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Cato Zahl Pedersen, Frank Løke

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Cato Zahl Pedersen, Frank Løke

This summer, Frank Løke (44) will climb the world‘s highest mountain, Mount Everest, without oxygen.

The expedition is far from risk-free, and Løke himself has been clear that he knows the risks that come with such a trip. Nevertheless, he will do everything to become the very first Norwegian to climb the world‘s highest mountain without oxygen.

Read also: Frank Løke reveals tough conversations with his family

Departure is already in April, but before that time Cato Zahl Pedersen (65) comes with a prayer for Løke.

Pedersen tried himself on a Mount Everest summit push in 2007, but turned back 200 meters before the summit for safety reasons. Safety is still a high priority for Pedersen, who is concerned about precisely this in Løke’s case.

– I would really think twice before something like that. It is not a wise expedition to make, he says to Nettavisen.

– Not wise in 2024

Pedersen does not doubt Løke’s abilities, but explains that Mount Everest is no longer what it once was.

– Now there are far too many people on Mount Everest in general. There are a lot of incompetent people with money who want to get to the top just for the sake of it. And he will end up in a queue with all the others, but without oxygen, he says.

– So exposing yourself, and not least others, to that risk… I would think about it. It is not wise in 2024.

In recent years, several photos and videos of long queues towards the top of the world‘s highest mountain have been shared, and Pedersen points out that everyone, including Løke, has to queue for the last stretch.

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– Yes, it is probably a personal victory to do so. But you do it together with many people who stand in your way, whom you cannot push forward. You get caught in a situation with several hundred people trying the same thing, he says.

Can be critical

Precisely because of the crowds, Pedersen himself has no desire to try his hand at the top again.

– Then you can rather take another peak of 8,000 meters for personal satisfaction, not Mount Everest, he shares.

Doing it without oxygen poses a greater risk, he believes.

Also read: Doctor warns against new Løke stunt: – Deadly for most

– Hopefully Frank will do well for a very long time. But he must feel very strong on the last camp, because the last 500 meters up is very thin air. And then you don’t know yourself, or your limitations, warns the 65-year-old.

– And then it can quickly slip, and you end up in a critical situation where others have to step in. And do you want to expose yourself to that?

Pedersen wants to monitor how things are going with Løke, but is still skeptical.

– I’m not that interested in either the South Pole or Everest, really. I did it for myself in a safe and good way, and turned around in time. But I will follow along, in the same way as I follow everything else, explains Pedersen.

– But now in advance I am very clear: Think carefully!

Will inspire the children

Løke climbed Mount Everest for the first time in 2021, that time with oxygen.

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Now that he is going to try without, he is fully aware of the risks. Earlier this week, he told Nettavisen that he has taken a risk analysis and that he is ready to carry it out.

– If I lose my life, then of course my children will miss their dad. But it is very safe with my ex-wife, my children are going to grow up anyway and have a very good time, in safe and nice surroundings, he told Nettavisen.

At the same time, Løke points out that he wants to inspire his children to follow their dreams.

Løke has also climbed “the world‘s most dangerous mountain”, K2.

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