Upon coming back alive from fighting the war in Iraq with the US Marines, I wanted to travel the world and soak in as much of life as possible. I had one free summer before I needed to return to Southwestern University to finish up my senior year of college. I made the most out of that summer…
It began with a climb of Mera Peak in Nepal. After which, I climbed a small non-technical peak in the Indian Himalayas, then went to Israel where 4 of my Marine buddies came to visit me and my family who lived there at the time, and ended the summer with a beautiful journey to the roof of Africa.
Scaling Kilimanjaro doesn’t require any technical mountaineering skills. It is more of a hike than a climb. But as one of the 7 summits – the tallest mountain in each of the 7 continents – it stands tall at 19,341 feet, ensuring that it still presents a worthy challenge in terms of the altitude.
This made Kilimanjaro an ideal quest to take on after Iraq.
For 7 months, I walked around for hours at a stretch, day after day with a heavy flak jacket. This left me in outstanding physical shape, but obviously my technical skills were a bit rusty. Surprisingly, we didn’t have much time for climbing out there in a war zone 🙂
Having built rock-solid strength during my time in Iraq and the previous climbs that summer, I cruised up Kilimanjaro with relative ease.
While it wasn’t a very demanding expedition, it was nonetheless a magnificent one. I loved the environment, the people and culture of Tanzania, the time I got to spend with my mom who joined me on the mountain, and the opportunity to meet fellow adventurers from all over the globe.
After the climb, my family and I went on an African safari through the Ngorongoro Crater and the legendary plains of the Serengeti. It was an awe-inspiring experience to see animals thriving in their natural environment.
The possibility of future adventures kept me going during some of my low moments in Iraq. Climbing Kilimanjaro and bearing witness to animals in the wild proved to be the perfect playground to continue my exploration of the soul of man.
South Pole and Mt. Vinson – A 30-40 day expedition navigating through “The Devil’s Ballroom” to the southernmost point on Earth followed immediately by a climb of the tallest mountain in Antarcticat
In November 2021, I will be traveling to Antarctica where I will be skiing for 30-40 days from the Ross Ice Shelf up the Axel Heiberg glacier to the bottom of the world. I will be following in the footsteps of Roald Amundsen, the first man to reach the South Pole. With a team of 4 other polar explorers, we will be walking on a spot of land that only 49 other human beings have ever set foot on.
Right after we reach the South Pole, we will be flying back to Union Glacier Camp in Antarctica. There I will rest for a few days before flying to the base camp of Mt. Vinson to climb the tallest mountain in Antarctica.
All in all, I will be spending about 2 months in the coldest, driest and windiest continent on Earth.
I am beyond excited to see what doors this expedition will open within my soul…
Here is the map of the Machame Route on Kilimanjaro…