On March 25 th 2005, a party of Canadian climbers and hikers will set off on an assault on the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest.

The expedition will be led by Dr Sean Egan, an accomplished mountaineer and professor in the School of Human Kinetics at University of Ottawa, and Peter Luk, director, School of Business Management, Ryerson University.

Accompanying the climbing expedition for three weeks is a party of hikers that includes senior IT executives from private and public Canadian organizations and leaders from the Ryerson University Business School. They will trek through Nepal to the Everest Base Camp, starting from the exotic city of Kathmandu.

The expedition is sponsored by Kanatek Technologies , an independent storage systems integrator based in Ottawa, specializing in data availability, email archiving, and back up and recovery solutions. Kanatek has a long tradition of hosting innovative events and Kanatek president, Terry Kell says, “We want to put Canadian IT solutions on top of the world. We will be using the latest in communications technology to demonstrate data recovery in a hostile environment.”

The expedition is co-sponsored by HP ProCurve Networking.

Expedition leader, Dr Egan, says, “Two very well-respected Canadian universities are working together on this expedition to complete some vital research. If we can get to the summit it will be an added bonus.”

University of Ottawa and Ryerson University have prepared research plans on coping with hypoxia (an absence of oxygen reaching living tissues) , the relationships between fitness and ageing, and sport tourism in the context of extreme adventure.

This is Dr Egan’s third trip to the mountain, and it will be his first summit attempt. If he his successful in his bid, he will be the oldest Canadian to summit Mount Everest. In preparation for his Everest expedition, Dr Egan is currently conditioning by climbing Mount Aconcagua in Argentina (22,841 feet). Mount Everest is 29,028 feet.

It is also planned to play a game of shinny hockey around the Khumbu glacier on Mount Everest, taking the game to new heights.