In May, mountaineering legend Ed Viesturs became the first American to summit all 14 of the world’s 8,000-meter peaks when he reached the top of Nepal’s fabled Annapurna. In the following pages, Ed tells us just how he does it–and how you can, too, whether you’re gunning for Rainier or the toughest peak in your neck of the woods. You’ll learn everything from how to pick a hiking partner to what to eat at 14,000 feet. You’ll also get an exclusive look at his training regimen (don’t worry, we modified it for mere mortals). Follow Ed’s five-step plan, and you’ll soon be racking up your own list of killer summits.
Pick The Right Mountain
As a teenager, Viesturs was itching to climb Rainier. But he knew enough to know that he didn’t know how to climb the 14,411-foot, glaciated peak. So he went to Mt. St. Helens (pre-eruption) to hone his skills. Five months later, he reached Rainier’s snowy summit. Viesturs’s advice for choosing a mountain is to start small. Research the skills you’ll need, like hiking in crampons or navigating off-trail. Then find a peak that lets you master them in a safe environment.