Thai Climber - Kaew

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Climb for the King's 80th Birthday

'Jai Tong'
'Heart of Gold'

Our Team:
Lou Renner,
Kaew Buatoom,
Charlie Mitchell &
Maggie Hellmann.


This is a special climb I did to celebrate the 80th birthday of my King, HRM King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand.

Our team's goal was to carve a new and unclimbed route up a sacred mountain, Mt. Shasta. The line of our ascent is a bold adventure to the summit of Mount Shasta's Northwest face at 14,162 ft. Our ascent took 13 days, from August 14th through August 26th, to complete.

The route was a demanding, but beautiful experience, done with grace and purity to the environment that we were in. Reaching the summit, we were forced to navigate remote glaciers, steep rock, and knife edged ridges. On Mt. Shasta, we climbed steadily and forced nothing. We let the blows of our ice axes follow the pure and natural lines that the mountain offered up to us.

In the end, our goal was to climb this sacred mountain in a sacred style. With our friends and with absolutely no help from porters, we carried our backpacks and all of our equipment on our backs. This simple style of climbing is known within the climbing world as "Alpine Style."

On August 24th, 2007 at 1pm , after a 14-hour summit push, we accomplished our goal of making a new route on the Northwest Ridge of Mt. Shasta.

I have chosen to name this new route in honor of my King. The name of the new route is: ‘Jai Tong’ - ‘Heart of Gold.’


Kaew on summit
new route on
Mt. Shasta


Kaew praying
at Camp 1.

Dawn breaks
Kaew & Maggie climbing the sickle

Our Team

Charlie Mitchell, Kaew Buatoom, Lou Renner & Maggie Hellmann.

Charlie on trek
thumbs up!

Kaew climbs
up the ice gulley

Lou leading
ice gulleys on
new route

Kaew & Charlie
at ABC camp.


Kaew climbing
on red tower

rock section

carrying load

Mt. Shasta

Kaew on ice

Summit Book
with Thai & royal flags
on Mt. Shasta

Close-up of
Kaew on summit

Mt. Shasta