July 27th 2017
After being back home for over a month I’m still trying to adjust back to normal life. It’s certainly been strange post Everest. I’ve accomplished what I’ve always considered to be my most difficult and biggest challenge. I’m not lost about what to do next. I have plenty of other mountains to climb, countries to visit, and other things I’d like to experience. A lack of time and life span remains my biggest hurdle. But I have to admit, I have little motivation at the moment and I’m not sure why. Getting to the gym or any other physical activity seems ten times harder than Everest summit day. I suppose now that I don’t have the pressure to work out I’m feeling burnt out by any kind of training. That’s not to be confused with traveling or some outdoor challenge, but more bout lifting weights or other exercises I did to stay in shape.
So, before I completely lose myself I think it’d be physically and mentally healthy to plan some type of new challenge. I want to get into some more technical climbing, and that works out since the vast majority of technical climbs are done in a single day. At the moment, I have my eyes set on the Devil’s Tower in Wyoming. I’ve never seen the thing before, but the photos prove that it’s one of the most unique geological features on earth. It’d be a fun challenge and rock climb to the summit, and it’d be a new type of experience. Since I have no vacation days I’d have to pull this over a weekend, which is a lot considering I live thousands of miles away. But I think for me it’d be well worth it and give me something to look forward to. I hope that’s my next adventure, and am looking to do it possibly this September!
May 30th 2017
It’s been a long and difficult two months, but I’m happy to announce that I climbed Mt. Everest! The details will all go up on my website soon enough. For now I’ll just say almost nothing went right on this expedition, and those of us who reached the summit are seriously lucky to be back down. Attached is a short video I made showing a wind storm that hit our Camp II and nearly ended the entire expedition for us. More to follow soon on my Everest page which is still being built!
March 3rd 2017
Mt. Stanley – Uganda
I’m happy to say that I finally had a successful summit after a year of bad luck! I reached the top of Uganda which I consider to be Africa’s most difficult peak after only 72 hours. The pages are still under construction but I completed a short video showing some highlights of my trek through rainforest, mosslands, and eventually the glaciers of the Mountains of the Moon. So now that it’s early March I’m only a month away from my return to Mt. Everest. It’s really hard to believe, but minus airfare I’m all set. This time I will be climbing from Tibet so it will be a completely different experience from 2016.
January 1st 2017
50 State High Points
Now that 2017 has arrived I have very little time to wait to officially approve my return to Mt. Everest. I’m going to push it hard this week since I don’t have much of a choice, and hopefully I’ll get an answer within a week or two. Of course I’ve been planning recently as if I’m going and have some things already set up. About two weeks ago I did a 30 mile trek again to the top of Spruce Knob. Spruce Knob is West Virginia’s high point, and it got me thinking. Maybe I should do all 50 state high points! I did the hardest one already so the rest will be enjoyable. I’m using this new goal as an excuse to revisit all 50 states and also keep my fitness up. I’m going to go to Vermont for some ice climbing next weekend and do Mt. Mansfield. With the exception of Denali, since that took nearly a month, I’m planning to redo all other high points, so Vermont’s will be #1! For more serious preparations I’m going to try to go to Uganda and do Stanley Peak in February. It’s a good challenge and lasts over a week and puts me up over 5,000 meters. It’s perfect training and one of those things I can’t simulate doing that at home after work each day. I consider that essential to my trip, so if I get my return to Everst approved I’ll almost definitely be going to Uganda.
November 20th 2016
Everyone always says this but it truly amazes me how fast time is flying. I would have thought my last post was weeks ago but has seriously been over three months! With that said by the time December rolls around in about 10 days from now I’ll have only four months back to my potential Everest climb. I still don’t have the green light from my job and it’s becoming dangerously close. Most people plan these things out years in advance. With that said I have to continue to assume I’m going which means lots of hiking and training. The photo above is a shot I took while hiking out in Shenandoah earlier this month.
Because I won’t be going to a new country next year, since I’ll be returning to Nepal and China, this puts a major loss for my visit every country goal. Since I have no vacation time, I’m going to squeeze in El Salvador next week during the Thanksgiving holidays. This way I can add a new country to my list and also do some important hiking up volcanoes for training purposes. Doing two things at once! I just found out it’s supposed to rain nearly everyday I’m there, and that really isn’t cool. I can’t do much about it but hope that the forecast will change by the time I get there. My goals in El Salvador are to see the capital, visit the beach to see turtles hatching, some Mayan ruins, and most importantly hike up one or two volcanoes!
August 16th 2016
I’ve certainly not had good luck with mountains the past year! While until the Matterhorn, I’ve never had to turn back on a mountain in my life except for a small one in Canada, I found myself constantly encountering bad weather on just about every trip in 2015. For Granite Peak, I hiked out with my friends who decided to turn back for different reasons. This left me alone, and I continued to the mountain to at least see it. Summiting alone was a slight possibility, but when I get up close and personal I found 50+mph (80 kph) winds! I added my adventure to the Beartooth Wilderness already and definitely plan to return!
August 16th 2016
Time definitely seems to be going by faster and faster. The idea of returning to Everest a year later seemed to be a lifetime away. I’ve confirmed a trip to Granite Peak Montana, where I will attempt to climb the state’s highest peak. I’ll be doing that in mid September and by the time I return I’ll have just six months until my potential return to Everest! Granite Peak is a very serious challenge and it’s going to be my first mountain since my return from Nepal to get me back into the spirit of climbing. The mountain is only 12,799 feet tall (3,901 meters), but involves navigating across some challenging terrain to base camp. Summit day involves scrambling up routes that vary from class three to class five. Of the 50 state high points in the US, it’s the only mountain that requires vertical climbing, so I get to bring a rope and set up protection and rappel down on the way home. I’m bringing three of my best friends with me, and we are all excited about this adventure coming up. Likely the mountain will suck up all my time in Montana, but if we have an extra day we could potentially spend it in Yellowstone!
May 29th 2016
After a life time of dreaming I was finally able to get a chance to climb Mt. Everest. After a disaster on the final day I decided to turn around at the South Summit which is only 500′ or about 150 meters from the very top! Several people lost their lives that day, and nothing seemed right, so all in all I’m sure it was the right decision. I’ll post details about what happened on my site, but it certainty was not a good day for anyone and no one from my team made it. The worst part is I’m 100% sure I can climb Everest now, but have to do it all over again! I think next time I’d try from the Tibet side. For now, I’m back in Kathmandu as of today and will need some time to catch up my blog and write up what happened.
March 1st 2016
This is just a short and sweet entry to confirm that I’m going to Kathmandu this weekend to finally attempt Mt. Everest! I can’t even believe I’m writing this! As far as my hip injury I’m very confident that it won’t be an issue while I’m on the mountain. Otherwise I’m very worried about my own fitness since I couldn’t train the way I wanted to the past few months. It’s certainly not the mountain to have this concern, but otherwise these work outs seemed to have worked for others. I just hate having had to deviate from the way I trained for all my trips in the past which were successful. So I’ll be arriving to Nepal on Monday and spend the next few days getting over jet lag, double checking gear, meeting with my expedition, and of course exploring Kathmandu!
March 1st 2016
Alright then, for the first time I think I’m finally ready to admit that this is seriously going to happen! We Sure I negotiated the time off from last year and I paid in full for the expedition long ago, but it still never really sunk in. Just yesterday I purchased my flight to Kathmandu and all seems to be in order.
Now about this photo and my attempt at the Presidential Traverse in February which didn’t work out so well; I took a friend along and we encountered without exaggeration temperatures of 35 degrees below zero, see my White Mountains page for more detail. This was expected and I was able to handle the cold but the hurricane force winds were another issue. I got to the ridge and the winds were so powerful it was too hard to stand. With that said it was still a success in my mind since I did everything I could and I was able to camp out in the extreme cold which will be similar to what I’ll see on Everest. This coming weekend I’ll do a much easier and warmer hike to the top of West Virginia’s highest point, Spruce Knob. I’ve actually done this twice already the past few months but this time I intend to record it since there should finally be some snow and beuatiful scenery on top. It’s actually a 30 mile round trip over two days with some really good elevation gains, so it’s great training for me!
Lastly my hip injury contains to annoy me. It was pretty bad right before the Presidential Traverse weekend, then seemed to be much after after that for whatever reason, and at the moment it’s back to slight pain. I feel like I’m not able to train exactly the way I want to and I’m actually terrified that as I step it up this last month I’ll push it too hard and re-injure myself to a point I can’t attempt the mountain in April. Of course I’m also terrified that I’m not going to be in the proper fitness since I’ve been limiting myself in certain areas. As of now I’ve been pushing it pretty hard though and doing the workouts that I want to at the intensity that I want to. For the month of March, I’m planning to do them nearly daily and as long as my hip can hold up I’ll be all set for an early April departure to Kathmandu! Only a month left!
February 9th 2016
December 31st 2015
Well now. I’m back from my trip to Ecuador, and out of all my outdoor adventures, this one was probably the only one that really didn’t go as I expected! I suppose it’s my fault, because I moved so fast up in altitude. Not because I wanted to, but I have no vacation for high altitude trips before this April and this was the best I could do. After six hours in Ecuador I hiked to 13,000 feet (4,000 meters). No problems! The next day I did a solo hike to the top of a 15,000 foot mountain, (4,700 meters), also no problems! Things were looking good. Not only did I reach above 15,000 feet in 48 hours but I had done it in half the time it usually takes. So on day three I climb Illiniza Sur posted below, and once I get above 17,000 feet (5,000 meters), I’m feeling the effects of the altitude. I make it to the planned east summit and return to sea level. I didn’t feel like a million bucks but I was happy I made it. I figured the next two days I’d continue to acclimatize and then I could attempt Chimborazo at 20,000 feet (6,000 meters). So many problems with that mountain. First off, I never felt 100% great before starting, secondly, we had to begin the climb from 15,000 feet, (4,500 Meters) which mean I seriously had to climb a mile in altitude, or a kilometer and a half. When we got to 19,000 feet (5,800 meters) instead of snow we encountered a giant ice wall. My guide has been climbing here for decades and had never seen this before. We crossed it, but it was incredibly dangerous and slippery. Higher above it was just going to get worse. Blame it on global warming or bad luck, but it was 2am on Christmas and here we were trying to cross these ice walls where a serious slip would result in death. To top it all off, I was definitely getting hammered by the effects of the altitude at this point although I didn’t realize it yet. For safety reasons we decided to descend, and I felt a bit defeated. Fitness I was fine, and sure the altitude took a hit on me but instead of getting to 6,000 meters in five days on Everest you get about a month, so I should be fine with that I’d hope. Either way, my goal was to climb two major mountains and return home feeling extra confident but it didn’t exactly work out that way. Regardless I was most certainly in the mountains and experience a little bit of everything which was the main point. High altitude, cold, stress, technical climbing, and more! With that said, I don’t have any more vacation time to do any major adventures until the actual trip in April. The next 90 days I need to perfect my training, diet, and do as much hiking as possible. I do plan to take advantage of some long weekends and do some training in New England and hopefully Colorado as well!
December 3rd 2015
Back from Utah, next to Ecuador
My trip to Ecuador is now confirmed, and I’ll be flying out on the 18th of this month to try to climb two major peaks. The main one will be Chimborazo, which is the highest peak in Ecuador and sits at 20,564 feet (6,276 meters). This will be the second highest I’ve ever climbed in my life, because it barely tops Denali. Even though this is a 6,000 meter peak, it’s only going to take about two days and is a relatively easy climb. Unlike Denali, I won’t have 40 degrees below zero, a month of food on a sled, and don’t have to worry about building ice walls and all the other extremely demanding parts of the climb. The second peak is Illiniza Sur, which is 17,267 feet (5,263 meters) and is much more technical and demanding than Chimborazo. I’ll be doing Illiniza Sur first, in order to acclimatize since it’s lower in altitude. This will be my most technical climb to date, surpassing the Matterhorn and Carstensz Pyramid. The steep climb will require, ice screws, technical ice axes, and other gear. I expect this mountain to be twice as hard as Chimborazo. If I can bag both of these and not have any hip or other annoying issues, that will put me only 90 days away to my trip to Everest!
October 28th 2015
For better news though, I’ve been doing a lot of hiking including one with a large pack without any issues. I’m really excited about a coming up trip to Zion National Park this November where I’ll do some more hiking and of course take in the views. Aside from that I just requested the time off for Ecuador to do some 6,000 meter peaks for further Everest training. Otherwise I just want to continue doing as much hiking and climbing as I can this winter in the east coast.
October 7th 2015
September 7th 2015
August 20th 2015
August 7th 2015
July 6th 2015
Well I’m very happy to say I came back from a very successful Colorado trip. This is my first time revisiting a state after knocking out all 50, and it was kind of nice to be able to focus in one region and not feel the pull to see as much as possible in a short time! My main goal of visiting Colorado was to climb one of Colorado’s 14,000 foot mountains, or the 14’ers as they are known. I essentially did a solo climb up Colorado’s third most difficult mountain and returned with little hip pain. This is about as good of a test as I can get, so I’m feeling very confident that next year I’ll be all set for Everest. Next in my sights is still the Matterhorn in early September!
June 30th 2015
June 11th 2015
April 29th 2015
Assuming that Everest 2016 will work, my next international trip will likely be an outdoor related one, maybe a backpacking trip in South America, or even some climbing somewhere. This probably won’t take place closer to 2016 when I know for sure that I’ll be going and am well into my training program. In the mean time I plan to enjoy summer, and maybe I’ll even find the time to get my two most recent trips posted from Africa and Europe!
March 5th 2015
January 12th 2015
January 7th 2015
November 13th 2014
On to a much bigger challenge than visiting Luxembourg though, is climbing Mt. Everest. I’ve been so behind in my blog that I haven’t mentioned back in September I tore a ligament in my left hip, or at least did something it didn’t like. This was from over-training, and the injury happened after a 15 mile run. As a matter of fact, as I sit here and type this two months later, the pain still exists. I’ve seen a doctor for it, and after taking off an entire month in order to rest I think I’m back on track. With the lingering pain I’m obviously not back at 100%, but I’m feeling I can manage this and work out in a way that I don’t hurt myself again and resume my training. Nothing is yet confirmed but this is what I hope will happen! Next spring I’ll likely try the mountain from the Tibet side and I should know for sure pretty soon since these things need to be organized as early as possible!
50 States Online!
August 17th 2014
Beyond my 50 states goal, I’m still really pushing hard to make Mt. Everest a reality next year. It’s still all so hard to believe, but I promise I’m doing everything I can to make it work. I have to tell my job about it sooner than later, so I’m preparing a new power point for them that should explain everything in detail and after they let that digest I hope to get some positive feedback.
50 States Completed!
July 19th 2014
There are plenty of major cities I still haven’t visited yet such as Denver or Miami, and lots of other national parks as well. I think from here on out, the way I travel in the United States will be very different. I expect to be more willing to stay in one place, resisting the temptation to knock out another bordering state that might only be an hour away, like I used to do. Ideally, I’d like to make Denver and the Rockies my next domestic trip, but first I gotta finish my classes and catch up on so many other things, so we’ll see what happens.
Now back to the important things. I’d consider having visited all 50 states the first major travel goal I’ve accomplished, but it was also one of the easiest. As I get older and my life becomes increasingly busy, I think it makes sense to work extra hard to pursue my travel goals as soon as possible. I’m still very focused on the idea of trying to climb Mt. Everest in the Spring of 2015. For the past six months I’ve been doing well maintaining my fitness level and saving up money, but still have a long way to go!
May 15th 2014
April 10th 2014
March 25th 2014
The mountain by the way was extremely important to me as I used it as a stepping stone to get back into shape and continue my training towards Mt. Everest.
March 18th 2014
Feb 26th 2014
Next month I’ll be heading to Munich Germany, and while there I will attempt to do a technical winter climb of Austria’s highest peak.
What’s all this for? Dare I say it I’m training for Mt. Everest! At the moment I do not have the financial means, but aside from that Everest in 2015 seems like the most ideal time regarding my current situation with work, my age, and where I’m at in my life. I’m going to try to do everything I can to raise the $50,000+ that I’d need for this expedition. I’ll be posting more details about this in the next few weeks.
Jan 18th 2014
Feb 19th 2014
I was planning to aim for 2015 regardless, but with a recent announcement that the Nepalese government is lowering the permit costs this makes this climb that much more realistic for me. At the moment I’m happy to say I’ve gotten back into relatively good shape. I think it was a mistake to go to school full time along with full time work. That combination gave me no time to work out or enjoy my weekends and I found myself incredibly out of shape! At the moment I can run 7 miles in an hour, so I’m no where near Everest shape but I’m certainly on the right track. I’d expect to be there within a few months, but will use the entire year and stay healthy.
Jan 14th 2014
Last week I returned from my month long trip to Europe. Over all the trip was absolutely amazing although there was some disappointment from the weather. The Northern Lights had been my main motivation to go into the Arctic during the winter time, and the unusually warm weather created lots of overcast that blocked the breathtaking light shows I was supposed to see. I did see the Northern Lights but not as well as I’d like to!
Moving forward into 2014, I already have my ideas lined up. My goals for this year is to do a trip probably in early summer late spring, I’m thinking something like Central Asia this time! I may or may not do another trip afterwards at the end of the year. Now normally I do at least three major trips this year, so why the slow down? I’m planning to do everything I can to raise money for an expedition at the end of 2014 to Vinson Massif or early 2015 or Mt. Everest, which ever comes first! I will be posting more details on this.