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Monday, September 8, 2014

September 8th, 2014 - a 2 month hiatus from posting but back and better than ever!

Greetings,

I hope this update finds you all well.  My summer was extremely busy with training, parenting, building, resting, relaxing, sailing, and other non-G-rated gerunds.  The funny thing about blogging is that when I got behind, it became harder and harder for me to post - something akin to returning a borrowed item.  Starting back up seemed hard but it really isn't.  So, here I go with my first blog post of the fall and I expect more to follow.  These posts document my training/preparation for my climbs this 2014-2015 season.

There are a few people I need to acknowledge before I post any updates.
  1. Dad's inspiration.  I had a great conversation with my dad the other day.  He told me to get back to posting updates so that the posts drive me to be better.  I get it.  Sitting here working my life away and mulling things over in my head from last year provide nothing but reasons to continue a reclusive lifestyle.  I have a great life and a great family.  Many of you do not know but my dad battles pancreatic cancer.  He may cringe by this note but I want to draw out the positive.  My dad inspires me.  He pushes through awful treatments delivered by the best in the world.  I gather my strength from his endurance.  When he told me to press forward with a simple task of posting updates, I did so without hesitation.  We all encounter obstacles in life but few are as daunting as what my dad endures.  Life is great and we all ought to make the most of what we have today.  BE HERE TODAY.  Thanks dad for reminding me of what matters.  I'm back.
  2. Brotherly support.  My brother worries and often calls to check in.  He worries about his younger brother and I appreciate his concern; I love him like no other.  There are few people in life who can provide the support only a brother can provide.  I am fortunate that I have three brothers - Sean, Ed, and Kevin - the latter two cousins or brothers of another mother (and father).  My cousins also serve in that role.  They never waver in their support.  Thanks guys.  I climb for you and all those who cannot climb due to limitations.  Someday we will jump out of a helicopter with our sons and ski untracked powder until we drop.  Expect it and plan for it.
  3. Kathy - a wife like no other.  Some of you may recall that Kathy sleeps in the tent with me.  Her support never stops.  She trains for triathlons and she toils with her own goals.  We rejoice about successes and mourn (briefly) our defeats.  The past year was a huge test for both of us.  We both had successes and failures.  Without her unwavering support, I would never realize any of my goals.  Just ask my students; they all know my adoration.  She makes me better and pushes me to strive to be better still.  I love you so and have no reservations to express it publicly.
  4. The best son a dad could imagine.  I promise I won't embarrass him.  A 14-year old is easily embarrassed by his dad - especially publicly.  My son makes parenting easy.  He is a devoted athlete, good person, and easy-going lad.  I can't wait to climb in Argentina with him...and Kathy.  Life is good!

Thank you all.  I hope to share all the fun from the next few years with you.

Aconcagua

The other night, Kathy and I finalized our plans to Argentina.  I fly out in early December and Kathy and Patrick follow in mid-December.  My blood is flowing again and I can't wait to get back on a hill.  My friend Brendan Madden - who lives in Japan - booked his trip so he plans to join us.  Next, we need to convince Sam to come out from the UK (or Africa where he is now).  I intend to post my climbing plans shortly once I have all the itineraries solidified.  My current thinking is to get down there early, climb a technical route (perhaps the Polish direct) and then come down to retrieve my family and Brendan.  Together, we will climb the normal route up and summit.  It should be a fun time with plenty of climbing, steak eating and Malbec drinking.

Everest

As I indicated upon my return from Nepal, I plan to return in 2015.  Some signs indicate that the Nepali government will honor our permits.  I remain somewhat skeptical but guardedly optimistic that they will spare me the $10,000 expense.  Now, about the oxygen....more on that later.

Training

I have one week left before I get a full week off.  The past 15 weeks were a slow, base-building progression where I accrued over 265 hours of training - mostly at normoxia.  I completed 5 simulated climbs up to the equivalent of 19,000 feet.  In sum, I've been busy training, getting my lab back in order, and finishing some tasks on the house.  Not much sailing to speak of this year but I hope to get out every now and then with my friend Bob and our crew of swimmers.  I intend to post a bit more about some of my new training ideas.  Like my Everest plans....more on training later.

So there you have it.  Fifteen weeks down in preparation for two climbs.  I have tons more to post about the climbs and our revised plans for Everest - that is, once I figure out what we are doing and what expenses I can expect.  Stay tuned for more.