Kenton Cool summits Everest for the 9th time… to prove a point

Kenton Cool, 37, from Gloucestershire, does not balk at a challenge. When the BBC said in October last year that you would be able to receive a radio signal at the top of Everest, he decided to check that out.

Kenton Cool Photo: Simon Lowe

Sponsored by Samsung, and with the help of a rapid acclimatisation schedule and early weather window, Cool summited at 7.30 a.m. local time on 6th May and then returned to Camp 4 hours later. The journey was not in vain. He was able to get a weak signal from the summit with his Samsung Galaxy S II because of the 3G station at the base camp installed by network operator Ncell. In fact, last week, Ncell, A Nepali Telecom firm, installed a network of eight 3G base stations along the route to Mount Everest, in Sagarmatha National Park. Kenton Cool purportedly became the first person to tweet from the peak.


His first tweet from the summit read: “Everest summit no 9! 1st tweet from the top of the world thanks to a weak 3G signal & the awesome Samsung Galaxy S2 handset!”

You might have noticed the ‘purportedly’ earlier on. American polar-explorer Eric Larsen tweeted from the summit six months ago… using a DeLormeGPS Earthmate PN-60w, a handheld device that can send short text messages from anywhere in the world, by relaying them through a satellite.

The difference of course is that he used a satellite phone which will work anywhere, whereas Cool used a regular mobile phone. I think there is a difference…

“Whatever…” a teenager would say with a shrug. What it is indicative of though is the shrinking world we live in. Soon nowhere will be without a ‘phone signal. What a terrible thought!!!

The next day, returning to his base camp from the summit, Cool tweeted again, “Back at basecamp safe and sound after our amazing adventure!! The @samsunguk equipment was simply amazing.”

Hiking up Everest is nothing new for this British Adventurer. He had already successfully scaled the mighty mountain 8 times including summiting twice in one week in May 2007! His 9th ascent makes it a British record. He is the first British person to make a ski descent of an 8,000 m peak, Cho Oyu in Nepal, the 6th highest mountain in the World and has completed 18 successful expeditions in the Greater Ranges with several difficult first ascents.

Kenton is considered one of the UK’s top mountain and ski expedition leaders having made several ascents of hard routes with clients, including the first British guided ascent of the famous North Face of the Eiger with Sir Ranulph Fiennes in 2007.

In the autumn of 2010 Kenton made the 3rd ever ski descent of Manaslu in Nepal, the worlds 8th highest mountain. In doing so he became one of only a few people world wide to ski multiple 8000m peaks.

He lives between the UK and Chamonix, France where he is a director of Dream Guides, a Chamonix based guiding and alpine guide company that he set up with fellow expert skier and climbing adventurer, Guy Willett. Both are  professional IFMGA Mountain and Ski Guides. Their company will fulfill your dreams with a well designed array of courses, holidays and expeditions around the world to choose from.

Cool is also actively involved in raising money for charity. In March 2007, he was part of a three-man team (including Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Ian Parnell) to raise funds for the Marie Curie Eiger Challenge Appeal. A successful summit of the North Face of the Eiger raised £1.8 million for the charity. Again in May 2008, Cool and Fiennes raised a further £2.6 million for the same charity as part of the Everest Challenge Appeal. Kenton summited with the Marie Curie flag. He heavily supports and promotes Porters Progress, a foundation set up to support the mountain portering community in Nepal. Porters Progress is now part of the dZi Foundation – a foundation which works with remote Himalayan communities improving their needs in health, education, and sustainable community development.

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