Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Dreams of Everest

    So I've been watching a series on the Discovery Channel about an expedition to Everest for the past week.  I feel as if I'm watching my dream in front of me.  Some mountaineers in recent years look at Everest with disgust because of the drama that has unfolded on it, but I still look at it as one of, if not, my greatest challenges to overcome.  I don't know if there can be any feeling like that of standing on top of the world and getting there under you're own power.   After I get my PhD from here I plan to climb it, and every day leading up to my PhD I plan to train for it, both mentally and physically.  I still have a lot to learn about mountaineering but I feel I am in the perfect spot to perfect my skills with Hood and Rainier literally in my backyard. 
    I have read so much about Everest from books to movies, to personal accounts, newspaper articles, etc etc, and actually watching in detail in this series as men struggle up the mountain is amazing.  Some fail, some make it but from my own climbing experiences (which are minor compared to 8,000 meter peaks) I can still relate to how they feel.  I've turned around on climbs before and I've struggled under enormous pain as well to reach some summits.  But they are nothing compared to what people go through climbing Everest. 
    I have the utmost respect for Everest.  When I climb it I will know when to turn around and when to continue upward.  I will never challenge it, because when you challenge it you die.  I will summit Everest only when I feel the mountain will allow me to.  And in regards to recent climbs and mountaineering ethics I will not leave someone who is visibly in trouble, to get to the summit for my own selfish personal reasons.  Human life is more important than any mountain, even Everest. 
    Anyway, that is my 2 cents on one of my greatest dreams.  I will climb Everest, even if it means selling my truck, or living with my parents for a year to save rent or mortgage payments.  I've climbed over 200 mountains in the Northeast, and Western U.S.  It is a passion that will only die when my legs fail me.  Next spring there will hopefully be posts of me on top of Rainier and next year possibly either McKinley in Alaska or Kilamanjaro in Africa. 


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