The juxtaposition of sitting poolside at a Bangkok hotel on a steaming hot and humid afternoon during my 36-hour layover here versus what I know the next two months will entail is a bit surreal, to say the least. It is a nice reprieve, however, from the countless days of battling the incessant winds and snow on the Continental Divide as I put the finishing touches on my training in Colorado. A decadent breakfast, calming afternoon by the pool and quiet evening of reflection seem an appropriate in-transit reward before the hard work begins.
I moved back to Denver after a full month living in Fraser, CO, at 8,700′ and completing peak #52 of this training cycle (26 of which were climbed with my fur buddy, Camden). It was a productive month in the mountains, which I believe will serve me well as we transition to the grandest setting of all: the Himalaya. My final week in Denver was hectic, spent tying up loose ends (work-wise, personal life, expedition-related and otherwise), as all pre-departure weeks tend to be. My friends managed to squeeze in a nice, send-off happy hour prior to my departure though, which was a welcomed diversion. It was great to see everyone who was able to make it and I know many more of you were there in spirit. Special thanks to my very thoughtful and ever-supportive girlfriend, Carla, for organizing it as well as for all of her help getting me packed-up and ready to go. Without her help, I may still be playing “packing tetris” to get all that we need to climb these mountains into the requisite two travel duffels (gear pictured above).
And now it is time to mentally transition to the task that lies ahead. Climbing any 8,000m peak (26,250′ or higher) is a daunting task, let alone three in succession. Our team motto is “one peak at a time.” The expression I like to use is “eat the elephant one bite at a time,” as the challenge can seem too great when viewed in its entirety, but it is ultimately achievable with a little good fortune and when taken one step at a time. Next step: arrival in Kathmandu tomorrow…
Finally, below is a link to our team interview by Alan Arnette as posted on his site, which is a terrific resource for interested parties as he posts extensively about the happenings on Everest each climbing season: