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Young guns for Everest and the 7 summits: Part II of III
07:14 a.m. EST Feb 15, 2004
This year there are two young folks going for Everest as part of their quest for the seven summits. Today we’re publishing part two of an interview with Dan Lochner, a 21 year old who plans to have the seven summits completed this fall by the time he’s turned 22 (Dan’s got Everest and Vinson to go). Coincidentally, there’s another young guy going for the 7 seven summits who lives just down the road, 22 year old Britton Keeshan – he’s only got Everest left.

The current record for the youngest 7 summiter belongs to Japanese climber Atsushi Yamada, who completed the feat at 23 years, 9 days. Both are on target to break the current record.

So Dan turns 22 in May and could potentially be 22 years and 7 months at the completion of his 7 summits – Vinson is typically summited in December or January. A local newspaper has Britton Keeshan, “eclipsing the previous record by 6 months,” if he makes it. If you do that math, that means if Britton makes it this May on Everest, he’ll be roughly 22 years and 6 months old. It’ll be very close to see who becomes the youngest to summit all 7.

Part two: The funds, the family and sailing to Vinson

ExWeb: You're going for the 7 summits and only have 2 left, Everest and Vinson. Both lined up for 2004? How did you manage logistics and fund raising for this?

Dan: At the present, my Everest climb is lined up, however my Vinson trip is still in question. I have not decided yet if I will fly to Antarctica or sail there. My partner, who is an expert sailor, has pondered the thought of sailing to Antarctica and trekking into Vinson Base Camp. However, I am not sure if this is a viable option at the present time but one I will consider. Although my method of transportation to Vinson at the time is unsure, my aim to climb it next fall is without question.

One of the challenges that appeals to me is the difficultly in setting up the logistics for each climb. I find it very fulfilling and rewarding to plan everything on my own, making this Seven Summit quest quite the learning experience outside the climbing aspect of it. In terms of fund raising, I have managed all costs on my own, being one of the reasons I have planned my trips to keep costs at a minimum without reducing my chances of success.

Please don't get the impression I have a trust fund or what not as I definitely have my fair share of debt as well. To date, I have spend my entire savings from my prior internships, which was very difficult being a saver, however I felt money was nowhere near as important as living life to the fullest. In addition, I am taking out a loan to finance the cost of my Everest climb as well.

ExWeb: How are things going with sponsorships?

Dan: Well, I am still greatly in need of support - gear, rations, equipment, funding, airfare, etc.- even if its only a discount. However, most importantly, if readers could find it in their heart to donate a few dollars via my website to assist in the fight against prostate cancer that would be greatly appreciated.

ExWeb: What do Mom and Dad think about this? Are they a bit concerned, or are they fired up for you?

Dan: My parents are both excited and concerned in regard to my Seven Summit climb, especially Everest. Their support however is unparamount along with the rest of my family and friends. I feel that I put unnecessary stress on my parents while climbing with them concerned about my safety, so I call home as often as possible with my Iridium phone.

Monday: Part three - Alone on Aconcagua, training for Everest.

Image of Dan on the summit of Elbrus courtesy of Oath7.com.

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