7summits forum!

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  
Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Britton Keeshan about to break the age record for the seven summits  (Read 8428 times)

7summits

  • 7 down, 0 to go!
  • Administrator
  • 7Summiteer!
  • *******
  • Altitude: 3
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1152
  • Greetings from tha lowlands
    • The 7 summits pages

After the record has just been broken for the oldest 7summiteer (see this post about Ramon Blanco here, there is a big chance that the record for the youngest will be broken in a few months!
In his bid to become the youngest person to climb the tallest mountain on each continent Britton Keeshan is using inspiration from his deceased grandfather; Keeshan is the grandson of Bob Keeshan, who died last month at 76 after a career in which he entertained millions of children as the walrus-mustachioed television Captain Kangaroo.

If he makes it on Everest, he will be 22 years old.


From greenwichtime.com

Climber gains on his goal

By Michael Dinan
Special Correspondent

February 2, 2004

The minus 40-degree sleeping bag, snow goggles and pile of dirty clothes spilling from a red backpack onto the worn cedar floor are just where Britton Keeshan dumped them when he returned last month from the south pole to the Cos Cob antique barn he calls home.

"I pretty much live out of a duffel bag," said Keeshan, a 22-year-old Greenwich native who spent five days in January climbing the highest mountain in Antarctica, 16,067-foot Vinson Massif.

"It's actually colder here than it was in Antarctica," he said.

It will get colder again for Keeshan, who flies to Nepal next month to tackle the world's tallest peak, Mount Everest, to complete the seventh and final climb of his Seven Summits adventure.

Only 78 people in the world have climbed the Seven Summits since American Dick Bass first accomplished the feat in 1985. The Seven Summits are the highest peaks in each continent: Mount McKinley in North America; Mount Aconcagua in South America; Mount Elbrus in Europe; Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa; Mount Kosciuszko in Australia; Vinson Massif in Antarctica; and Mount Everest in Asia.

If he successfully ascends the 29,029-foot "roof of the world," as Mount Everest is known, Keeshan will break Japanese climber Atsushi Yamada's 2002 record as the youngest person to complete the Seven Summits, eclipsing the mark by six months.

"The record is kind of the icing on the cake, but by no means is it the sole reason for my climb," Keeshan said. "With each climb I've learned a little more about myself. This has become less about the record and more about the journey on each mountain."

Keeshan's journey began in 1999, while he was on summer break from Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass.

"I was in a program with the National Outdoor Leadership School at the Waddington Range Traverse in British Columbia," said Keeshan, a 1997 graduate of Greenwich Country Day School. "It was a monthlong program and I learned everything about how to climb, walking techniques and basic survival skills. They taught us how to travel in a rope team, how to extricate people from glaciers, and how to extricate ourselves."

Keeshan used those mountain smarts late that summer on "Denali," as Mount McKinley is known in the native Alaskan language.

"When you're on mountains, you try to minimize the risk as much as possible, though there are objective hazards beyond your control," Keeshan said. "Our Denali route took us under a hanging glacier which occasionally spits out ice chunks, some as big as cars and some as big as houses. We minimized the risk of getting crushed by crossing under that ridge as quickly as possible, and we crossed at night so that the ice would hopefully be frozen onto the glacier."

The ice fall started 15 minutes after Keeshan's group had passed. Despite such dangers, Keeshan decided to try the Seven Summits immediately after Denali. It took more time to earn his parents' support, he said.

"I brought it up with my parents and their first reaction was to stay the course: Go to school," Keeshan said. "I told them I could become the youngest person to do it. It took a little while, but they realized it was an achievable goal and a good thing for me to do. I finally got their support."

In February 2001, Keeshan entered Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vt. Taking as much time as his schedule allowed between January and April of that year, he finished three more continents on the Seven Summits list, climbing the highest peaks of South America, Europe and Africa.

The last of those was Mount Kilimanjaro.

"Every mountain has its incredible moments, but the one that stands out the most in my mind is when I climbed Kilimanjaro," Keeshan recalled. "We started our summit climb at three in the morning when everything was dark. Kilimanjaro is actually a volcano and we made it to the rim of the crater at 5 a.m. It was about an hour to the summit and just as I took the last few steps to the highest point, the sun started coming up on the horizon. Kiliminjaro is not the only high peak in Africa. It's the only one that really stands on its own, and all you see from the mountain top are the Serengeti plains, completely flat all around you. I'm not usually an emotional person, but I started crying."

Keeshan looked out on the Serengeti with a climbing team he met through Alpine Ascents International, a Seattle-based mountaineering school that organizes travel arrangements, equipment, tents, food and guides for climbers.

Expedition manager Andy Tyson guided Keeshan's team on Vinson Massif last month.

"Britton is a super high-energy, very engaged climber who is excited about both mountains and people," Tyson said. "On that particular mountain, a lot of the folks are older, but they enjoyed his presence."

Keeshan was alone, a year and a half later, atop Australia's Mount Kosciuszko, by far the lowest of the Seven Summits at 7,310 feet.

"That wasn't really a climb, it was more of a hike," Keeshan said. "I did it in a day and just brought a newspaper with me to the top and took a picture of myself to prove that I had done it."

That was last April, and Keeshan had just two continents left: Antarctica and Asia.

The problem was that those trips required a lot of money, and the mountains' ideal climbing seasons conflicted with his schedule as a double major in religion and molecular biology-biochemistry at college.

"I called Middlebury and told them I'm taking the spring semester off to do this," Keeshan said.

He asked various companies in the United States to sponsor him and cover the cost of the expensive expeditions. He received a positive response from AT&T.

Eric Lilja, director of consumer sponsorships at the company's Morristown, N.J., office, reviewed Keeshan's proposal.

"We basically felt it was a very inspirational story and there were many links with themes to his climb that we also believe in," Lilja said. "Certainly he's a remarkable individual. Climbing the world's tallest mountains takes teamwork."

With his sponsor on board, Keeshan was ready to tackle his last two summits.

Now, with only Mount Everest between him and his quest, Keeshan is back in Cos Cob, contemplating what it will take and what he will do after he has completed next month's trek.

"It's a two-and-a-half-month climb," said Keeshan, as his 10-month-old Bernese mountain dog, Denali, nipped playfully at his hands. "You spend a lot of time sitting and waiting for the right weather conditions and for your body to acclimatize to the altitude. I definitely need to stay healthy."

He also needs to stay heavy. Keeshan loses about 15 to 20 pounds on each climb.

"I lift weights and do endurance training, and I also have to eat a pint of Ben & Jerry's ice cream every night to increase my fat," he said.

But the biggest challenges are not the physical threats that Mount Everest presents to his 5-foot, 6-inch, 140-pound body, Keeshan said.

"You have to be able to mentally handle everything that's thrown at you," he said. "That's the great thing about climbing. You have to have incredible focus, and it comes down to just putting one foot in front of the other to get through it. Climbing allows me to leave all the problems of a hectic day to day at sea level. It allows me to escape and be introverted and think about things that I have no time to think about."

An aspiring doctor who plans to take the Medical College Admission Test this fall, Keeshan's feet will be planted firmly on the ground in Nepal.

"I'll probably be the only person in the history of Everest to bring his MCAT book to base camp," he said.
Copyright 2004, Southern Connecticut Newspapers, Inc.
*******
We wish Britton all the best of luck and safety and hope to add him to the official seven summits statistics soon!
« Last Edit: Apr 23 2004, 19:50 by 7summits »
Logged
"He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary." -- Friedrich Nietzsche

7summits

  • 7 down, 0 to go!
  • Administrator
  • 7Summiteer!
  • *******
  • Altitude: 3
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1152
  • Greetings from tha lowlands
    • The 7 summits pages

Just came in from our friends at MountEverest.net:

The Grandson of "Captain Kangaroo" has become the youngest Seven Summits climber. Vernon Tejas, has done the Seven Summits three times and is on his fourth round! And Lakpa Rita Sherpa, who was the world's first Sherpa to summit Mount Vinson at Antarctica, is now a six time Everest summiteer... They are on the summit, and they have the mountain all to them selves, except for perhaps some climbers coming up from the North side! Here's their report:

"SUMMIT! We have just been notified that all members (except Jim Williams, who turned around last night) of the 2004 AAI Everest Expedition have reached the summit of Mt. Everest. The first ones arrived at the top at about 9:00 am. Nepal time, with the last ones coming in about 45 minutes later. Well done, team!

Congratulations go to guides Vernon Tejas, Dave Morton and Jim Williams, and to members Mills Davis, Justin Adams, Haruisha Watanabe, Scott Graham, Jeff Dossett, Holt Hunter, and Britton Keeshan.

Special recognition also goes to our hard working team of sherpas: Lakpa Rita, our amazing sirdar, and his assistant sirdar and brother, Kami Rita (Thapkee). Our summit team of sherpas also included Mingma Tshering, Passang Sona, Tsherri, Tshering Dorjee, Pemba Renjee, and Mingma Dorjee (congratulations to Dorjee for his first time to the summit). Thanks also goes to our sherpa support team of Zhang Bu, Natemba, Gelek, Pemba Nuru, Nema, Furba Tenzing, Passang Rita, Fura Cancha, and Mingma Rita. It takes teamwork do do a job like this, and these guys are the best.

We will now be monitoring the team as they begin their descent back to the South Col, and I will try to report periodically on their progress. We're looking forward to seeing them all safe and sound back at camp 4 - and I'm sure they'll be glad to be there.

Story from MountEverest.net the Everest news source.
Cybercast from Alpine ascents, full expedition report can be found on their site.

When we received have all the climbing details we will add Britton to the official 7 summiteers list!

Update: although not complete he has been added, you can find his record here.
« Last Edit: May 24 2004, 13:40 by 7summits »
Logged
"He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary." -- Friedrich Nietzsche

7summits

  • 7 down, 0 to go!
  • Administrator
  • 7Summiteer!
  • *******
  • Altitude: 3
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1152
  • Greetings from tha lowlands
    • The 7 summits pages

There is a nice background story about his queste and sponsors on the USAtoday site:

Keeshan spans globe to honor famous 'Kangaroo'
By Sal Ruibal, USA TODAY
Britton Keeshan is now the youngest person to climb the tallest mountains on all seven continents. And he did it with the help of Captain Kangaroo.
 
  Britton Keeshan steps lively on the Antarctic leg of his seven-continent mission. 
Family photo

Keeshan is the 22-year-old grandson of the late Bob Keeshan, beloved star of the legendary children's show that aired for 36 years. The two were especially close and when the younger Keeshan reached the seventh peak on Mt. Everest on May 24, he buried a photo of himself and the Captain in the summit ice.

"We had a strong relationship," says Keeshan, a senior in molecular biology and religion at Middlebury College in Vermont. "This mountaineering adventure was something he believed in: the endurance, exploring the globe."

At 17, he reached the summit of North America's tallest peak 20,320-foot Mt. McKinley in Alaska and recognized the possibility of reaching the rest of the Seven Summits, a feat now accomplished by only 85 climbers. He also realized that his venture would require substantial amounts of cash.

He put together a 50-page sponsorship proposal and mailed copies to 20 major corporations. AT&T was impressed with his story and agreed to support the quest.

"Britton's conquering of the world's seven highest summits is simply amazing," said Connie Weaver, the company's executive vice president.

Both sides won't disclose the total contribution, but the 75-day Mt. Everest climb alone cost a minimum of $65,000. Expeditions to Antarctica's 16,067-foot Mt. Vinson Massif and South America's 22,840-foot Aconcagua were also quite pricey.

Keeshan will continue his relationship with the corporation as a spokesman for its Internet phone service.

 
 
Keeshan
 
 
He says the Mt. Everest ascent was the toughest because it required the expedition team to work together for almost three months.

"It was a physical and mental challenge," he says. "At that altitude, it takes ten breaths for every step. And the group dynamics are not always easy, tempers can flare but you still have to work as a team."

When he reached the top, Keeshan says, "I was so exhausted I just sat there until someone told me what to do."

After he recovered, the wiry Keeshan organized the Sherpa guides and had them join him in a victory "chicken dance," a ritual he has performed on all seven peaks.

"Only this one was on top of the world," he says with a laugh.

His next mountaineering goal is to climb Mt. Everest without oxygen, but that will have to wait until the ambitious student completes his studies at Middlebury and then goes on to medical school.

He even took a study guide for the Medical College Admission Test with him to Mt. Everest base camp, but admits it is hard to hit the books at 17,000 feet.

No matter the challenge, Keeshan says, the inspiration he received from his grandfather will "push me to expand my horizons."

That's a thought Bob Keeshan would have appreciated.

When once asked how he developed his TV character, the man who became Captain Kangaroo replied, "I was impressed with the potential positive relationship between grandparents and grandchildren, so I chose an elderly character."
Logged
"He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary." -- Friedrich Nietzsche

clarasumarwati

  • Guest

Dear Britton,
I need sample proposal to sponsorship climb seven summit. Posible you give me sample proposal your expedition.
I plan climb seven summit in June 2006 until Juni 2007.I expert climb Mt .Everest Nort Col Route and Sout col Route, Aconcagua , Annapurna IV.Summit in Everest 26 Sept 1996 South Col Route
Because my manager don,t understand about mountaineering. I need you help me to borrow your proposal to sponsorship.
I hope you understand my position. : ???
OK I wait your information again.
Best Regard,
Clara
Taman Setiabudi No 36 telp 062.21 5228533.Jkarta Selatan Indonesia.
Logged

armchair mountaineer guy

  • Guest

What about Danielle Fisher who at 20 yrs old recently became the youngest to climb all Seven Summits?  I read an article about her in Outside Magazine, http://outside.away.com/outside/features/200510/danielle-fisher.html
Logged

7summits

  • 7 down, 0 to go!
  • Administrator
  • 7Summiteer!
  • *******
  • Altitude: 3
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1152
  • Greetings from tha lowlands
    • The 7 summits pages

What about Danielle Fisher who at 20 yrs old recently became the youngest to climb all Seven Summits?  I read an article about her in Outside Magazine, http://outside.away.com/outside/features/200510/danielle-fisher.html

Yes, she is now the youngest (The Britton Keeshan post was from 2004). See her detailed page here.
Logged
"He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary." -- Friedrich Nietzsche

MikeW

  • Climber
  • ****
  • Altitude: 13
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 167
  • To be is to climb!

Hey Harry!

The name of the first summit on Danielle's bio page is wrong. It's not Kilimanjaro, it is Aconcagua.

MikeW
Logged

7summits

  • 7 down, 0 to go!
  • Administrator
  • 7Summiteer!
  • *******
  • Altitude: 3
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1152
  • Greetings from tha lowlands
    • The 7 summits pages

Hey Harry!

The name of the first summit on Danielle's bio page is wrong. It's not Kilimanjaro, it is Aconcagua.

MikeW
Hi Mike, thanks for that, I have changed it. When will you be on Vinson? Then we might be able to finally meet  8)
Logged
"He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary." -- Friedrich Nietzsche

MikeW

  • Climber
  • ****
  • Altitude: 13
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 167
  • To be is to climb!

Hey Harry!

I'll be on Vinson from January 6 to January 23, 2006. Hope to see you there!

MikeW
Logged

Neil

  • Armchair...
  • *
  • Altitude: -8
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 9
  • Jump through the Hoops
    • BigLines

Yea, she did the Kosiosko version, so her acomplishment is questionable. The Japanese dude still holds the record for the yougnest for the Carstenzs Pyramid version.
Logged
Nothing come from nothing come on, Royal Oil.
Pages: [1]   Go Up
 

Page created in 0.165 seconds with 23 queries.