On Limits


Have you ever seen those cute little plaques that say "I hope you dance"?


How about "I hope you swim across the English Channel?" Or "I hope you bike across America?" Or "I hope you raft the Zambezi River?" Probably wouldn't fit quite as well on a plaque, but hey, if you put any phrase in Comic Sans, people'll buy it.

Maybe I'm just bitter because the whole dancing thing didn't work out for me. My parents dropped hundreds of dollars on years of lessons, only to see their little girl achieve mediocrity and a closet full of hideous recital costumes. They're probably out there looking for plaques that say "I hope you don't dance, it costs me way too much money and you suck at it."

I believe that most people need to dream bigger. The human mind and body is capable of so much more than we give it credit for. I am always inspired by people who like to push this envelope. One of them is my dad. He's almost 50 years old and climbing Everest (not the whole mountain, "only" up to 21,000 feet). I just got word that he's even outhiking some of the sherpas in his group. No altitude sickness. No nothin'.

Thanks, Dad, for never limiting yourself. It's been an inspiration to me all my life. 


You don't get an email like this every day...

Hello Everyone!

After a 4000 foot climb at a 45 degree pitch topped off by a 600 foot vertical ice climb then 300 foot straddle of a razor-sharp edge with a 1500 foot drop to my right and a 2500 foot drop to my left, I summited Island Peak 4 hours and 15 minutes after I started. Everyone else in my group had to go down fast a few days earlier and even Dawa my guide had to break off at 18,000 feet due to altitude sickness. That left my head Nepalese guide,Tendi, and I to see the summit. I took pics on the summit with a picture of my beautiful family held next to my face and had a good cry.

It was far more technical and dangerous than I was led to believe. Physically it was the hardest thing I've ever done to climb that pitch topping off at 21,012 feet. We had started the day at 17,000 feet. The average time to get to the top is 8 hours so Tendi and I busted it out! We were the first two on top and had the summit to ourselves. On top I was staring in the face at the 1st(Everest), 3rd(Lohtse) and the 4th(Makalu) highest mountains in the world!

The 600 foot rappel down the glacier was the most fun I've ever had (because I was going down)! On the upper portions where it all turned to ice we did the whole "cross the crevasse on the ladder wrungs" with your crampons on. You can't believe how hard it was to effort up a glacier at 20,000 feet then climb near vertically for another 1,000feet. But MAN was it rewarding and a thrill.

Now every step I take brings me closer back to you all. I'm now at 13,000 feet where the air is thick. (Nearly as thick as my beard but not even close to the thickness of my mustache!) I wish I could jump on a plane right now and get home to hug all of you. You know I have not seen a car in 16 days! I haven't had a shower in 7 days. Do you still want that hug?

I have had great health considering the travails of those in my group and others I see along the way. I would give a king's ransom for a solid 8 hours of sleep. A good night is 3 or 4. You actually wake up gasping for air like someone has been smothering you and if it isn't that then you have to pee 8 or 9 times a night because you have been focused on hydrating plus the altitude tag-teams you. I have a Nalgene bottle by my bedside and fill it up. Obviously more information than you needed.
I have missed each and everyone of you and have so much more to show you through pictures and the extensive journal I've kept. I will sign off but know that success is when preparation meets performance. Climb every mountain. Ford every sea. Now it's time for me to go potty!

Love, Dad


  1. Haha, your dad is awesome. Your dad is my mom's hero, you're my hero. ...and maybe eventually I'll dare to have you dad as a hero.


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