Climbing Everest…in Shorts?!

People do so many stupid stunts nowadays (and usually throw the video up on YouTube for everyone to see) that it takes a lot for a stunt to be impressive, but this one floored me. Wim Hof, a Dutch mountaineer, announced that he would climb Mount Everest wearing only shorts. This was not an apparent suicide mission; he’d already proven his chops by climbing Mont Blanc in shorts, by running a half-marathon in Finland (ground temp: -35 degrees) barefoot in shorts, and by holding his breath underwater for almost 6 1/2 minutes under the North Pole ice cap. Now, I’m known for wearing shorts even when the temperature is pretty cold, but clearly this dude is in a different league altogether!

Unfortunately, he didn’t make the top. Instead, due to a nagging foot injury, he turned around after getting over 24,000 feet in shorts. Still, an impressive feat; also impressive is that he made it over 20,000 feet wearing sandals as his footwear.

While his summit attempt didn’t work this year, he says he will try again in 2008.