Time is flying by so quickly. I am now at my 100 day countdown before leaving again for Nepal and my attempt on climbing Manaslu, the 8th highest mountain in the world. So much has happened in Nepal over the last few weeks that I am often asked if I still plan on returning so soon considering the 2 recent, devastating earthquakes and subsequent aftershocks that have rattled this Himalayan country. The short answer is yes, I still plan on visiting this great country again and I leave in late August. The long answer on why I look forward to returning is a bit harder to explain to the non-climber. With the never-ending support of my wife, Diana, we have discussed the risks of returning and at this time we deem those risks acceptable.
I’m often times asked, why climb? Why take such great risk and threaten the very make-up of my wonderful family? Why risk frostbite, avalanches and crevasse falls? My reply is, “why not”? An answer that surely is not acceptable to many and understood by very few. All of us dream about one thing or another. At some time all of us wonder what if? What if I had taken that chance? What if I had made that career move? What if I nurtured that relationship further? What if?
I often times wonder what I am physically and mentally capable of. High altitude climbing affords me the forum to answer that question. As with all of my climbing expeditions, I prioritize safety at the top of my list. Second is fun and third is summit. My trip will be 100% successful upon my safe return to my family regardless of whether I stand on top or not. If I am fortunate enough to stand on the very pinnacle of Manaslu it will just serve as another reminder of how truly blessed I am.