Men's Journal has posted an interview with Conrad Anker, discussing his personal experiences on the mountain, the current climate there, and his thoughts on whether or not we should climb the Big Hill at all. (Spoiler alert: He thinks we should!)
In the interview, Conrad says that after three successful summits of Everest, he himself is done with the mountain. He says that the amount of time, money, and resources required it too much for his approach to mountaineering these days. On the other hand, he says that anyone who has a desire to climb it, should definitely go and do so. For him, there is nothing more pure than a person challenging themselves against nature. It is a very different activity than the much more controlled and measured sports that we typically take part in.
Anker shares his thoughts on a number of other topics as well, including the role of Sherpas in climbing expeditions, ways of making the business of climbing more equitable for them, and how the government of Nepal can improve safety in the mountains. He's in favor of a more controlled permit system that limits the number of people on Everest, and he would require anyone attempting it to have at least two other expeditions to climb peaks in Nepal under their belt first.
Perhaps most interesting for those of us who follow mountaineering closely are Conrad's plans for the future. He says that he is hoping to climb Thalay Sager in the very near future, perhaps as early as next spring. The 6904 meter (22,651 ft) peak located in the Garhwal Himalaya of India was on his schedule for this fall, but promotional commitments for the film Meru kept him from actually pursuing that goal. He says that while he hasn't officially scheduled the expedition just yet, he is eager to go. His climbing partners for that trip? None other than Jimmy Chin and Alex Honnold.
Now that will be a fun expedition to follow.