Canadian Don Bowie is currently attempting Kanchenjunga, the world’s third highest peak at 8,586 metres, with no bottled oxygen.
He had planned to go for the speed record up Mount Everest, but he was forced to changed his plans.
Kangchenjunga was first climbed on May 25, 1955, by Joe Brown and George Band, who were part of a British expedition.
They stopped short of the summit in accordance with the promise given to the god Chogyal that the top of the mountain would remain inviolate.
Every climber or climbing group that has reached the summit has followed this tradition.
You can follow along with Bowie’s climb on his Instagram below.
Who is Don Bowie?
Bowie is one of the only living Canadians to have climbed K2. While descending he slipped and fell about 100 metres. Only rocks before a huge cliff stopped him falling off the mountain. He broke a bone in his foot.
For the next two-and-a-half days Bowie slowly descended K2 with a broken foot. He took pain killers to help relieve the pain, but a lot of the struggle was the mental one. He eventually got himself back to base camp after two days.
He’s from Newmarket, Ontario, the same home town north of Toronto as climber Sarah Hart, Gripped editor Brandon Pullan, and leading climber Sonnie Trotter.
Bowie, in his late 40s, is a highly accomplished high altitude climber whose expeditions have take him to Nepal, Pakistan, Tibet, Africa, South America, Mexico, USA and the high-arctic of Canada.
Bowie was recently living in Bishop and serving as an active member of the Inyo County Sheriff Search and Rescue Team.
Below are some of his big mountain moments.
2005: Broad Peak (8,047m) in Karakoram, Pakistan, West Ridge, Solo to 7,800 m
2006: Cho Oyu (8,188m) in Tibet Himalaya, Polish Ridge variation to 8,000 m
2007: K2 (8,611m) in Karakoram, Pakistan, new route to 6,800 m and Abruzzi Spur
2008: Distaghil Sar (7,886m) in Hispar Range, Pakistan, new route attempt
2008: unnamed peak (5,811m) in Hispar Range, Pakistan, first ascent
2010: Gasherbrum I (8,068m) in Karakoram Range, Pakistan, Japanese Couloir
2011: Cho Oyu (8,201m) with Ueli Steck