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March 04. 2014 9:48PM

New heights

Keene State College grad taking science study to new heights on Mount Everest


Keene State College graduate Jake St. Pierre is pictured on Lobuche peak, Nepal, in 2013 at about 21,000 feet. St. Pierre, of Concord, is also a Bow police officer. (Courtesy)

KEENE -- Keene State College graduate Jake St. Pierre has been invited to join a small team of climbers and scientists tasked with studying climate change on Mount Everest.

"It's a cool earth-friendly project, and I'm happy to be a part of it," St. Pierre said Monday.

St. Pierre of Concord will join the Lhotse Snow Science Expedition that plans to set out at the end of March.

Lhoste is the fourth highest peak of Mount Everest.

This will be his third trip to Nepal and plans for the climb mean it will be his highest climb of Everest so far, he said.

Growing up in Concord, St. Pierre remembers picking up a book on Everest one day and being hooked.

"Life is too short not to follow your dream. I've been reading about Everest since I was a little kid. I just love the history of it," he said.

The project, organized by the American Climber Science Program, which is run by the American Alpine Club, and Black Ice Himalaya, a research organization associated with the University of Colorado, Boulder, aims to study pollution and climate change.

"I believe in the mission. I think it's important. Climate change is kind of a hot bottom issue right now and what better place to study it than in Nepal at the roof of the world," he said.

St. Pierre is an avid climber and trains others to meet their climbing goals through his personal trainer service Juggernaut Summit Performance. St. Pierre is also a police officer in Bow.

St. Pierre is excited to join the climbing expedition that includes scientific training on collecting ice samples at different elevations.

Pollution is causing the glaciers to melt at a faster rate, which poses the danger of potential floods in Nepal, he said.

St. Pierre majored in psychology at Keene State and earned his bachelor of science degree there in 2003.

The scientific expedition will take up to 65 days, he said, and he has taken out a $10,000 loan to fund it, but it is a passion of his he wants to pursue and knows will open up opportunities for him.

"I've just always been into hiking," he said. "I would love to use my passions more for the outdoors and more for science to pursue other goals."

St. Pierre is looking for sponsors to fund the trip and has started a Go Fund Me online fundraiser. You can find out more about his trip at his website at jsp1924.com.

He said he plans to return to Nepal next year to earn his mountain guide certification.

mpierce@newstote.com


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