Top of the World

I have always had a weird attraction to Mt. Everest. Or, rather, people with the stones (and the cash) to climb to the top of the world.

I’ve often commented to friends and family that I am absolutely sure that I was a mountaineer in a previous life.

Perhaps it’s the danger. Or, maybe the idea that on the top of a mountain (whether it be Mt. Hood or Mt. Everest) there is a solitude, sort of a disconnectedness to the world yet seeing the world as it really is.. or was…. raw nature.

I can’t even say that I am an outdoorsy person. Camping? not really my style. I don’t thing my prada shoes would fit in.

Once, hubby and I did some really beginner rock climbing down in Shenandoah. We were hiking to see waterfalls, but instead we ended up on the “rock scramble” trail. It was so much fun. I think I remember standing at the top of a very precarious rock formation and looking down into the valley, doing my “Rocky” impression…. fists in the air. Yeah!!!

In 1997 the software company I worked for launched an expedition to Everest. The “Colliers Lotus Everest Expedition”. Some of the people I worked with had the opportunity to go to Everest Base Camp to set up technology to chronicle some of the climbs. One of my coworkers actually made it to the top. We had this video stream from base camp that we could access daily for pictures, video, and journals. I spent hours on that site, imagining it could have been me. That picture up at the top is from the peak. The group photo is from base camp.

Three years ago, I went to a convention with my Dad’s business, and met an inspirational speaker, Beck Weathers, from the Everest Expedition in the Spring of 1996 when all those people died up on Mt. Everest. This guy was an adventure seeker, and ended up on the adventure of his life (FOR his life). He was left for dead on that mountain. And somehow made it back. Many of his extremities where later amputated from frostbite, most notably, his nose. I was mesmerized by his speech and further mesmerized meeting him in person.

I have books on the subject which I collect, and if a documentary is on the Discovery channel, or National Geographic, I do not miss it.

The draw is so strong, but the reality is that for me, this simply remains a dream. I live that life vicariously through others.

You know that “get-to-know-you” game where you’re supposed to divulge the one thing you’d want to do or be, if you could do anything in the world and be good at it?

Imagine the look people give me when I say I want to climb Mt. Everest.

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