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  Mount Everest 2004 Expedition: Americans Dan Lochner and Dan Meggitt

Latest News: The Full Summit report: Americans Dan Lochner and Dan Meggitt Summit Everest

Americans Dan Lochner and Dan Meggitt

We live in a society fascinated by extremes. We want to know the first, the fastest, biggest, shortest, longest, and quickest, when it come to just about any human activity. You can see it from our fascination in sports records, fastest cars, and tallest mountains. Mountaineering is no different, in-fact it may be more focused on records than a lot of other sports. There is, of course, the mother of all records Mt. Everest, and the lesser but no less arduous and significant climbing records on the other Himalayan peaks. Who was really first atop Everest? When was the first winter summit of K2? Who did the first oxygen-less ascent of what mountain and when? We all want to know.

Dan Lochner, a 21-year-old native of Edina, Minnesota, is taking his own crack at the record books by attempting to become the youngest person to scale the Seven Summits (the tallest peak on each continent). Japanese climber Atsushi Yamada, who completed all seven peaks at the age of 23 years and 9 days, currently holds the record. If all goes according to Lochner's plan he will summit Mt. Everest in May and then Mt. Vinson, the tallest mountain in Antarctica, sometime in the fall. He hopes to join the Seven Summits club now with around 113 currrent members (around 41 of them American), at the age of 22.

Lochner's quest for the Seven Summits began at the age of 13 in a Maine summer camp when he developed an interest in rock-climbing and a love of the outdoors. When a friend of a friend climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa's tallest mountain, Lochner first considered making a bid for the Seven Summits. He trained for 10 days in the Canadian Rockies and in the Alaskan Range before giving Mt. McKinley (Denali), the tallest peak in North America, a try last summer. Even though he doesn't consider himself a mountaineer Lochner had privately decided that if McKinley were a success then he'd give the other 6 peaks a shot. McKinley turned out to be an arduous 15-day climb, but in the end it was a successful summit.

McKinley was followed by Elbrus in Europe, Kosciusko in Australia, and Kilimanjaro in Africa, giving Lochner 4 of the 7 summits. Then came Aconcagua  in Argentina making a second attempt at Aconcagua in the South American Andes, after an earlier attempt at summiting Aconcagua had been prevented by severe weather and an attack of bronchitis just 600 feet short of the top. In addition to Everest, and Mt. Vinson, Lochner hopes to climb Carstensz Pyramid in Papua New Guinea as well. There is some dispute in climbing circles over whether Kosciusko or the taller Carstensz Pyramid constitutes the seventh summit. Political problems in Papua New Guinea make climbing Carstensz Pyramid problematic.

Lochner plans to return to University of Richmond after completing the Seven Summits and complete his degree in Economics.

His climbing partner: DAN MEGGITT

Dan Meggitt of Philadelphia is a free spirit looking for adventure in every corner of the earth. Meggitt, a teammate and aspiring Seven Summit climber, will be climbing together with Dan Lochner this March to attempt the traditional North Col of Everest. Meggitt, besides being an excellent mountaineer, has many accomplishments under his belt, namely sailing around the world, solo.

The Dan's met each other in Talkeetna, Alaska in April 2003 while enrolled in a mountaineering course with Alaskan Mountain Guides. Coincidently, both Dan's, while being enrolled in the same mountaineering course, also were planning to climb Denali (McKinley) a week later and had plans to also climb the remaining Seven Summits. Instantly, their similar personalities and goals brought them together, bonding a friendship while training in the ramparts of the Alaskan Range. Since their meeting, the Dan's have been climbing together on Denali and Elbrus as a team. Mount Everest will be the next expedition they attempt as a team.

To date, Meggitt has climbed Denali, Elbrus and a solo climb of Aconcagua. In addition to Everest this March, he has plans to climb the remaining Seven Summits in the near future.

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