Arts and Entertainment

Stories from the top of the world

Ed Viesturs atop Nepal’s Mount Manaslu.  - Courtesy photo
Ed Viesturs atop Nepal’s Mount Manaslu.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

High-altitude adventurer Ed Viesturs is one of many speakers slated for the 2008 Healthy Living Expo Feb. 2.

World-renowned mountaineer Ed Viesturs is a portrait of healthy living.

Consistently challenging his mental, physical and emotional limits, the islander holds the designation as the first American to have climbed all 14 of the world’s tallest peaks.

That’s right, all of them — all 8,000 meters and up, all without supplemental oxygen.

Trips to the top of the world on Mount Everest (which Viesturs has been to 10 times and summited on six different occasions), K-2, Lhotse and Kangchenjunga marked the beginning of the project which he called Endeavor 8000, back in the early 1990s.

“I love climbing high altitudes,” he said matter-of-factly in a phone interview with What’s Up last week. “After having climbed the four highest, why not go for all 14, I thought. It was something I could really sink my teeth into.”

In May 2005, along with climbing partner Veikka Gustafsson, Viesturs summitted Mount Annapurna, completing the 18-year project.

On Feb. 2, he’ll be sharing his incredible story at the 2008 Healthy Living Expo at Woodward Middle School, 9125 Sportsman Club Road on Bainbridge Island.

The Expo will host a full day of presenters and demonstrations in addition to vendors and booths all centered around the topic of healthy living. For a list of vendors and activities, directions to the event and more, visit www.bainbridgechamber.com or call (206) 842-3700.

Viesturs will be giving a power point presentation on Endeavor 8000 and telling stories from his life experience.

“You’ve got to be motivated, and know that no matter what other people think you are doing it for yourself,” Viesturs said when asked about the non-physical side of healthy living. “Be passionate about what you’re doing, day to day as well. When you’re passionate about what you do, you are happier, you perform better, it’s just a whole lifestyle thing.”

Viesturs said that from a young age, dating back to his days as a competitive swimmer, his lifestyle has always been goal-oriented. He’s always been motivated to accomplish those goals no matter if it took a year, five years or even 18.

Viesturs’ style of healthy living has captivated a vast audience through his book about Endeavor 8000 — “No Shortcuts to the Top” — and also through various motivational speaking outlets.

He even served as the Seattle Seahawks motivator during the team’s 2005 ride to the Superbowl, a role which he continues today.

In fact, according to event organizer Liz Gadbois, Viesturs’ appearance at the Healthy Living Expo was contingent on whether or not the Seahawks would be still be in the playoffs this weekend.

Thankfully for mountaineering fans on Bainbridge, they lost.

For more info:

On the Bainbridge Island Healthy Living Expo, visit: www.bainbridgechamber.com.

For more on Viesturs, go to:

www.edviesturs.com

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