A Soldier Reflects

It's been about three months since we returned from Nepal and our successful ascent of Lobuche. For many of us, it has been a whirlwind of activity as we try to make the movie of our climb become a reality. Others on our team are busy with their own projects. Although we are all immersed in our lives here at home, each of us has been deeply affected by our experiences on that adventure.

Recently, I asked Steve Baskis to share his thoughts about what this expedition means to him a few months later. As you can tell, it was a very powerful time in his life that will have far-reaching benefits. Thanks again to all of our sponsors who helped make this possible!


Steve Baskis working his way to the summit of Lobuche. Photo by Didrik Johnck.

When you look back on the trip, what stands out the most to you and why?

The team worked very well together. So many people who really did their best guided me and this really means a lot to me. People forget that when you're blind, you can miss so much of the visual world around you, my teammates made sure to never let this happen.

Why did you agree to be part of this expedition?

Primarily because of what it stands for and the message people will receive when viewing the documentary. I also have this adventurous spirit and wish to learn and travel as much as possible. Plus the challenge to do something most able-body people don't do could be considered as a driving force as well.

Now that you are home and everything is back to normal, how do you feel?

The funny thing is I yearn for more adventure and travel. I tend to dream about all of the places I want to visit. And when I do visit them, a moment of satisfaction always overwhelms me. When I look back on the Himalayan expedition, this proud feeling of accomplishment floods my brain. Hiking and climbing with my teammates was truly an honor and I am proud to show more people what motivated and driven people are capable of, no matter the adversity.

Random thoughts and comments:

I will never forget this climb, even if I do not ever return to Nepal. The mental pictures of slowly moving up the valley, takeoff and landings on extremely small runways, and the people who helped this dream come true could never be forgotten. The place is so majestic and from what I can remember when I had vision, one of the most beautiful places in the world.

2 years and 7 months is how long I have lived in darkness. Whether or not you consider that a long time, it is plenty of time to reflect and understand the traumatic life-changing event that has occurred in my life. The climb has taught me, like every other challenge I have taken, that people always struggle, fight, and live in hard times. But it is how you move forward and whom you have in life that really matters. Traveling to the ends of our world allows me to imagine and learn so much, it allows me the opportunity to forget my disability and see the world in a different perspective.

This expedition and all of the unique things I have done and will do, I hope will make my life fun and worthwhile. You often find people dreaming of all of the things they can do, but never take that risky step forward in that direction. I say keep life interesting, jump off the beaten path and live a little. This concept I believe will help heal mental and physical wounds.

Don’t get me wrong, the climb was very difficult and frustrating, but overall when it is all said and done, a great experience that many others will never live.