Wandering the aisles at First Saturday Arts Market, I love to ask the artists what else they do either for a living or recreation? The answers are sometimes stunning. Examples: political science professors, NASA Space Station operations, marathoners, pilots, FAA investigator and today, we meet master carpenter and mountain climber, Heiko Weiner.
Weiner, a Pasadena resident, specializes in turned bowls. He has succeeded in developing his own, distinctive style. He combines wood with other natural materials, such as essential oils, semi-precious stones, bone, and metal. He enjoys the challenge of applying various precise techniques required for this type of work.
Weiner travels the country to fine art shows and will be a featured artist at the Bayou City Art Festival Memorial Park this weekend. Following that he plans to climb 27,940 ft., to the summit of the 4th highest mountain in the world.
Weiner has been climbing for more than 25 years. He’s been on mountains in Europe, North and South America, Alaska, and the Himalayas. He tells me that reaching the top of Mt. Everest in 2011 was definitely one of the highlights.
“I do like those mountains that have something special about them,” Weiner said. “Sometimes the particular location, more than the actual height. All in all, I have been above 20,000 ft for 11 times now, and this year’s climb will definitely be a special one, in more than one way.”
What kind of physical preparation is involved?
“Preparing for these kind of endeavors does take time and effort. For several years now I’ve been using a combination of cross-fit and endurance training, working up to two to three hours or longer at a time, the specifics are depending on the actual mountain,” he said. “Preparing for alpine climbing is a bit like preparing for a decathlon with respect to the many different aspects that this form of climbing requires.”
Tell me about your next climb?
“I will be returning to the Himalayas for one more climb, Mt. Lhotse, which is located next to Mt. Everest. I did look at it back in 2011 on the way down from Everest,” Weiner said. “This one is a bit more difficult, but most of the route is actually the same as for Everest. After more than 25 years, it also will be my last expedition of this kind, both with respect to altitude and duration (it will take about 60 days).”
“We have been planning this one for the last three years, and my wife Katrina will be hiking with me up to Everest Base camp before returning back home. There will still be plenty of other places to go to in the future. After all, there is the saying that there are old climbers, and there are bold climbers, just not many old, bold climbers.”
Weiner promises a Facebook page and website to follow along on his journey. I’ll post those when they’re up. Meet Weiner at his booth #806 this weekend at Bayou City Art Festival Memorial Park – details and park and ride info at www.bayoucityartfestival.com and follow Heiko Weiner’s website at www.hwrwood.com.
Cohen is an artist and founder of First Saturday Arts Market and the new Market at Sawyer Yards, find him at ArtValet.com.