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Monday, August 28, 2017

Back in the saddle again....

It has been a while since I posted to my "climbing on purpose" blog.  Forgive my absence; hopefully some of you are still interested in my pursuits.  Just to keep everyone (new and old) up-to-date on my goings on, here is a very brief recap...

2014:  I traveled to Nepal to climb Everest.  After the Khumbu icefall incident that killed many Sherpa, the Nepali government shut down the mountain.  I went home bummed and $40K poorer.  The events soured me on the whole Everest experience.  I was just astounded at the whole ordeal and wondered if this type of adventure fit my tastes.

2015:  I traveled back to Nepal to give it another go on Everest.  This trip ended with a similar result - no climbing - but Mother Nature one-upped herself and gave us a nice shaking in the form of an earthquake.  Many people lost their homes and lives.  It was a real tragedy and I left again about $40K poorer without even a sniff of the climb.  I was less bummed after this failed bid because there was nothing that could be done by any human to make the mountain safe.  Also, I felt somewhat relieved to be able to leave in good shape and healthy.

I left the mountains behind for a bit while I decided to focus my energy on swimming - a long-term goal of mine was to swim the English Channel.  So, in lieu of training for another climb, I started to swim and swim and swim.  Right after I returned from Nepal in May of 2015, I started to organize my English Channel swim.  I was fortunate enough to find a slot on a late tide in September with Neil Streeter aboard SUVA.  Mother Nature again proved more powerful (as usual) than my luck and I was sent home from Dover without even an attempt.

2016:  The setbacks from the previous years gave me a focus and resolve for training and adventure.  I set my sights on completing the open water "Triple Crown" and do it fairly rapidly.  The truth of the matter was that I had originally focused on only two of the swims - the Catalina Channel and the English Channel.  After completing them 9 days apart, my swimming friends urged me to complete the "Triple" by entering the 20 Bridges Swim (i.e., swim around Manhattan island).  Everyone in the marathon swimming community supported my bid and I was lucky that all the pieces fell into place.  After August 15th of 2016, I completed the three swims in the shortest time on record.

What these past few events taught me was patience.  I am not really a patient person; I wish I were and I am practicing being more patient every day.  The events that lead to these setbacks were not controllable by me or by anyone else.  My best bet was simply to get up, dust myself off, and prepare for another challenge.  So, I am here to tell you that I am ready for my next challenge - Everest 2018.

Some of you may wonder why I would try again after dropping a few years of college tuition on this endeavor.  Often, I tell people that I am just too stupid and too stubborn to give up.  Those past attempts were not attempts.  I never got past Camp 1 on Everest!  This time around, I intend to climb from the North (Tibet) side with SummitClimb (again).  My good pal Brendan Madden and I plan to climb together.  If you followed my previous posts, you'll recognize his name because he and I climbed Aconcagua together.  We are off for Everest in April.  Follow along as I provide more details about our adventure.

For those who wonder how I am preparing for the climb, I invite you to check out my daily training log.  I completed 38 days so far and will send routine updates on my preparation.

Thanks for following and stay tuned for some exciting pictures and updates.