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Iowans on Mt. Everest Cheered on by Corridor Climber who Survived Four Attempts

Dr. Chuck Huss on one of his four attempts to climb Mt. Everest. He's now offering advice and cheering on other Iowans hoping to summit

Chuck Huss can laugh about it now and enjoy some perspective on one of the highest goals a person could ever set.

The emergency room physician made four trips to the Himalayas between 1998 and 2005 determined to climb to the top of the world, but each time Mount Everest had other ideas, “ It’s an unfinished goal. Everybody would like to go there and have a shot at the top. If everything had been just right, I think I could have done it.”

Huss trained hard, running and working out to be in peak condition, but each time dangerous illness, weather or equipment problems forced him to make the life and death decision to turn back. Surrounded by large photographs of the adventure hung on his dinning room walls, Huss is now closely monitoring another Iowan on Everest.

University of Northern Iowa Professor Andy Anderson and his cousin John hope to be the first Iowans to ever climb the north face. They planned to make their push for the summit last week, but bad weather forced them to wait and they are now hoping for a window of opportunity as early as next week. In an email to CBS2 Anchor Matt Hammill, Andy remarked that climbing Everest is like no other challenge he’s faced. He says it’s both physically and mentally demanding to the extremes.

In conversations with Huss, before the adventure, Anderson says the veteran climber warned him he would need to get used to seeing death. Huss says the reminders of the danger were everywhere, “ There was a person who fell into a crevasse and couldn’t be helped out. There are bodies high on the mountain you walk past under certain circumstances, some in body bags or sleeping bags and some not. “

Recently Huss exchanged emails with Anderson as he waited in base camp on Everest. He says he reminded him to stay strong, take care of himself with enough food and rest and stay sharp as he waited to push for the top. On Huss’ most promising shot at the summit, he says he could see his goal, just another two hours away. But altitude sickness forced him to make a tough choice, but the right choice. He says after all his attempts in the beautiful Himalayas, he has zero regrets, “ It’s a trip of a lifetime, four times and I came home with all my fingers and most of my brain ha ha. Mountaineering is a part of my life, but it’s only a part of my life and I have other things I want to do.”

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