Remembering Goran Kropp

Goran Kropp Climbing CeremonyRemembering the man today,  Goran Kropp , who biked to from his home in Sweden to the Mt. Everest Base Camp in Nepal. Goran died in a climbing accident on this date a little over a decade ago.

Goran’s 7,000 mile biking journey within itself is amazing, but Goran didn’t stop there. He then proceeded to ascend up the Khumbu icefall and on upwards towards the top of the world, the summit of Mt. Everest. However, as expected it certainly wasn’t so easy as on his first attempt at climbing Everest, as he was turned away near the summit and had to return to Base Camp.

Namche Bazaar

Then he was in Base Camp during the tragedy on Mt. Everest that unfolded when a number of climbing expeditions were stranded high on the mountain. As has been retold through books and documentaries many climbers died, including one of the world’s best, Rob Hall of New Zealand.

I guess if you have biked all the way from Sweden, you do not stop after being turned away once while ascending Mt. Everest. So Goran returned to the mountain and navigated the dangerous Khumbu icefall again, and eventually summited Mt Everest. Once more, this feat alone is a pretty impressive one for Goran.

However, as I am sure you’ve caught on, Goran wasn’t your normal hardcore adventurer. Goran climbed Mt. Everest without any Sherpa assistance, which very few have done. Just as he was self reliant on his biking journey to Nepal, he was also self sufficient of his ascent to the top of the world.

Mt Everest TibetSo what did Goran do to celebrate his two big accomplishments? He got back on his bicycle and rode the 7,000 miles back to his home in Sweden of course. Just like any of us would have done.

For me, I learned about this amazing person, whom I didn’t yet know of his name, upon starting out my trek in Jiri, Nepal. Jiri is one of the towns you can begin your trek to the Mt. Everest Base Camp.

He had preceded me by a few days, so during my nightly stopovers, I would hear rumors about “the guy from Sweden” preceding me up the trail. The trek alone was an experience for me and now I had something else to look forward to when I arrived in the tent village at Base Camp.Bridge Mt Everest Trek

Once I did finally catch up with him in Base Camp, I was able to view his climbing ceremony, which is considered essential by Nepalese tradition prior to beginning the climb of Mt. Everest.

For Goran and his feats, yes, there was the sense of accomplishment at the end result, but there was also the journey itself for him. Unlike most of us who focus more on the pinnacle of our expedition, Goran was the type who’s whole adventure had to be achieved prior to feeling the sense of accomplishment. He was the type of person that he had to succeed on his own terms, not on what others deemed successful.

Goran Kropp was truly a remarkable person and has been missed in the climbing community for all of these years.

 

Lane Lawrence

 

Additional Reading:
Outside Magazine: Greatest Moments on Everest
Ultimate High: My Everest Odyssey by Goran Kropp
Everest Tragedy: Into Thin Air by John Krakauer
Adventure Journal – Historical Badass: Goran Kropp