Final Preparations – 3.14.2012

So, this is apparently all it takes to climb to the highest point on earth (29,035′).  A few sleeping bags (including a walking one — that down suit weighs more than my -20 degree down sleeping bag), some bars/blocks/Gu, a few warm layers, lots of suntan lotion (I have a bottle rated to 110 spf, which should even protect this pale climber), big boots, crampons, ice axe, some technical gear, backpack, etc.  All gear has been checked, double-checked and triple-checked. I’ve done all the training I can do.  I’m in the best shape of my adult life.  I feel I’ve put myself in the best position possible to succeed.  I have many good friends, either joining for the trek into base camp and the acclimatization climb of 20,161′ Lobuche (Ben and Clay) or the full climb to the 29,035′ summit of Everest (Bob, Craig, Dave, and Remza), who will be watching my back and I theirs.  I guess it’s finally time to just go climb this thing!

Again, thank you to all who have reached out with well wishes and the like.  I appreciate all of the heart-felt sentiments and I know that your support will help me make it to the summit (and back) safely.  As Ed Viesturs says, ” it has to be a round trip,” and I intend to make sure that’s the case.  The full itinerary for my 11-week journey is at left.  Days will inevitably shift around depending upon weather, conditions, health, etc., but this is a rough outline of what we’ll be doing over there and why it takes 6-9 weeks to climb to the highest point on earth.  Just click the itinerary at left and you’ll be able to read it/print it out if you so desire.  I’ll try to publish updates to this blog here and there along the trail, but you can also check out the blog for International Mountain Guides (IMG), which is the outfitter I’m using for this expedition, and they will update our movements, etc., especially when we’re up high going for the summit.  That blog can be found at:

www.mountainguides.com/everest-south12.shtml

That’s about it.  Thanks all.  I hope to be looking down on all of you (physically not metaphorically) in about 9 weeks!  All my best, and, as always, I hope our paths soon cross and until then yours is the good life.  Take care of yourselves and each other, live each day to the fullest, share a laugh with friends and strangers alike, and most importantly… Keep Smilin’!