Overheard in REI… “Mount Everest is very easy to climb, only just a little too high.”

The most common mountaineering question I get asked is “How was Everest”. It’s a hard question to answer with a phrase or two. It requires a great deal of hang waving a a certain amount of time to encapsulate a life changing event  where I risked my life, carried the body of a dead man, nearly plunged 3000 vertical feet down the Lhotse Iceface, made friendships that will last a lifetime, and lost 50 pounds of my own body weight. It was a tremendous event in my life, so it’s hard for me to summarize, and I usually don’t want to.

So you can imagine my amazement when I overheard someone today in REI summarize his Mount Everest expedition in 13-words. I think this quote is originally attributed to Andre Roch, although I heard it from someone else. Mostly the quote makes me laugh, some things just can’t be ‘boiled down’.

“Mount Everest is very easy to climb, only just a little too high.”

Here are some my pictures from my expedition to Mount Everest in 2005. I stood on the top of this particular ‘tangible goal’ at 9AM on 6/2/2005.

Read More

[Update] Book: Born to Run

2440779305_6709b5607dIn my previous blog post I mentioned that runners are more likely to get injured in expensive shoes than in less expensive shoes, and even less likely to get injured running barefoot. Customers are spending money to hurt themselves. This is based on Christopher McDougall’s research in the book Born To Run.

A few of my friends have suggested that people that buy expensive running shoes are more likely to drive themselves harder and get injured. This angle is addressed in the book — Chris talked about casual runners who run three times a week and still get injured in expensive shoes.

So, I still believe that spending money on expensive shoes is a waste of cash. You’re better off making shoes out of 2 liter bottles, as in the picture.

Read More

Maui Jungle Flora

We went on a day hike on a plantation in North Maui. Along the way we found waterfalls, a swimming hole and some very interesting plants. One plant featured protective leaves that turn inward to protect itself from insects, and another had a flower that tasted exactly like mushrooms.

If you have help me identify these plants I’d love it.

Read More

Book: Born to Run

Runners are 123% more likely to get injured in expensive shoes ( srcset=$95) than in cheap shoes ($40)” width=”620″ height=”465″>

I picked up an interesting book today. Born To Run says runners are more likely to get injured in expensive shoes than in less expensive shoes, and even less likely to get injured running barefoot. In other words, the author believes customers are spending money to hurt themselves.

Could it be that cheaper shoes force runners to run properly on the ball of the foot, and that this method of running prevents injuries? Chris McDougall thinks this running style is better for and is more efficient.

I personally still wear my Nike Free shoes in the gym, but I have switched to Vibram Five Fingers for running and rowing. I am also looking to the Five Fingers shoes to help correct my toe position, after years of being stuffed inside tight mountaineering boots my pinkie toe curves inwards too much.

Read More

How to Prepare for the 7 Summits


7 Tips to Begin Preparations for the 7 Summits

  1. Climb lots of other mountains first, the kind with snow at the top
  2. Start now, life will only get busier and your ability acclimatize decreases with age
  3. Be prepared to climb a couple of them twice. I was fortunate to summit each on my first try, this is rare
  4. Read Into Thin Air, Freedom of the Hills
  5. Buddy-up with a climbing partner who shares your values and ambitions
  6. Cost will exceed $100k. To raise sponsorship dollars you must identify why you’re “above the fold”
  7. You can do the 7 unguided, privately guided or with a large commercial guiding service. Good commercial guides: Alpine Ascents, Jagged Globe, Adventure Consultants. Good private guides: Exploradus and Evan Howe

About me: In 2005 I completed the 7 Summits, at the time I was the 120th person in the world. The Seven Summits are the highest mountains of each of the seven continents.

Read More