Doug McLaren looks down on Hollywood these days, but don’t hold it against him. Standing at 28,035 feet, he looks down on just about everybody.
The 32-year-old ICM agent, who reps such clients as helmer Jay Roach (“Meet the Parents”) and scribe Doug Wright (“Quills”), reached the summit of Mt. Everest with three other unguided climbers on May 23. Their victory was bittersweet. In the early evening of April 29, the team’s leader, Babu Chiri Sherpa, plunged 100 feet through a hidden crevasse to his death.
“It is surmised from the amount of blood and the fact that he was wedged upside down in the crevasse that he was not stuck there long suffering (sic),” McLaren wrote in an email.
Babu had built a rarity in Nepal — a wholly Sherpa-run business, and was raising money to build schools for high-altitude communities.
“Ironically, Babu was pushing the limits of climbing so that the next generation wasn’t left with that as their only career,” wrote McLaren.
Having the lynchpin of their expedition die so suddenly gave McLaren and his fellow trekkers pause about continuing. But the four persevered through thigh-deep snow and 55-mph winds, and reached the summit early in the morning of the 23rd.
“It’s a great feeling when your dreams come to life and your real life becomes the stuff of your dreams,” wrote McLaren, “This Everest climb was the stuff of my dreams.”