Mountaineer Dean Maher is the first ever to vegan to summit the south face of Mt. Everest using animal-free gear.
“I’m very proud to announce that two days ago I became the first vegan in the world to summit Mt Everest (south face)!!!!,” Maher wrote on Instagram last week. “I used no down, no leather, no wool, no silk, etc, showing that you don’t need to harm animals to accomplish even your biggest of dreams.”
Maher isn’t the first vegan to climb the world’s tallest mountain. He gave thanks to Indian mountaineer Kuntal Joisher for his guidance. Joisher reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2016, albeit in traditional gear.
“The day I climb to top of Everest without eating or wearing an animal as a true 100% vegan, I think that would definitely rate as my favorite” Joisher told Great Vegan Athletes. “It hasn’t happened yet. Hopefully soon.”
In May 2018, Joisher climbed Mt. Lhotse, the world’s fourth largest mountain and part of Mt. Everest’s massif, wearing all vegan gear.
Maher’s Vegan Mountaineering Gear
Maher shared what he wore while climbing Mt. Everest in a post earlier today. His gear consisted of three layers.
The base layer was the RAB Nucleus Pull-On fleece and pants. The second, Patagonia’s R2 Fleece and RAB Photon pants. The third, a green and yellow Mountain Equipment Citadel jacket, a vegan puffer filled with PrimaLoft GOLD insulation, which is made from 55 percent recycled materials. The athlete wore a vegan summit suit from ethical Italian brand Save the Duck for his fourth layer. He also wore three layers of gloves.
“This is the setup that worked for me personally,” Maher noted. “Just because it worked for me doesn’t mean it will work for you. Everyone has different tolerances to temperatures in different parts of their bodies.”
Maher also thanked Sherpas, the Nepali people who help climbers scale Mt. Everest, in making his summitting possible.
“They genuinely are absolute heros and almost all of the climbers would not be able to do what they do without their superhuman work and risks that are associated with it,” he wrote.
Sherpas are typically only able to grow potatoes, but two guides — Ang Temba and his wife Yangzee — built a greenhouse in 2012 at their village located 13,100 feet above sea level. The couple grows vegetables like bok choy, broccoli, tomatoes, and herbs.