The Abode of the Gods: Ascending Mt Meru with Climbing Legend Conrad Anker
Conrad Anker is renowned throughout the world as one of the greatest living mountaineers. Follow him to the Himalayan peaks of northern India to climb the ‘Shark’s Fin’ of Mt Meru, a sheer 1,500-foot wall of blank granite, one the hardest, most dangerous and beautiful routes on the planet.
For 30 years the best mountaineers in the world had attempted to climb Mt Meru and for 30 years one-by-one they were spit off. It was thought that perhaps no one would ever reach its summit. Sacred to four religions, Mt Meru is known as the abode of the gods. Perhaps it wasn’t meant to be climbed. Perhaps it was impossible. But impossible is a word that Conrad doesn’t understand. This is the story of that climb. This is the story of the adventure of his life.
But it’s more than that too. Coming up as a young climber, Conrad was mentored by a man called Mugs Stump, another legend of his day. For Mugs, Mt Meru represented the pinnacle of mountaineering. Climbing it would be the greatest achievement of his career. Conrad and him made a promise, they vowed that no matter what they would one day reach the top together.
But, tragically, Mugs died before his dream could be realised. After that, climbing Mt Meru became more than just a mountain or Conrad, it became an obsession. It became the culmination of his life’s work. He put a team together, Jimmy Chin – the renowned mountaineer and filmmaker – and a young climber called Renan Ozturk. Together, they travelled to northern India and began the long journey to the summit.
This is a story about what it takes to achieve the impossible. This, is the story of Mt Meru.
· Follow the world’s best climbers pitch-by-pitch up the hardest climb on the planet.
· Hear what it’s like to survive for 17 days in a ‘Sea of Gravity’, as Conrad calls it, 1000s feet of extreme exposure pulling you down into all sides.
· Discover what it takes to survive one of the worst Himalayan storms in 50 years, trapped in a portaledge thousands of feet above the ground, with avalanches raining down all around you
· Climb the House of Cards, one of the most dangerous pitches in mountaineering
· Hear the wisdom and inspiration that Conrad has learnt from a life in the mountains.
The documentary of this climb is called Meru, shot and directed by another legend Jimmy Chin. You can rent it on Amazon, You Tube and elsewhere. You can also follow Conrad on Instagram/Twitter @conrad_anker and on Facebook @conradankerofficial. His website is simply www.conradanker.com
If you enjoy this episode, please check out some of the conservation projects, which Conrad is involved with and support them if you can: www.himalayan-foundation.org and www.alexlowe.org
(c) Jimmy Chin
Thanks to Wondrium for sponsoring this episode. Wondrium is the new name for The Great Courses Plus, now expanded with more content: documentaries, world-cinema, tv shows and lots of new courses. You can check it all out for free for one month by heading over to www.wondrium.com/armchair