Wake-up in the morning feeling like P-Diddy
Before we start this party let us get the proverbial “Led” out!
Aaaah thats better…
As your reading this I’m somewhere over the middle east in a very bad seat on a very nice plane. Although I can’t say for sure, I imagine I’m pretty fired up at the moment, and may or may not be dipping into my expedition snack food. One thing is for certain, I haven’t slept a wink.
Welcome to my Everest 2013 blog! See you in Kathmandu; it’s go time!
Dr. Louis Mariorenzi, friend, mentor and 2011 Everest summiteer, stopped by this morning for some final words of encouragement. Louis and his wife Priscilla have been an incredible source of support over the past year and for that I’m incredibly grateful! His modesty, generosity, and kind-nature never ceases to amaze me. I’m forever indebted to a mountain worlds away for bringing us together.
Thank you Louis for all that you’ve done for me and I look forward to exchanging Everest tales over unalloyed libations upon my return!
The final countdown is on. March 25th is rapidly approaching and I’m nervously basking in the anticipation. And because I can’t control time, I’m obsessing over the one thing I can control; preparing. Put it this way, if you saw a list of my Google searches over the past two weeks you’d probably want to hug me and punch me in the face at the same time. However, through my web-search expedition I’ve managed to compile approximately 37 different packing lists. Some say four pairs of “man panties” (underwear), others say five. It’s a real dilemma. Drawing from this binder of packing lists I’ve finally put together a comprehensive list of my own.
For those interested, here is my official packing list for Everest 2013.
As part of his Everest 2013 coverage Alan Arnette has been conducting interviews with some of this seasons climbers. Dawes Eddy is a tough act to follow but here is my interview:
Last week I wrapped up the strength-focus phase of my Everest training program with 1RM testing. I couldn’t have been happier with the results.
- Deadlift: 415
- Back Squat: 405
- Front Squat: 290
- Power Clean: 275
- Snatch: 205
- Bench: 265
- 5k time: 19:49
Starting weight (8/15): 198lbs
Finishing weight (11/28): 210lbs
With less than four months to go it’s time to shift the focus to endurance and get my nutrition dialed-in. While lifting heavy is fun, I know it’s not going to get me up the mountain. For the next two months my training will be 70% aerobic and 30% anaerobic. This means I’ll be ramping-up the running, cycling and metabolic conditioning and backing off the heavy lifting. In early January I’ll have an opportunity to train at altitude while leading a group up Kilimanjaro and then head right to Colorado until I leave for Nepal.
The nerves have settled in nicely; there is no denying that they exist but I’ve developed an almost harmonious working relationship with them. They drive my training to new levels everyday and demand upon me unwavering focus. Every once in a while I need to remind myself to enjoy the process because even though I write this from the comforts of my home, my climb on Mt. Everest is very much so underway.
There are few moments in a person’s life that are so profound they create a clear dividing line; life before and life after this instant are as different as night and day. This photo captures that moment in my life.
Our group had been hiking all day through the lush lower-reaches of the Khumbu valley in the Himalayas of Nepal. Our last obstacle was a steep 1200ft ascent before reaching the storybook village of Namche where fresh ginger tea and mo mos awaited. I was listening to "Rhythm" by AWOL One; for some reason it’s what the mood called for. I had just landed an award winning heel-click when Phula, our Nepali guide, called me over with the flick of his head. “Thash Everesh,” he stated pointing through the trees.
For some reason I didn’t rush over right away. I took my time walking towards Phula as though I knew that those steps would be the last in a life I had formally known. Life before Everest.
Prior to this point I had only entertained the idea of climbing Everest while procrastinating with co-worker and friend Toby Storie-Pugh in the comforts of our warm office in Brooklyn, NY. All such conversations resulted in elevated heart rates followed by strings of profanity uttered in-between sets of push-ups. It is easy to talk about doing something when the likelihood of it actually happening is, well, not-ever-going-to-fucking-happen.
When I finally approached Phula and peered through the branches to see the unmistakable silhouette of Everest towering over the Nupste-Lhotse Ridge it all became real. In that very instant I was able to say goodbye to my dramatic fantasy of Everest as a two-headed monster that eats ice-axes and crampons for breakfast. It was just another mountain; a really big and beautiful one. And since that moment life has not been the same.