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Mountaineering & Expeditions

5 Of The Weirdest Things People Have Ever Done While Climbing a Mountain

From black tie dinners to church organs... You can't make this sh*t up

Evening view of Ama Dablam

Mountaineering seems like a very serious hobby. All that equipment, planning, danger. Only serious people are into mountaineering, right?

Well, actually, no.

It seems like mountains have a large number of quirks climbing them every year, for increasingly bizarre reasons. Some break world records, some raise money for charity and others seem to just do it for the laughs…

From mountain top dinner parties to wearing a church organ as a backpack, here are some of the silliest things ever done while climbing a mountain.

The man who rolled a brussel sprout up A mountain with his nose

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Yup. This man pushed a sprout up Mount Snowdon with his nose.

At 49 years old, Stuart Kettell decided to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support in a pretty bizarre way, by getting people to sponsor him to roll a vegetable to the peak of the mountain.

It took Kettell four days and 22 sprouts to finish the mammoth task and climb the 3,560ft route on his hands and knees. After he’d finished, Kettell claimed that he was left with no skin on his knees or his palms, but had successfully raised £5,000 for his charity.

The People Who Had A black tie dinner party at the summit Of Everest

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Weirdly, black tie dinners on a mountain summit aren’t  that unusual in the mountaineering community, it seems many groups of hikers have been inspired to pop open the bubbly in the snow.

The most famous example of black tie mountaineering was in 1984, with the ‘Dining Out Club’. This club, founded by Chris Darwin, a descendant of Charles Darwin, was founded with the aim to hold dinner parties in unusual locations.

The club chose the 6768m peak of Huscara Mountain in Peru to hold their party, and three mountaineers, along with four guests and a butler, successfully made their way up the mountain for dinner and some pretty frozen champagne. Swanky!

The guy who Walks Up Mountains on cable car Wires All Over the Planet

WIRE: High wire artist Freddy Nock balances as he walks up on the rope of a Zugspitze cable car in Grainau near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, southern Germany, Saturday, Aug. 20, 2011. Nock walked up the 995 meters long rope with an altitude difference of 348 meters aiming at collecting money for UNESCO. He is attempting to set a new world record by doing seven summits in Germany, Austria and Switzerland in seven days. It took him about 90 minutes to arrive on top of Zugspitze, the highest mountain in Germany. (AP Photo/dapd, Joerg Koch)
(AP Photo/dapd, Joerg Koch)

This guy is pretty impressive.

High wire artist Freddy Nock walks to the top of mountains on the wires of cable cars, with no harness holding him to the wire. He summited seven mountains in seven days via cable car to raise money for UNESCO.

In south Germany, Nock managed to get to the top of a 995m peak with a 348 altitude difference in 90 minutes, through walking up the rope of the Zugspitze cable car.

The man who carried a church organ Up ben nevis

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In 2006, two bemused hikers found a piano on the top of Ben Nevis’ 4,418ft peak, while they were doing a routine litter pick and this odd find managed to find its way on to the national news.

The mystery was solved when a man called Kenny Campbell, from Bonar Bridge came forward to explain that the piano was in fact a church organ and that he had carried it up Ben Nevis on his back.

“When I got [to the summit], I played Scotland the Brave,” said Mr Campbell, who has also carried a beer barrel, a plough and a boat up the mountain.

The man who summited Everest To Take A Leak

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As we all know, the top of Everest is pretty cold. Many people have tried to be the first to take off clothes at the summit, but Edmund Hillary was the first to take it one step further.

When he made the first ascent in 1953 with Tenzing Norgay, his notes show that upon reaching the summit, he found himself needing to, well, number 1.

“We had been warned by expedition doctor Griffith Pugh that dehydration was one of the greatest risks faced by climbers going high. To compensate for this, Tenzing and I had spent a good part of the previous night quaffing copious quantities of hot lemon drink and, as a consequence, we arrived on top with full bladders” he writes.

“Having just paid our respects to the highest mountain in the world, I then had no choice but to urinate on it.”

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