SALEM, Utah -- A 47-year-old Orem man will try to climb Mount Everest with a Chicago man who wants to be the oldest person to reach the summit of the world's highest mountain.
Stacy Taniguchi has made Utah Valley his home for the past two years. But it was the summer breaks from teaching biology in Alaska public schools that started Taniguchi on the trek to the roof of the world.
In 1986, Hawaiian-born Taniguchi began to spend his summers guiding in Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska. Five years later, Taniguchi took Chicago businessman Al Hanna to the 20,320-summit of Mount McKinley.
This month, the two are on a six-member team headed to the top of the 29,028-foot mountain that straddles the Nepal-China border.
Both have completed many high-altitude ascents. It is Taniguchi's first and Hanna's third trip to Everest, and they are with the Seattle-based guide service Alpine Ascents International.
If the 69-year-old man succeeds in his summit bid, Hanna will set a record that will be almost impossible to beat. A 61-year-old Russian is the oldest man to reach Everest's summit. Hanna owns Mid-North Financial, a Fortune 400 company.
"He's (Hanna) a very unique individual," said Gordon Janow, Alpine Ascents director of programs. "He's has a passion for mountaineering. He keeps himself in excellent condition. He'll work out at 2 or 3 in the morning. It's a lifestyle for him."
They were expected to arrive Saturday in Katmandu where they will depart for the
Himalayas. Taniguchi expects to return to Utah May 24.
They will follow the path taken in 1953 by New Zealander
Edmund Hillary and sherpa
Tenzing Norgay, the first to stand at the top of world.
Weather and the cost of equipment, travel and permits are big obstacles to Himalayan summits.
Darick Mower, vice president of marketing for Neways Inc., can't control the weather.
But Mower expects some of the Salem-based company's products such as energy bars, protein
powder and oxygenated water will ease the climb for Taniguchi and Hanna, who use Neways' products.
"We're really looking at anti-aging and longevity products," Mower said. "He (Hanna) has
experience near the summit. We'll see how he feels in his ascent this time."