After 17 or more expeditions, I have everything I need so there will be only a few last minute purchases.
I will send another dispatch before I leave introducing my teammates.
I am continuing my training and will up to the weekend before I leave and have to pack all my bags. My friends Patrick and Robert have been great partners especially in the hurricane force winds with driving snow!! Thanks Guys.
Most of my time right now is spent giving presentations on my previous Everest climbs and raising awareness and funds for the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund. I just completed a four stop tour in California and will do five next week in Colorado.
The best one was to 200 2nd though 5th graders. Their energy was contagious! I had a huge smile on my face the entire presentation. The best question was from a young girl: “How do you know when you reach the top?”
At the end of my presentation, which could have gone on for hours with all the questions, the student council presented me a check for the Cure Alzheimer's Fund. They had raised money through a bake sale. They made my day!
My sincere thanks to my friends Bryan Mekechuk and Jo-Anne Sinclair and to Katie Cutler with Cure Alzheimer's Fund for their tireless help with the events.
The last few weeks before a big expedition are a time of contradictions.
I cherish each moment at home, sharing a meal with Cathy, sleeping in a warm bed with clean sheets – on a real mattress. I look at “my” Colorado mountains with appreciation. Time with my friends take on new meanings. And each brush of their tail on my leg creates a lifelong memory of my precious kitties.
A serious tone often takes over my mind and my eyes focus on nothing. My mind goes to high up on the Hill as I walk through the routine. I can almost feel the chill against my cheek, the numbness in my fingers, the glare of the sun in my eyes. But a soft “meow” brings me back. I am still home.
I am often asked how I feel at this point – excited, anxious, afraid? Any second thoughts? As you would expect – all the above except for the second thoughts.
This is my climb. I know myself and how I do in the mountains. I have put the work in to be ready for this. The four “training” climbs gave me what I wanted – more experience and more confidence.
But this is more than just another climb.
I spoke to my Mom this morning. She was doing well. I told her only three weeks to go before I left. She didn’t remember that I was going back to Everest. She didn’t remember that I had gone twice before. Then she asked me again “Now, where do you live?”
Remember: Memories are everything