Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Climber has high hopes

Aiming to conquer deadly summit

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In the space of four years, Dean Carriere has stood on top of the world seven times but there's still one potentially deadly mountain left to climb.

The 48-year-old construction worker is one of just a few hundred people in the world to have climbed the highest peaks on all seven continents -- known as the Seven Summits -- but he's got his sights set on K2.

Dubbed the Savage Mountain for having the second-highest fatality rate among peaks of more than 8,000 metres -- for every four people who have reached its summit, one has died -- it's the second-highest mountain on earth after Mount Everest.

(It's not considered one of the Seven Summits because its northern Pakistan location is close to Everest in Nepal.)

'K2 is not a good mountain. My mom's not going to like reading this but I'm going to go'

Carriere is hoping to go next year or in 2016.

"You've got to find 10 crazy people who want to climb it," he said of the 85-day expedition.

"Just because Everest is higher doesn't mean it's harder. K2 is not a good mountain. My mom's not going to like reading this but I'm going to go."

Two of Carriere's friends died last year after an avalanche swept through their camp partway up K2 while they were sleeping.

While he was atop Mount Everest last May, he unfurled a Winnipeg Jets flag and snapped a picture. He's planning to auction it off to help raise funds for further expeditions.

In the meantime, Carriere is going to keep his climbing skills sharp this summer by tackling Canada's highest peak, Mount Logan, which is located on the Canadian side of the Yukon/Alaska border. (Its peak is a mere 5,250 metres above sea level.)

And next month, he is going to take a group of six Winnipeggers to Tanzania to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. The trip, which runs from Feb. 20 to March 5, will include dropping off clothing and school supplies at local orphanages.

Bruce McWhirter and his partner, Anh Tran, learned about the expedition when Carriere was doing some tiling at his house.

"I thought, 'why not?' " he said.

McWhirter has gone on some hikes in the Rockies but nothing like the 5,895-metre challenge presented by Kilimanjaro.

He admitted some members of his family are wondering if he's already short on oxygen.

"My brother is wondering what's going on with me but one of my kids would love to come. Thirty thousand people climb it a year. It's a busy mountain," he said.

Carriere said many mountain climbers who have ascended the Seven Summits turn their attention to the North and South poles. He hopes to make both at some point but he has to figure out the financing first.

"This is an expensive habit," he said.

geoff.kirbyson@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 30, 2014 B1

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