In 1995/6 Göran Kropp rode his bicycle 13000 kms with a trailer full of food and climbing gear, from Sweden to Everest Base Camp. With his first attempt on May 3rd 1996, unaided by Sherpas, and with no oxygen, he got to within 300 feet of the summit before making the tough decision to turn back as he would have had to descend in the dark.
While he was recovering at Base Camp, the 1996 Everest Disaster was unfolding near the summit. Kropp helped the rescue effort by taking supplies back up the mountain. On May 23rd, he had recovered enough to reach the summit alone. He then cycled part of the way back to Sweden.
In 2000, while participating in a skiing expedition to the North Pole he shot and killed a marauding polar bear, which caused a lot of subsequent legal problems for him. The expedition was cut short due to frostbite.
In 2002, Goran Kröpp was killed in a climbing accident in Vantage, Washington State.
Ernest Hemingway is quoted as saying that: “there are only three sports, bullfighting, motor racing and mountaineering; the rest are merely games.”
Göran Kropp also raced Formula 3 cars for a couple of seasons, so we can assume that Hemingway would have approved…..at least 2/3rds of the time. But Göran’s bicycle journey to Everest back in the Autumn and Winter of 1995, and into the Spring of 1996 was a ‘game’ played by a brave man.