BELLEVUE, Wash., May 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Eddie Bauer Athlete and adventure photojournalist Cory Richards made his first successful ascent 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 8,480m earlier that day. Though difficult, Ballinger's decision was a courageous one that demonstrates his astute knowledge of the risks associated with this climb.
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 several hundred thousand views per day.
Richards, who was named National Geographic's 2012 Adventurer of the Year, 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."
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).
In addition to Eddie Bauer, Richards' and Ballinger's expedition partners included Alpenglow Expeditions, Soylent, and Strava. Strava critically monitored heart rates and location stats along their journey while the two fueled their climb with a revolutionary liquid meal replacement from Soylent.
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.
Soylent is a revolutionary, ready-to-drink staple food that possesses what a body needs to be healthy. Soylent is a new option for maintaining a balanced state of ideal nutrition, just like traditional food.
Strava is the social network for athletes. It's made up of millions of runners, cyclists and triathletes, united by the camaraderie of sport. Its website and mobile apps bring athletes together from all walks of life and inspire them to unlock their potential – both as individuals and as communities.
About Eddie Bauer
Eddie Bauer is an active outdoor brand offering premium-quality outerwear, apparel, footwear, accessories, and gear. For almost 100 years, Eddie Bauer has been outfitting America, inspiring and enabling people to live their adventure. Eddie Bauer products are available online at www.eddiebauer.com, and at more than 400 stores in the United States, Canada, Germany, Japan, and Southeast Asia.