Summit Bid


Climbing to Camp 3 on the Lhotse Face

It’s not been that long ago that an expedition to Mt. Everest was a nationally-supported endeavor. I have a connection to that era through one of my teammates who is the son of a member of the first American expedition on Mt. Everest in 1963. I also feel connected through a paradigm known as the “climbers pyramid.”

The climbers pyramid has held true since the first Himalayan expeditions and recognizes that there are many people and resources at the “base of the pyramid” for every climber that is positioned for a summit attempt.

I am keenly aware of the climbers pyramid in my own experience. There have been scores of porters, mules and Yaks that have transported my personal equipment and the camp infrastructure that I depend on everyday. The Sherpa team has established camps, fixed ropes, and positioned oxygen at the high camps. Pemba Sherpa, my climbing partner, has watched over me. There are the cooks and camp staff that labor endlessly. And, of course, the western guides that care for my safety and comfort.

I am also highly aware of the many others who have contributed to making this opportunity possible. There are those that have assumed my responsibilities while I am away. There are those who guided my physical training and preparations. There have been many who have encouraged me and sent well wishes and have prayed for my safety and success. You are each an important contributor to this undertaking.

But most of all there has been my family.

My family has endured my climbing pursuits, supported my ambitions and encouraged me to follow my passion, even if they don’t fully understand the motivations. I know it is hard to have me so far away climbing a big mountain.

So as I prepare for my summit attempt I have in mind all of those who are participants and contributors and collaborators in this endeavor. I feel thankful for each of you and for this opportunity. I will give it my best effort and never forget that the ultimate measure of success is a safe return home.

Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers over these next several days.


  19 comments for “Summit Bid

  1. Teresa Lance
    May 17, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    Good luck uncle Jim. I like your pictures. Be careful and good luck. Love, will Lance

  2. Buck Lumberg
    May 13, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    Best of Luck on your Summit Bid! I know you will reach the top of the world! You are in my thoughts and prayers always! Love you, Buck

  3. Staci Colovos
    May 12, 2016 at 6:31 pm

    May 12th: just checked in with the Madison mountaineering link; looks like you are held up at Camp 2 with Scrabble, cards, and your imagination. Hope you are not going crazy waiting for the weather window! Can’t wait for you to get the green light.

  4. Ali Caffery
    May 12, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    Thinking and praying for you, Jim!

  5. Howard Jessen
    May 12, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    Long ago I shook the hand of Sir Edmund Hillary. I am looking forward to repeating this experience with you. Good luck. Howard Jessen, father of Arthur Jessen.

  6. Alan Reynolds
    May 12, 2016 at 7:41 am

    Praying for you and your Family. Looking forward to hearing about your success!

  7. May 10, 2016 at 11:55 pm

    Hi Jim. I am following you here. I appreciate your posts and I am praying for you. Godspeed, my friend.

  8. Kyle Jones
    May 10, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    Best of luck Jim. Thanks for the updates and inspiration.

  9. Jim Valenti
    May 10, 2016 at 6:02 am

    We have been following you on this wonderful journey. You are in our prayers and we will see you soon.
    In Hoc Signo Vinces my Brother.

  10. Phil Goss
    May 10, 2016 at 4:23 am

    Climb strong and stay focused and connected. I’m glad to know MM is with you. Godspeed my friend.

  11. Josh Neugebauer
    May 10, 2016 at 12:14 am

    Best of luck on your summit bit. May Chomolungma welcome you with open arms. Remember to always listen to her, and to yourself. Getting to the summit is only the half-way point. Namaste!

  12. Zach
    May 9, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    Hi Jim. You hear so much from climbers about the challenge of going up the Lhotse Face. How was it for you?

  13. Jennifer Anderson
    May 9, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    Wishing you a safe and amazing summit bid! Can’t wait to hear about the experience.

  14. John Peterson
    May 9, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    JIm, Thanks for allowing us to be a part of this amazing journey. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your team for a safe climb as you make your way to the summit!

  15. Stephen Sleigh
    May 9, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    Praying for your safe trek to the summit…and for your guides, sherpa, climbing partners, continued good weather

  16. Cory
    May 9, 2016 at 9:01 am

    Your journey continues to fascinate me. I love reading your postings. I wish you continued success with your climb and pray for your safe return home.

  17. Anonymous
    May 9, 2016 at 8:01 am

    You are mentally, physically and emotionally ready! Stay focused, one step at a time. Only take what the mountain Shares and allows, and you will be successful with any outcome. I’m glad MM is with you. God speed my friend.

  18. Katie Kirsch
    May 9, 2016 at 8:01 am

    Prayers your way. And your girls are so proud of you!

  19. Mike kolk
    May 9, 2016 at 7:25 am

    You are in my prayers Jim. I will wait anxiously for your next post.
    Mike Kolk

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