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Last Updated: Monday, 28 April, 2003, 08:00 GMT 09:00 UK
Blog from the top of the world
Lorenzo Gariano taken by Scott Woolums
Lorenzo Gariano is blogging his way up Everest

A blog from Everest could prove to be the most remote location for a web diary yet.

Weblogs are becoming increasingly popular as online diaries discuss every topic under the sun, including now one of the world's most ambitious climbs.

Lorenzo Gariano is one of an army of climbers who will be setting out to tackle the world's largest mountain in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Everest's conquest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay.

He has been recording every stage of his momentous journey via a satellite phone which beams live audio blogs to a website run by the Open University's Knowledge Media Institute, (KMI), based in Milton Keynes.

Matterhorn blog

For when he is not climbing mountains, Mr Gariano has a much more mundane day job - tending the potted plants at the KMI's laboratories.

Mount Everest
Everest is a challenge for any climber

"While he is watering the plants, he tells us about his climbing exploits so we decided to combine it with testing out some technology," explained Dr Peter Scott, head of the KMI.

For his practise climb of the Matterhorn in the Alps, Mr Gariano was hooked up with a Nokia picture phone in order to test out an audio and picture blog service developed at the lab.

The blog proved immensely popular with the climbing world and Mr Gariano's latest blog is also attracting interest.

"He is sending back some great reports," said Dr Scott.

The technology needed for the Everest blog is much more low-tech, despite the fact that physically the journey is far more challenging than the Matterhorn climb.

Mr Gariano uses his satellite phone every couple of days to dial into the lab's phone service, logging a live report which is also recorded on the website as a regular blog.

Busy peak

"Everest is harder because he is using a satellite phone which he has to set up. It is important that the technology does not get in the way of the climb," said Dr Scott.

Mr Gariano is taking part in the Adventures International expedition to Everest, organised by the experienced climber Scott Woolums.

He will not find himself alone on Everest as 20 teams of mountaineers head for the summit to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the conquering of the world's highest mountain.

Neither will he be alone in making phone calls from the summit.

One of China's internet companies, in conjunction with China Mobile is providing text and photo messaging on the mountain.

Image of Lorenzo Gariano courtesy of Scott Woolums

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