It is quite easy to imagine the difficulties one would face in order to reach the summit of Mount Everest, it consistently being the highest peak in the world. Along with the quite literally breathtaking heights, think about the unpredictable and cold climate and the dangerous terrain which aren’t doing you any favours! Now pair those 8,848 meters into the clouds with another, roughly, 13,000 kilometers across the globe and you’ve got yourself the itinerary of Göran Kropp, the ‘crazy’ Swede who took the challenge of adventure to an impressive level.
A Swedish mountaineer with a passion for adventure and heights, who had taken it upon himself to chase all the adventures he could imagine, Kropp cycled from his home in Sweden to the Base Camp of Everest in Nepal, climbed the famous mountain without any supplementary oxygen nor the guide of a Sherpa, successfully made his way back down again, gathered his gear and cycled the entire distance back. Well, even thinking about it is utterly exhausting!
But then again, if you’ve been scouring heights since you were 6 years old, maybe then the feat would make slightly more sense (although still no less impressive). Kropp’s first summit was with his father in 1972, at the age of 6, reaching the tallest peak in Scandinavia; Norway’s Galdhøpiggen.
Setting out on his custom built Crescent Ultima bicycle from Stockholm on the morning of October 16 th , 1995, Kropp had 238 pounds of gear and food in a trailer attached to his bicycle and an incredibly long journey ahead of him. Cycling through cities, deserts, borders and a range of climates one could say the cycling was the ultimate warm-up and workout towards the next step of his journey.
Six months on the bicycle later, Göran Kropp reached the Everest Base Camp in the April of 1996, right around the time when headliners were that 8 climbers had lost their lives in a rogue blizzard in the Himalayas “The Mount Everest Disaster of 1996” which was later recorded in a personal account of the event by Author Jon Krakauer. Doing his part to help with the recovery activities, it was then Kropp’s turn to face the heights.
Although adventurous, Kropp was not a man with a plan to die. Hence, on his first attempt to scale Mt. Everest, Göran Kropp turned back only 350 feet from the summit because it was too late in the day for him to be able to make it safely back down. A responsible climber with safety in mind, he then successfully made it on the second attempt.
Hence, his death at the young age of 35 a few years later, in the September of 2002, was a whole lot more of a shock. An almost routine rock climbing incident, proved fatal which led to his sudden death. Rock climbing up the Air Guitar route, near Frenchman Coulee in Vantage, Washington, Göran Kropp had actually reached the exit point of the trail when his gear tore and he fell about 60 feet before dying on impact.
A man built for adventure, we imagine Göran Kropp would’ve completed even more incredibly challenging and impressive feats during his lifetime. An inspiration to adventurers worldwide, the adventure is never hard to obtain. You just need the willpower to go and grab it.
Want to plan your own adventure? Check out: 5 Incredible Trips Cyclists can Plan.
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