For the past two weeks, we’ve been recounting the stories of our guides and athletes who were in Nepal during the catastrophic earthquake that shut down the Everest climbing season and devastated the country. Tim Wayne Medvetz, founder of The Heroes Project—an organization we’ve backed since 2012—was targeting the summit of the world’s tallest peak as the final climb in his organization’s mission to empower wounded amputee warriors up all of the Seven Summits. Medvetz, who was turned back with USMC Staff Sergeant Charlie Linville when the climbing season ended tragically and prematurely in 2014, was on the north side of the mountain when the 2015 earthquake hit. Their mission immediately changed course to helping a country in chaos.
For the past two weeks, we’ve been publishing the firsthand stories of our guides and athletes who were on Mt. Everest and in Nepal when the tragic earthquake hit on April 25. Today is the two-month anniversary of that catastrophic event, which also triggered an avalanche on Mt. Everest that claimed 18 lives. After the quake, our guides, athletes, and partner organizations responded on many fronts, but The Juniper Fund—an organization co-founded by Eddie Bauer guides David Morton and Melissa Arnot—was faced with one of the biggest challenges in continuing their direct financial support for the families of the high-altitude workers killed in the tragedies of the past two years.
Two months ago, when a magnitude-7.8 earthquake devastated Nepal and triggered a tragic avalanche on Mt. Everest, Eddie Bauer guide and Juniper Fund co-founder David Morton was eighty miles east in Thame. Morton was guiding a longtime client on Kyajo Ri Peak with two Sherpa friends he’d known for years, when the earth started to shake. The immediate struggle for survival turned quickly into a journey of emotional intensity and a realization of the life-shattering nature of the tragedy, especially when the first aftershock hit less than a day later. For Morton, who now serves as executive director of The Juniper Fund, the quake dramatically and suddenly expanded the mission of the philanthropic effort he co-founded with Eddie Bauer teammate Melissa Arnot—to financially support the families of all 27 high-altitude workers lost during the last two tragic seasons on the world’s tallest peak. In the following piece, he describes the critical role of The Juniper Fund and what you can do to help.
Finding perspective in tragedy is always a tough assignment. Jake Norton, however, has a rare talent to make sense of difficult mountain situations. His words and wisdom have provided solace in the wake of tragedies and inspiration for the cause on many challenging occasions—but none more so than after a devastating earthquake hit Nepal on April 25. While Norton was stateside when the tragedy hit, he jumped into action, organizing a massive grassroots relief campaign through the close connections and very personal relationships he fostered during two decades traveling and climbing in the Himalayas. His dispatches on the devastation generated a groundswell of action and also facilitated Eddie Bauer’s gear donation to the relief effort. Nearly two months later, the world and the media have moved on, but as Norton reminds us, with his powerful words, the work of rebuilding lives and reconstructing a country is only beginning.
When a magnitude-7.8 earthquake hit Nepal in late April, it was a tragedy of global and personal proportions. For many of us, viewing the images of death and destruction from afar was tough enough. But Eddie Bauer guide Dave Hahn was in his tent at Camp I on Mt. Everest when he felt the ground beneath him shaking with fury. Luckily, he survived. He and his team were evacuated to base camp by B3 helicopter, landing in a scene of incredible devastation. After a few weeks of decompression, we asked Hahn to recount and reflect on the disaster. This is his report.
Today, Glamour published the second installment of The Climb, profiling Eddie Bauer guide Melissa Arnot’s attempt to climb Mt. Everest without supplemental oxygen. Her goal was to climb the world’s tallest peak for a record sixth time but 2015 would become another tragic season on Everest. Like most climbing plans, hers shifted after a tragic 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit the country of Nepal and triggered a devastating avalanche that decimated base camp . This second episode profiles her approach toward base camp and then how everything shifted after the earthquake.
Another season, another epic trip report from Ben Stookesberry and Chris Korbulic. That is what we’ve grown to expect as our adventure kayak team targets some of the most remote whitewater rivers on the globe, then almost always returns with incredible tales of another first descent. They so rarely get shut down that it surprised us when the infamous Patagonian weather forced them to alter their objective on a recent Southern Hemisphere mission in Southern Chile. But the story—and the photos—are as mindblowing as always. And the result was a first descent of an entirely different objective. Of course.