The first Dane ever to reach the summit of Mount Everest without the use of artificial oxygen. That is who Rasmus Kragh is. Furthermore, Rasmus is a mountaineer, outdoor adventurer, public speaker, DANISH ENDURANCE ambassador, and a very good guy. We were lucky enough to have a chat with him about his achievements, goals, and ambitions.
[caption id="attachment_125910" align="aligncenter" width="469"] Rasmus Kragh, first Dane to reach the summit of Mt. Everest without the use of artificial oxygen
It is a sunny day in Copenhagen as Rasmus takes his seat on a bench near the DANISH ENDURANCE headquarters for his interview. Later that same day, Rasmus will be receiving the biennial DANISH ENDURANCE Award, given to a single member of our ambassador team for having accomplished a second to none astonishing feat within the past two years. That is no small task, as standing out in a group of peers consisting of Olympic athletes, World Cup gold medalists, and endurance athletes is practically undoable in itself. But not for Rasmus Kragh, who, as the first Dane ever, climbed to the very top of Mount Everest – with no use of artificial oxygen.
DANISH ENDURANCE: ‘’With all the media attention and congratulations coming your way right now Rasmus, how does it all feel?’’
: ‘’It feels absolutely fantastic. Right now, I am over the moon, but I also need to rest. This is something that I have been working towards for the past 4 years. Even though I don’t return with a physical medal of sorts, I still feel that I have won the Olympics.
[caption id="attachment_125916" align="aligncenter" width="659"] Rasmus on Mt. Everest
Rasmus has worked towards this goal for a long time and has previous attempts in completing it. He has spent many days and nights preparing, both physically and mentally, for the challenges and obstacles that will come before him in climbing Mt. Everest. The usual athlete will prepare for a game, effort, or performance, which can vary in duration but will most likely be finished within an hour to two hours. For Rasmus, this took a bit longer time.
[caption id="attachment_125925" align="aligncenter" width="661"] Rasmus' sketched out plan
‘’I left from Denmark on the 1st of April, and I was standing on the top of Mt. Everest on the 23rd of May. So, for the actual expedition we spent about 2 months to reach the top. For a large chunk of the full period of time, you have to get your body to adapt to the climate and the change in oxygen. We start from base camp, where we make our initial efforts of trying to adapt the body to the climate change.’’
Everest base camps consist of two base camps on opposite sides of Mount Everest: South Base Camp is in Nepal at an altitude of 5,364 meters, while North Base Camp is in Tibet, China at 5,150 meters. On the low end, it is estimated that around 3-5 people die each year on the Everest Base Camp trek. Of climbers moving past the base camp level, it is estimated that more than 300 people have died attempting to reach the summit.
DANISH ENDURANCE: ‘’How dangerous is this route in your eyes?’’
Rasmus Kragh: ‘’It is an extremely dangerous route. There are so many different challenges in your way, ranging from the climate, the altitude, the treacherous path which results in unstable footing, tourist (red. Rasmus calls un-initiated climbers trying their luck with Mt. Everest tourists), and proper nourishment to name a few. Here, one misstep or poor decision can literally result in death or serious injury. Therefore, you have to be focused and clear-minded at every second, to minimize the risk of accidents.’’
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