“Hey, Manute Bol – how’s the weather up there?” It is a question that has been pondered by millions. And while we all laugh when Manute timidly reports, “cloudy with a chance of showers,” before leaning over and cleverly spitting on the unsuspecting rube, the truth is that his answer doesn’t get us any closer to understanding the unique weather patterns that this towering man inevitably encounters on a daily basis.
Of course, we’d all like to see the world from Manute’s point of view – if even for just one day. In pursuit of this dream, countless men (and one woman) have ventured out to climb, and ultimately summit, the towering human giant. However, to this date no one has been successful.
Where did they go wrong? Usually, somewhere around the belly button, as it turns out (or Devil’s hole as it has become known among Manute-aneers). By analyzing where these failed adventurers went wrong, Pleated Jeans has put together a guide intended to give future climbers a fighting chance in their attempts to one day crest the apex of this wondrous colossus.
Step One: Ask Manute for Permission
As seasoned Manute-aneer Dave Boyle would tell you (if he hadn’t fallen to his death during his third attempt), a surprise tactic for climbing Manute Bol simply does not work. Why not, you ask? Simply put, because Manute Bol does not like surprises. They make him angry.
This means that when Manute (eventually) discovers you backpacking up his mighty frame, he’s going to be none too happy – and you’ve got enough things to worry about without a couple of sinewy, NBA-worthy appendages angrily swatting at you and your Sherpa as you venture skyward.
As such, a much safer tactic is to simply ask Manute’s permission before beginning your ascent. He is a gentle giant, and therefore will typically oblige to your pleas. However, if he does not agree, try buttering him up by offering him a segment of his favorite candy bar – the Toblerone.
Step Two: Bring Plenty Of Supplies
When sizing up Manute Bol, the majority of climbers inevitably focus on the man’s sheer height. Though his stratosphere-scraping apogee is undoubtedly a factor, the majority of experts agree that summiting Manute Bol would be a rather easy task if height were, indeed, the only variable.
What many adventurers fail to prepare for is the sheer difficulty of Manute’s skeletal terrain. This is no Shaquille O’Neal or Yao Ming. Unlike these muscular leviathans, Manute Bol is, quite literally, skin and bones. This makes for a near 90-degree cliff face that endures for the near entirety of the climb. As such, be sure to bring along enough supplies to cover the significant setbacks and slow-goings that you will inevitably encounter.
Step 3: Avoid the Devil’s Hole
It has been said that no one will ever traverse Manute Bol’s expansive belly button and live to tell the tale. Indeed, the Devil’s Hole has claimed the lives of over a dozen men (and one woman) that have attempted to surpass the demonically obtuse concavity found therein. Despite this fact, a handful of altitude-enthusiasts have made it so far as Manute’s mid-torso region.
How did they do it? By avoiding the Devil’s Hole altogether, opting instead to trek laterally to Manute’s hindquarters. Though time-consuming, this tactic is almost certainly the best option given the extremely limiting alternatives.
Step 4: Train for High Altitudes
It is estimated that at Manute’s peak, there are 40 percent fewer oxygen molecules per cubic inch of atmosphere. In the end, it is this lack of oxygen that inevitably led Leonard Mantooth to give up so close to the summit, settling instead for his record-setting climb to Manute’s nipples way back in 1997.
To prepare for such dangers and avoid altitude sickness, it is suggested that you acclimate your body to lofty altitudes prior to attempting your climb. To do this, invest in a tall, stable ladder (7-ft., 7-inches tall or greater) and sit atop it for several hours a day while practicing the ancient Sanskrit art of breathing, pranayama.
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