As mountaineers proceed to hunt new techniques of having their names within the historical past books, the objectives change into increasingly more audacious.
So it is going with two twins — each with PhDs in mechanical engineering from MIT — who’ve set their points of interest on hiking the absolute best mountain in each and every nation.
As hiking tasks move, this one sounds fantastic, but Eric and Matthew Gilbertson have already made it greater than midway to their function.
Every week in the past, Eric posted on Instagram that he had reached the summit of K2 — with hiking spouse Andreas Frydensberg. This used to be Eric’s 131st top. His dual and maximum commonplace spouse, Matthew, has 97.
They view their challenge as a collaboration somewhat than a contest, Matthew advised ExplorersWeb.
“We consider our top lists as a large Venn diagram,” he defined. “There’s numerous overlap within the heart however some peaks are distinctive to each and every folks.”
Then again, Matthew admits that whilst he’s nonetheless a part of the challenge, his tempo has bogged down — for a just right reason why.
“Somewhat over 3 years in the past, I become a father, which has been very rewarding, despite the fact that it has supposed much less time for hiking in recent years,” he mentioned. “I nonetheless move peakbagging when I will, together with the Mauritania and Cape Verde highpoints. Eric and I are at all times discussing which top we’ll do in combination subsequent, and I’m nonetheless very a lot within the recreation, despite the fact that at a slower tempo than Eric now.”
Eric now climbed one of the bad mountains on this planet. Much more spectacular, he didn’t use supplemental oxygen on K2. But Eric known as it handiest the fourth-most-difficult mountain on his adventure thus far.
“Pobeda, the Kyrgyzstan highpoint we climbed final summer season, used to be in reality a lot more demanding,” he wrote on Instagram. “I might say K2 is the fourth toughest. Toughest in lowering order are most probably Bhutan, Myanmar, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan.”
Years within the making
Consistent with their website online, CountryHighPoints.com, their love of hiking began with circle of relatives journeys to the Large Smoky Mountains after they had been kids.
By way of 2012, the dynamic duo had climbed the highpoint of all 50 U.S. states, which took them 15 years. “The following logical step,” they wrote, used to be to paintings at the highpoints of each and every nation.
By way of then, they’d already began hiking the absolute best mountain in all 23 international locations in North The usa. They completed on Cuba’s Pico Turquino in 2015 after simply over 5 years.
Eric has additionally climbed the highpoints of all of the international locations in Europe, together with Denmark and the United Kingdom, after six years and 28 days. The duo most commonly climbed the mountains as a part of long-distance bicycle excursions.
Whilst the bills of such an enterprise will have to be large, the twins say that specializing in frugality has allowed them to be such a success.
Touring at the affordable
“We attempt to are living within the least expensive rental, don’t devour out incessantly, and service our personal equipment,” the Gilbersons wrote. “We join airline bank cards to get loose flights, move on lengthy bicycle excursions to keep away from paying for floor transportation, and if in any respect imaginable by no means pay to sleep.”
As skilled engineers, they incessantly shuttle the world over to give their analysis at meetings, permitting higher alternatives for hiking.
“So if we made just right growth on our analysis, shall we provide our paintings in Brazil or China or Germany, and climb some mountains at the aspect,” they mentioned.
In addition they don’t pay for guides until required by means of legislation. Due to the MIT Trip Membership, they realized most of the abilities they had to climb large mountains like Denali and K2.
Then again, many demanding situations stay for the Gilbertsons to finish their function. As one YouTube interview identified, there are a number of large query marks, equivalent to international locations at struggle or the ones merely off-limits to outsiders.