In what we believe will be one of the most challenging and difficult open water swims in history based on its arduous physical requirements, its mind-bending audacity, its overwhelming logical preparations and its very real potential for serious danger, explorer and environmentalist Lewis Pugh is heading to Mt. Everest in December for a reconnaissance.
As Lewis calmly and matter-of-factly explains about his preparation for a 1K non-wetsuit swim in a glacial lake at over 17,400-feet (5,300-meter) altitude where he will only wear traditional swimsuit briefs and a thin, non-neoprene swim cap, "We are going to climb up the mountain and look around to select the glacial lake where I will swim. I am really looking forward to it. We have bought all the equipment and hired all the sherpas." His swim will call attention to the melting glaciers and global warming trends in the Himalayas.
As Lewis describes the swim, "In April 2010, I will be attempting a 1K swim under the summit of Mount Everest to draw attention to the impacts of climate change. I will attempt the swim at an altitude of 5,300 metres in the freezing waters of a lake on the Khumbu Glacier. As a result of global warming, temperatures in the Himalayas have risen by 1°C and the glaciers in the Himalayas are receding faster than in any other part of the world. Scientists predict they could disappear within 25 years. In fact, the active part of the Khumbu Glacier has retreated over 5K since Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgart climbed it for the first time in 1953."
"These glaciers are not just ice. They are a lifeline – they provide water to a fifth of the world’s population. It’s essential that politicians put aside their differences and agree a bold strategy to reduce climate change to below current levels when they meet in Copenhagen at the end of the year. There is no time for delay."
Lewis, who has captured the attention of many global leaders, has a truly inspiring story and quite a captivating speaker. His speech at the Business Innovation Factory Conference in Providence, Rhode Island about his swim across the North Pole was chosen as one of the 7 Most Inspiring Videos on the Web. His speech on Utilizing the Extremes can be seen here.
Al Gore, former Vice President of America, said, "Lewis is certainly one of the most exciting speakers I have heard. He is a brave and courageous leader who adds a fresh perspective to climate change."
Rt. Hon Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of the UK, said, "You are one of the great environmental campaigners of our age and a truly extraordinary athlete. Thank you so much for coming to speak to us."
Copyright © 2009 by World Open Water Swimming Association