At the confluence of my 40th birthday and discussions of a potential return to the Himalaya, I pledged to myself to climb 40 peaks in 40 weeks to get back in “Everest shape.” This past week, I stood atop my 40th summit (actually 42nd now) and have had a lot of fun in the mountains along the way. Not all outings culminated in reaching a summit so there were many more than 40 outings required to reach the final tally, but all helped me get back into the kind of shape I need to be in for this next adventure. Since I began this endeavor last June, I’ve climbed well over 100,000′ in total and should add another 20,000’+ over the next couple of weeks as I get ready to depart. All of this preparation will be critical as we attempt to climb 45,000’+ of vertical, all at altitudes over 15,000′ and as high as 29,035′, to reach the highest expanses of the earth…
I want to thank my many climbing partners that joined me along the way and helped prepare me for the upcoming expedition to Tibet & Nepal. There were 6 summits of 14-ers (what we affectionately call 14,000’+ mountains in CO) with Carla (as well as many more non-summit hikes); 10+ summits with my Himalayan partners, Mike & Matt Moniz; many ski & non-ski outings with Ben; one long traverse of 6 peaks along the Continental Divide with Colorado Bob; one terrifying experience on Mt. Jefferson with Craig, Mark and Oregon Bob; and a couple of memorable outings near Telluride with my brother, Mike, as well as my nephew, Will (his first big peak!), and my sister-in-law, Caroline (her first big peak!). However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my most loyal climbing partner over this journey, who enthusiastically jumped at any opportunity to head into the hills and faithfully joined me on 17 of my 40 summits (as well as countless other outings in the hills), my fur-buddy, Camden. My sincere gratitude to all of you for providing motivation, encouragement and inspiration along the way. Climbing can be a very introspective and selfish endeavor, but the camaraderie formed by the shared experience of climbing with others is a big part of the reward. Thank you.
You continue to motivate me. I am turning 50 this year and Kilimanjaro is my summit. You will appreciate that Greg Stanley is going with me. You will also appreciate that I just hired Mike Preiser to work for me. In his interview we went back to my first climb on Adams with you, me, Larry and Mike. Climb safe and come down…Marty
Marty, that’s great to hear. Enjoy your trip up Kili. That’s a fun climb. Please give my best to Greg, Mike, et al. That 1998 Mt. Adams climb was an early classic for me. Great memories.
Congrats! You da man. Best wishes for continued success. We just landed in Hawaii so a bit different weather than your training.
Thanks. Hawaii sounds pretty good right about now. Enjoy your vacation. See you in Jackson, WY, in June!
Can’t wait to see the Nepal pics! Good luck.
Great blog—very well written—you are one unique man —your mother and I are very proud of you and hope and pray you achieve your goals and return safely. I love you. Dad