”

For Cory Richards, capturing the right selfie angle is a serious high altitude pursuit. Nailing the shot above 23,000 feet.

Ballinger, an Everest veteran, longtime climber and co-founder of Alpenglow Expeditions, has summited Mount Everest a previous six times, but this particular trek was his first attempt at a summit on the North side, from China.

“There are times on the mountain at this altitude that your body just says, ‘enough.’ And you have to listen.  I am so grateful I was able to make that call for myself with help from our extraordinary support team, led by Dr. Monica Piris and Palden Namgye Sherpa, and hours later, we were able to celebrate my partner Cory’s summit.”

In the announcement of his Everest expedition and corresponding social media campaign on March 31, 2016, Richards revealed his goal to summit without the aid of supplemental oxygen. This year, National Geographic reported that the death rate for those climbing without oxygen above 26,000 feet is at least five times higher. While Richards has never set out to climb Everest without supplemental oxygen before, his first attempt was a success.

“We are proud to be a part of the Everest story once again, as Cory and Adrian’s journey and content-capture method is sure to set a precedence for expeditions to come,” said Mike Egeck, Chief Executive Officer of Eddie Bauer. “They both possess a tireless spirit of adventure and by documenting their endeavor, they will have undoubtedly inspired others to pursue their own adventures.”

Eddie Bauer has a rich history of outfitting American mountaineering expeditions on Everest. In 1963, Eddie Bauer outfitted the first Americans to summit Everest. Today, Eddie Bauer’s Guides and Athletes are some of the most accomplished on Everest and hold a combined 48 summits, including Dave Hahn (16 summits), who holds the record for most summits of any non-Sherpa, Ed Viesturs (7 summits), Dave Morton (6 summits), Melissa Arnot (6 summits), Jake Norton (3 summits), and Seth Waterfall (3 summits).

Eddie Bauer alpinists Cory Richards and Adrian Ballinger staying warm in their First Ascent Peak XV down suits.

About Cory Richards

Cory Richards is an esteemed alpine athlete as well as a National Geographic photography fellow and filmmaker, whose expeditions to the greater ranges of the world have made him a leader in adventure and expedition photography. His film work has won awards at nearly every major adventure film festival including the grand prize at the Banff Mountain Film Festival in 2011. In 2012, he received the National Geographic Adventurer of the Year Award for his efforts as both a climber and visual storyteller.

About Adrian Ballinger

Adrian Ballinger is one of the USA’s premier high-altitude mountain guides, and the only American guide to have both AMGA/IFMGA guide certification (one of 75 in the USA) and more than 10 summits of 8,000-meter peaks (12 total, including 6 summits of Mt. Everest). As founder and head guide of Alpenglow Expeditions, Adrian has been guiding full-time for fifteen years and has led over 100 international climbing expeditions on five continents.

North Col camp on the north side of Everest. Another rotation up high Cory Richards and Adrian Ballinger.

Check out the Eddie Bauer gear the pair used on their climb, including the Katabatic Tent, the Kara Koram minus 30 sleeping bag and the Sandstone soft shell, at


Author: - Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

  1. Billy White

    I heard a report of 4 deaths on the mountain this past week. Do any of the Eddie Bauer athletes know any details?

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