May 17th, 2023 — Reaching the peak of Mount Everest even once is an accomplishment of a lifetime, yet on May 17th, 2023 Kenton Cool summited the mountain for his 17th time — breaking his own record for most summits by a person born outside of Nepal.
This time was a little different, he tells us in an interview with NowThis posted to Instagram, “There’s a general trend for the mountain to be more rocky, less snow,” he continues to say it could be for any reason, but mentions two specifically: “it could be global warming, environmental change.” This is on par with trends reported by Harvard, which adds that even if the world achieves the desired temperature for managing warming of 1.5ºC, the effect will be greater in the Himalayas.
Cool first summited Everest in 2004 at the age of 26, and has returned every year since with the exceptions of 2014, ‘15, ‘17, and ‘20. It should be noted he also summited twice in the year 2007, first on May 17 and again on the 24th a week later.
Before ever climbing Everest, Cool suffered from a rock fall in north Wales resulting in calcanea fractures of both heels. Doctors told him it was unlikely he would ever walk without a cain again. Though he says he still has pain, Cool has certainly proved doctors wrong by walking — and making record breaking ascents — since the incident.
Kenton Cool is an English mountaineer and mountain guide born in Slough, Berkshire. He is considered one of the UK’s top mountain and ski expedition leaders and has completed over 45 notable ascents in addition to owning the record for most Everest summits by a foreigner.