FUNNY WOMEN #90: New Ways to Summit Everest


In 1978, Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler became the first people to summit Everest without supplemental oxygen. But no one has summited Everest with supplemental nitrous oxide.

A blind man, Erik Weihenmayer, summited Everest in 2001. But no blues musician named Blind Everest Summiter has ever summited Everest.

In 2002, Tamae Watanabe became the oldest woman to summit Everest, at age 63. In 2012, she broke her own record with her summit at age 73. If you are a female aged 74 or older, next time she tries it, girl, tackle Watanabe at base camp and take that record for yourself. Don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t deserve it!

In 1996, Thierry Renard buried his son’s umbilical cord on Mount Everest. But no one has yet circumcised his son on top of Everest.

In 2006, Pauline Sanderson began her summit of Mount Everest from the lowest point on earth in terms of altitude, the Dead Sea. But no one has yet summited Everest beginning from the lowest point on earth in terms of dignity, immediately following a colonoscopy.

Several amputees have summited Everest. But no breast implantees have summited Everest.

Many climbers have summited Everest from its southeast ridge (from Nepal) and the north ridge (from Tibet), but no one has yet summited Everest from around the way.

In 2005, Pem Dorje Sherpa and Moni Mulepati climbed Everest together and were married on its summit. But no couple has ever climbed Everest, married, and then consummated their marriage on the summit.

No one has yet summited Everest from inside the mountain.

Summit Everest, then get your arm pinned by a rock, forcing you to amputate it with an off-brand utility knife.

In 2005, Didier Delsalle became the first to summit Everest in a helicopter. But no one has summited Everest on a Segway.

In 2012, Kenton Cool brought the 1924 Olympic gold medal for alpinism awarded to the 1922 British Everest expedition team to the top of Everest, fulfilling the vow made by George Mallory before his fatal climb. But no one has ever carried a Best Dance Recording Grammy to the summit of Everest, fulfilling a vow made by the Baha Men in the wake of the success of “Who Let the Dogs Out.”

More than 4,000 people have summited Everest, and more than 200 people have died climbing Everest, but no one yet has ascended to Heaven directly from the top of Everest.

When you arrive at the summit of Everest, quickly hurl the ring into its fiery pit so no one can every use its power for evil ever again.

Summit Everest and then don’t tell anyone you did. Let the other climbers write the books and collect the motivational speaking fees while you humbly sit back and keep the whole experience on the down low. That’s never been done.


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Jenny Shank’s first novel, The Ringer, won the High Plains Book Award, and her stories, essays, satire, and reviews have appeared in the Atlantic, the Washington Post, the Guardian, Poets & Writers, Prairie Schooner, Alaska Quarterly Review, McSweeney's, The McSweeney's Book of Politics and Musicals, The Toast, Bust, and The Onion. More from this author →