Photo Industry Supports Everest Climb

Photo Industry Supports Everest Climb

By Ron Leach

At a time when world attention is directed toward the turmoil involving China, Tibet and the upcoming Olympics, it's nice to see some positive news emanating from Nepal--especially when it involves the photo industry in support of an effort to raise awareness and money for Aids in Africa.

Canon, Nikon and SanDisk are providing equipment to a climbing expedition now on the flanks of Mt. Everest. The team hopes to scale the 29,035-foot peak in late May while focusing global attention on AIDS in Africa. Of the 33.2 million people living with HIV/AIDS today, Africa is home to 68 percent, or 22.5 million of those affected. The disease is the leading cause of death in Africa, with approximately 4,400 people dying every day from AIDS.

The three-member climbing team sponsored by Dell, Microsoft, MSN, and MSNBC is led by Jeff Dossett, Executive Producer and General Manager of the MSN Media Network. The climbers are chronicling their ascent with digital cameras and camcorders provided by Canon and Nikon, using memory cards from SanDisk. The other two members of the Everest team, residents of the Pacific Northwest, are professional mountaineering guides Dave Morton and Melissa Arnot. Morton has reached the summit of Everest four times and has climbed extensively in the Himalayas, South America, the Cascades, Alaska, and Russia. Arnot is a guide on Mt. Rainier in Washington State.

The team is using helmet cams and hand-held camcorders, including the Canon VIXIA HF10 Dual Flash Memory high-definition model that records to both internal memory and SD/SDHC flash cards. Other imaging gear includes Canon VIXIA HV30 HD video camcorders, the Canon EOS 5D DSLR, the Canon PowerShot SD870 IS compact camera, and Nikon D300 and D80 DSLR cameras.

Dell, Microsoft and Motorola plan to offer specially branded products to commemorate this effort, and will donate a portion of the proceeds to The Global fund to fight HIV/Aids in Africa.