British mountaineer tweets from top of Mt. Everest

Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger

Tweet from atop Mt. Everest? Yes, you can. Kenton Cool, 37, British mountaineer, alpinist and guide, sent this tweet on Thursday:

“@KentonCool: Everest summit no 9! 1st tweet from the top of the world thanks to a weak 3G signal & the awesome Samsung Galaxy S2 handset!”

I couldn’t confirm this was the first use of Twitter from the summit of the world’s highest mountain, but like Kenton’s last name, the hook-up was definitely ... cool. And you guessed it: Samsung funded his expedition to the world’s highest peak.


The tweet was expedited by 3G high-speed Internet facilities that were installed at Everest base camp in October, according to Reuters.

In a cellphone call from the Himalayan summit Thursday, Cool told the BBC: “The world is getting smaller and smaller. We got a 3G signal on the summit of Everest. How incredible is that?” In fact, he told the BBC, testing the signal was his goal for this expedition -- his ninth trip to the top of Everest, more than 29,000 feet up.

In 2007, climber Rod Baber made what was said to be the first land-based cellular phone call from the Everest summit and sent a text message, according to the BBC. The text message said: “One small text for man, one giant leap for mobilekind -- thanks Motorola.” And yes, Motorola funded that trip.

History-making tweets and texts aside, Cool’s feat of reaching the summit for the ninth time is remarkable. In his energetic chat with the BBC, he describes the top of the world as “absolutely breathtaking” and describes views of the Makalu and Cho Oyu peaks and Tibet.

An experienced climber and celebrated guide, Cool guided Bonita Norris, 22, said to be the youngest British woman to make the peak, to the top of Everest last year. He also guided explorer Ranulph Fiennes, then 65, on his successful 2009 attempt to become the oldest Briton to reach the top.

As for the techno-feat, well, that’s pretty sweet too. Although most of us won’t make it to the top of Mt. Everest, those who make it to the mountain’s base camp, at more than 17,000 feet, will be able to more easily share those OMG moments with their friends.