Picture behind the story #14 A World Altitude Record With a Steam Iron

A personal PhotoChallenge matching a story to a photo every day for 30 days with short tales of travel, mountaineering, Nepal, art, and a few personal ones too!

14. A World Altitude Record With a Steam Iron

There’s not many can say they’ve held a world record, but ….. our mountaineering team of Andy 1, Ged, Andy 2 and myself held the Extreme Ironing world altitude record for around 12 months in 2003! In case you didn’t know it, Ironing IS an extreme sport and has been performed all over the world in extreme situations; up trees, on cliff faces, at the bottom of lakes and seas …… and then in our case, TWICE in the space of a week. The four of us were in Nepal to summit two snow peaks plus the easy scramble (except for the altitude) to the top of Kala Pataar above Everest Base Camp. Ged and I had summited Yala Peak in the Langtang district of Nepal a week earlier before the two Andy’s flew out to join us for our foray into the Everest region. Two weeks later we ironed a nylon shirt on top of Kala Pataar, then a few days after that this beauty of a photo was taken of Andy 2 and Ged just below the summit of Imja Tse (Island Peak) on the only safe patch of snow and ice to set up the ironing board and do the magic with a Rowenta iron. We didn’t reach the summit of the peak that day (we did that one year later) but we’d still ironed at just over 21,000ft.


For some reason we could never fathom the Extreme Ironing Bureau wouldn’t accept our altitude record on Imja Tse, but they DID accept our record on Kala Pataar. Not worth fighting about. If you’re interested our record photo was posted on Summit Post, the fantastic all round mountains website for mountaineers and Extreme Ironing are now on Facebook but their original website seems to have disappeared. You can read about them on Wikipedia Extreme Ironing too.

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6 replies

  1. The only irons I have are in my golf bag!

    Liked by 1 person

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