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Everest Obsession

Sunday, March 09, 2014

I read Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air (his account of tragedy on the peak in 1996) last year and have been obsessed with Mount Everest ever since. Right now I am powering through episodes of Everest: Beyond the Limit on YouTube. I can't stop.

There is something about the sight of that mountain that just gets under my skin.

I can't climb it. Ever. I'm terrified of heights. But still...

This is me, just over three-quarters of the way through a two-day, 24-kilometer trek up and down 1100 meters of rock, ash, ice and snow in Iceland. I had just crossed an impossible piece of crumbling path along a narrow ledge hundreds of feet above a gorge...with a 30 pound pack on my back. I made it to camp several hours later and lay awake in my bunk, reliving the experience, afraid to fall asleep because I kept slipping into nightmares about it.

Oddly, I loved it.

So I get why people want to climb Everest. And while the world's highest peak is out of my league (and price range), I think I could train and tackle a smaller trek, one that does not require serious rock climbing skills, just a good long hike at moderate altitudes.

I think I will, in fact. emoticon
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    What a cool climb! Wow, you are an adventurer! I am lucky to live within several trails within walking distance so no car required. Maybe you can find hikers in hiking clubs, get to know them then car pool? I car pool for most of my hikes,
    1472 days ago
    Thanks for sharing these fantastic picture with us! "Into Thin Air" was one of my favorite adventure books, and Krakauer is such a magnificent, compelling storyteller, isn't he? Although I once found Everest very intriguing, I lost some of my fascination with it when I heard about all the discarded oxygen canisters and other equipment... as well as the way this unique adventure has morphed into another mass-marketed tour destination for well-to-do captains of industry. When I see the occasional photo of someone who's lost fingers, toes, or maybe a nose (no rhyme intended there - really!), I become even more disinterested.

    The destination - at least in my view - doesn't have to be the loftiest peak in the world. Your Iceland trek was far more unique and fascinating. If you enjoy this genre of book as well, read long-distance open-water swimmer Lynne Cox's "Swimming to Antarctica." I couldn't put it down, it was so other-worldly and mesmerizing!

    As for you, enjoy training for that trek you've got in mind! I know you'll bring us yet another wonderful account :)
    1474 days ago

    Good for you! Even if you never get to Everest there are plenty of smaller mountains to climb. And think of what great shape you'll be in as you go through the training process.
    1474 days ago
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