As if climbing the world's highest mountain wasn't enough of a challenge, now a Calgary climber will attempt a new route on Mt. Everest.
"I wanted to experience it, but wanted to experience it on my own terms," said Raphael Slawinski.
In April, the Mount Royal University astronomy and physics professor will tackle the northeast face of the mountain, on the China side.
It's an area mountaineers rarely venture, with just one existing route that was climbed 20 years ago by a large Russian team.
Slawinski will be attempting a different route with just two German friends and no Sherpas.
"We'll be climbing what's called alpine style, so basically just carrying what we can carry on our backs," said Slawinski, who will also be doing the trip without oxygen. He's been training all winter and says it has not been glamorous.
"Lugging packs full or rocks up hill, dumping the rocks on top coming down getting more, then repeating," he said.
Slawinski has climbed all over the world and was named National Geographic's Adventurer of the Year in 2014.
This will be his first adventure in the Himalayas and with a summit of 8,000 metres — the highest peak of his career.