The Douglas Hansen who is presumed to have died on Mount Everest Monday during an expedition that ran into deadly storms at the summit is not, repeat that, not, the Doug Hansen of Orem who plans to scale the world's highest mountain again in 12 months.
Hansen, who owns Hansen Mountaineering and has already attempted to reach the 29,028-foot summit once, said he's getting calls from all across the United States as people read the news stories about the recent deaths.Eight climbers are presumed missing and dead in harsh conditions that hit the mountain Friday, including a Douglas Hansen, 44, of Renton, Wash.
"It's kind of spooky," said Orem's Hansen. "I read it myself and said, `What?' "
At first, he pretty much shrugged it off, but Tuesday morning he said he awoke feeling a sort of eerieness about the situation.
"I got awful scared. I don't want to never see my kids again," said Hansen.
He and his wife have four children, and he's about to become a grandparent as well.
"I think my wife pulled out the insurance policy," he quipped.
While Hansen is fairly philosophical about the illusionary close call, he isn't ignoring the real possibility that it can happen to any climber willing to venture into an expedition such as climbing Everest.
"It's one of the concerns. It could happen to all of us."
Fortunately, said Hansen, as he goes about the business of collecting money, equipment and fellow climbers for the May 1997 attempt on Everest, "none of us are the Russian roulette type. It's just not worth it to take unnecessary risks."
He knows how it feels to get close and have to turn back. He had serious bouts of altitude sickness during his last attempt that forced him to forgo reaching the summit - just a few thousand feet away.
Hansen said his group is getting very excited about next year's climb. "We've got some really good, strong team climbers," he said.
It'll take a minimum of $250,000 and two to three years planning to get his group on the mountain.
Anyone still interested in either joining the group as a climber or as part of the trekking team (that accompanies the climbers as far as the base camp) can contact Hansen at 226-7498.
"We're still going. You bet," said Hansen.