How Many New Yorkers Have Summitted Mount Everest?
To say summitting Mount Everest is difficult would be an understatement. There have been roughly 3,000 people in human history who've accomplished the feat, and roughly 300 have died trying. By those numbers, if you try to climb Mount Everest, chances are 1 in 10 that you're going to die.
Some brave souls are undeterred by the mountain's mortality rate and attempt to scale it anyway. We found two people from New York who successfully summited Mount Everest, and one who died trying.
DesLauriers was born in Albany and grew up in Long Island. She was 37 when she submitted Mount Everest in 2006. As if that weren’t remarkable enough, she then skied down the summit, making her the first person to ski down all Seven Summits. Commenting to NPR in 2006, she said:
"My whole idea is to challenge our own perceptions of what we find our limitations to be, because those are really mostly mental.”
In 2018 she was named by Men’s Journal as one of “The 18 Most Adventurous People in the World.”
Carlos Buhler was born in Harrison, New York, located downstate in Westchester county. He is one of America’s most prominent high altitude climbers, conquering Everest in 1983 at the age of 28. Buhler was part of the first American team to reach the summit from the Tibetan side, up the East Face of the mountain. His team’s trek took 5 and ½ weeks and has never been repeated. This accomplishment was marred by the deaths of three other men in another nearby expedition.
It could’ve gone much differently for Buhler. It did for Michael Corey O'Brien.
MICHAEL COREY O'BRIEN (died)
Known affectionately to friends and family as “Big Mike,” O’Brien was described as a kindhearted man who traveled all over the world. He was from Oswego, New York and always considered it home.
Along with his brother Chris, they had wanted to be the first American brothers to summit Everest together. Their journey was part of a fundraiser for the Hereditary Disease Foundation, as several members of O’Brien’s family were victims of Huntington’s disease.
O’Brien fell to his death on May 1st, 2005, a few hundred yards from Everest base camp. He was 39 years old.