Thanks for checking in on my expedition to Mt. Everest.
By way of introduction, I am from Chicago and have been happily married for 24 years and have two wonderful daughters. This is my greatest accomplishment.
I will appreciate your prayers and good wishes as I attempt to climb Mt. Everest in a quest to summit the tallest mountain on every continent. So far I have climbed four of the “Seven Summits”:
Kilimanjaro – 19,341’ (Africa, 3 Summits: 2001, 2004, 2009)
Denali – 20,322′ (North America, 2008)
Aconcagua – 22,838′ (South America, 2010)
Elbrus – 18,510′ (Europe, 2013)
Sometimes I am asked why I climb and it is hard to offer an entirely rational and straightforward explanation. I simply offer that for me climbing big mountains provides opportunities for personal growth, extraordinary experiences of all sorts, and is part of my pursuit to live a full and adventurous life. I am careful to guard against any other motivation for climbing, especially Mt. Everest. There are a couple of quotes that I reflect upon as I examine my motivations. The first is from President Kennedy in describing his challenge to go to the Moon:
“We choose to go to the Moon. We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not only because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”
In the absence of anything better, I throw up my hands and offer this reflection from John Krakauker:
“There were many, many fine reasons not to go, but attempting to climb Mt. Everest is an intrinsically irrational act — a triumph of desire over sensibility. Any person who would seriously consider it is almost by definition beyond the sway of reasoned argument.”
But in the end, I offer that climbing mountains is a passion, and for me an experience that brings mindfulness and focus and gratitude. I don’t think it is a coincidence that God has a history of being encountered on mountains. Others find such things in more practical and much less selfish outlets and, in many ways, I envy them.
In any case, here I go. I hope to share some pictures and reflections that will be worthy of checking in from time-to-time. Thank you for following along.