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Raleigh man climbs Everest for charity

Posted May 12, 2010
Updated May 13, 2010

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— A Raleigh man is trekking up Mount Everest in an effort to reach a personal milestone and to help provide clean drinking water in developing countries.

Jamie Wilde, 39, and his 7 Summits Club team have spent the past month on Everest and have arrived at a base camp 18,000-feet up the 29,029-foot peak. They're a week away from the summit and hope to leave the camp this weekend, if the weather clears.

"I'm physically fit and ready to go," Wilde said. "It's just a matter of getting my body in motion and getting up the hill."

James Wilde Web only: Man calls from Everest

See more about Wilde's Everest climb on WRAL News at 6 p.m.

Before beginning their final push, though, they must get their bodies used to the oxygen-poor environment that makes even the physically fit feel weak.

"We're preparing our bodies for the altitude game," Wilde said. "The objective is to increase the number of red blood cells in your body so you that you can carry more oxygen with fewer breaths."

The team is in an environment so different than the rest of the earth that the color of the sky is changed.

"When you're looking up from these upper camps, you'll notice that the sky is actually quite black. When you look at the horizon, it’s blue," Wilde said. "Because you're so far up in the atmosphere, you can see the stars at mid-day."

Everest_15 Raleigh man climbs Everest

Once at the summit, they will encounter temperatures as low as negative 25 degrees and, hopefully, winds of less than 20 mph, Wilde said. Climbers usually stay between just a few minutes at the summit, he said.

"I'd imagine I won't be there very long. I want to come back with all my digits," Wilde said.

Wilde said he had two motivations to climb the world's highest peak: one, "for purely selfish reasons" to complete his nine-year-long effort to climb the highest mountain on each of the seven continents. After Everest, only Australia's  7,310-foot Mount Kosciusko is left on his list.

"The second is to promote the clean water initiative I started last year, which is Global H2O, and hopefully raise awareness and funding for the different projects that we're using," Wilde said.

Wilde is directing his sponsorships for the climb to the charity, and he's auctioning off items to raise money.

The charity has built a rain-harvesting system at a school in northern Uganda and aims to provide clean water in rural areas of developing countries through wells and other water systems.

"That's the real purpose here," Wilde said.

8 Comments

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  • CrewMax May 14, 2010

    If you ever have the chance, listen to interviews with Beck Weathers, or read his book "Left For Dead". Beck has style of talking and writing that adds an earthy realism to his tale of horror when he ascended Everest. An incredible story of survival.

  • Pickupabook May 13, 2010

    Gooooo Jamie!!!! Hope u make it straight to the top! And ur cause behind it is AWESOME!!! =))))

  • fourfivesix May 13, 2010

    "I don't get it. It costs well over 100k to make this climb. There is a good chance you will die. If you do die, there is good chance your body may not be recovered. Obviously, these people have never played golf."

    it does not cost $100k to climb. at the MOST, with allll the luxuries you can think of (and in nepal), it costs $60k. that's still a lot of money, but if you go from the chinese side (where permits are cheaper), you can do it for as little as $2k.

  • djofraleigh May 13, 2010

    "That's the real purpose here," Wilde said

    Don't see how the time and effort, and money, for doing this pays for even more time and effort, and money, for the water. Martin School reported on a local climber a year or two ago that made it up. I don't understand it, but the mountain is there, but so is the danger. Not only wouldn't I do it, but I couldn't. Good luck to the climbers.

  • luvbailey May 13, 2010

    I don't get it. It costs well over 100k to make this climb. There is a good chance you will die. If you do die, there is good chance your body may not be recovered. Obviously, these people have never played golf.

  • chauncey7381 May 13, 2010

    I was reading some of the blogs associated with the climb and they are going to make another attempt on May 15 when good weather is supposed to arrive. Apparently, they had to turn away due to a monsoon creating a lot of snowfall in the region. So the team when to lower elevations to rest and strengthen. I've always been fascinated with folks attempting to climb Everest and other renowned peaks.

  • Abbys Mama May 12, 2010

    I think the show is actually on the Discovery Channel.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU May 12, 2010

    There's a great TV series called "Everest" (not sure if it's HBO or Showtime) that follows people on their journey to the top. It's amazing!