"You don't conquer it, you survive it." -
Nielson, along with Ang Rita Sherpa, summited Everest on May 7, 1983 he did
what few other man had done, he climbed the world’s tallest mountain without
the use of supplemental oxygen.
To understand how
big, and dangerous, a feat this is one only has to look at the effects of high
altitudes on the human body. Above 25,000 feet, the so-called “Death Zone”,
the body goes through a series of changes as it tries to adapt to a lack of
oxygen. Some people adapt better than other, some suffer hypoxia, brain
swelling and death. Larry Nielson was one of the less than 90 people to make
the summit without Oxygen and live to tell about it. Nielson was part of an
American-German expedition led by Gerhard Lenser, which would put 8 men on the
summit that season.
climbing career was not limited to one salient event. He has also climbed
Kangchenjunga, LaPerouse, Peak Lenin, McKinley and Rainer 180 times.
As a young man
Nielson was a five-sport athlete at Tumwater High School (Washington) and was
a twice all-Evergreen Conference in cross country and a district all-star in
1969, placing second to earn a trip to nationals.