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Malibu's Johnny Strange making steady progress on Mt. Everest

April 29, 2009 |  9:50 am

Mt. Everest's Khumbu icefall has claimed many lives over the years.

When I first wrote about and blogged about Johnny Strange attempting to become the youngest Westerner to climb Mt. Everest, a few people wrote in to imply that any sturdy kid with wealthy parents could conquer the world's tallest peak.

That's essentially true if the kid -- in this case a teenager -- had vast climbing experience, was extremely physically fit and harbored remarkable mental fortitude. Anyway, Strange, 17, and his wealthy dad today will climb to Camp 2 and Camp 3, then return to base camp as part of an acclimatization process, before moving higher up the 29,035-foot Himilayan peak.

Of negotiating the notoriously treacherous Khumbu icefall (pictured), Strange posted this dispatch on his website: "If you were to put a ladder between two clouds and walk across knowing what the fall would mean, it would be very similar to the experience of the Khumbu icefall.

"After we made it through that very icefall to Camp 1, we spent a day resting there only to experience the horrors of high wind at Camp 2 for a few nights. Lucky for us our tents didn't blow away ... and we awoke after our third night to trudge back down to base camp."

Being a teenager, Strange happily reported that his iPod Shuffle works at high altitude and, being from Malibu, that he is craving sushi.

Please check back for periodic updates on the expedition.

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: Mt. Everest's Khumbu icefall has claimed many lives over the years. Credit: Johnny Strange