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British adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes may be many things, but a quitter ain’t one of ’em: He’s vowed to tackle Everest again during this embattled summit season. Fiennes makes his second bid to top out on the world’s highest point even more iron-headed by the simple fact that he was shut down during his 2005 attempt at 28,500 feet not by cold, weather, or altitude sickness, but by a freaking heart attack.
If he succeeds, he’ll be the first man to have crossed both the ice caps via the poles and summited on Everest. But beyond personal glory, Fiennes hopes to raise $6 million for the Marie Curie Cancer Care’s Delivering Choice Program.
“I was moved to support Marie Curie Cancer Care after I lost my mother, wife and two sisters, the latter three to cancer, all within an 18-month period.
I stopped doing polar expeditions when they had all been basically done. There are, unfortunately, only two poles and this number was not going to increase in the near future so we had to switch to different sorts of expeditions.”
Fiennes will tackle the South Col (uh, he pretty much has to) with guide Kenton Cool and medic Robert Casserley; they hope to make the summit somewhere between May 15 and 25. If he succeeds, he’ll be only the second Brit over 60 to make the top.
If it were anyone else, I might be worried about his chances, but this is the same guy who completely crossed the Antarctic on foot, finished seven marathons on seven continents in seven days only four months after a double bypass, and sawed off his own frostbitten fingertips with a fretsaw when he grew impatient with the pain. I think he’s got this one covered. — Ted Alvarez
Bonus: Did you know Sir Ranulph Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes has a MySpace page? Believe it: He’s only got 283 friends right now, but to be fair, that is a pretty intimidating photo.