Blog posts in Mountaineering

Trials on the Trail

October 10, 10:30am PHERICHE – I’m writing from Pheriche, 14,200 feet, and I’m blown away how well the team is performing. No major altitude sickness or injuries. In Namche Bazaar, we had a team discussion and each of us devoted the next day’s hike to someone on the team. I picked Katherine Ragazzino (aka: Rizzo). A couple months ago on our Colorado training hike she guided me for the 1st time ringing a bear bell in front of me and pointing out obstacles. Out of Namche we hiked together again up the long steep hill into Tengboche.

Meed Soldier Hero Ike Isaacson

By any standard, Aaron "Ike" Isaacson is one of the toughest people I have ever met. His commitment to this team, and his fellow soldiers around the globe, is absolute. Like many of us, he has faced incredible adversity which he has learned to use as fuel that drives him on to greater things.

Soldiers Press Coverage

Even over here in Nepal, we are hearing about news reports on our expedition. My buddy Kevin Cherilla got a glamour boy photo and a cool article in his local paper (The Arizona Republic) and web site. Please let us know if you see any other media coverage around the country. We're heading out from Namche into the big mountains! This is when the real work begins for everyone.

Meet Soldier Hero Steve Baskis

We're on our way into the Khumbu now. So far, the expedition has been running relatively smoothly. Which isn't to say there haven't been problems but you always have to expect problems on any complicated mission. While we are trekking into Base Camp, I'd like to introduce you to some of our soldier heroes. Since I am blind, I of course share a special connection with 24-year-olde Steve Baskis. But while I lost my vision gradually at an early age, Steve lost his sight literally in the blink of an eye.

Kathmandu: Our Hero’s Journey Begins

After a year of fundraising, organizing, and recruiting I can’t believe we’re finally here in Kathmandu ready to embark on our adventure to climb Lobuche. I’m really proud of the team for all their hard work and training and I’m grateful for all the donors, sponsors, and World TEAM Sports community who have got us to this point.

Training Soldiers in Colorado

Last week, our Soldiers To The Summit team (http://soldierstothesummit.org/) got everyone together for an amazing training session here in Colorado. Though we've all been in virtual contact for the past few months, this was the first opportunity for everyone on the expedition to meet in person. (The only climber missing was Luis Benitez. But since he was still heading home from an attempt on K2, we'll cut him some slack!)

More News About Soldiers

Our Soldiers To The Summit Expedition is getting more good media attention. Here is an article in The Denver Post about our recent training session.

Climbing Interview

If you're interested, I was recently interviewed by Climbing magazine about my Alpamayo ascent.

Words of Encouragement - Forget the Suffering

Sometimes I have the opportunity to help school groups by offering words of encouragement. Particularly for blind students, hearing it from another blind person means more than what a sighted person tells them. Recently my friend Chris Lynch asked me to speak to his group of students before they made a grueling climb of Mount Baldy. At 10,064 feet, this is the highest point in Los Angeles County and the third highest peak in Southern California.

Alpamayo — First Blind Ascent

Alpamayo is a mountain that pulls at the heartstrings of all climbers. Even though I can’t see it, I know that it is one of the world’s most beautiful mountains. Anyone with a sense of adventure who does see its dramatic southwest face can’t help but imagine following the natural lines to the summit. I’ve been thinking about this mountain for years and finally made it happen.

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