The Challenge Before The Challenge

A plea to my family, friends, and readers.

In June I take off for Alaska and the second biggest adventure of my life – after raising my three kids =). My goal is the top of Mount McKinley, the 20,320-foot king of North America and third-highest of the Seven Summits behind only Everest and Aconcagua in South America.  The climb will take me from three weeks to a month in order to properly acclimatize and drag sleds full of gear to higher camps.  McKinley is often considered the hardest of the Seven Summits because of the lack of porters (everyone caries their own gear) and due to the extreme cold (temperatures down to -30F, -40F with wind-chill are common in June).  Even with all that staring me in the face, I expect to have an amazing time.  I will be in good company with a strong group of climbers I’m happy to call friends.

While the summit is going to be my challenge in June, my challenge now is getting there.  It’s going to take me two plane rides: one from Seattle to Anchorage and one from Anchorage to the glacier on a small prop plane equipped with skis.  On top of that I need permits to climb the mountain, some rental gear to handle the extreme cold, a month’s worth of dehydrated food and cooking fuel, taxi money, hotel fair for two nights in Anchorage, … you can see how this starts to get expensive quickly.

With Christmas around the corner, I understand everyone already has their fair share of obligations.  My ask is for anyone who was planning on getting me a present (is it too early to call in birthday presents from July?) to instead chip into my climbing fund to help make this dream possible.  Money, airline miles, and words of encouragement are all welcome.  With any luck, I’ll be reporting back to you all in July with tales of adventure and an amazing photo or 20!

Begrudgingly I’m including my hard-sell.  Please donate if you can.  Every dollar counts. Words of encouragement in the comments section are also wonderfully welcome.  I’m going to need a lot of motivation between now and June to get out there every day and train.  We are all only as good as the quality of the people who love us. I am fortunate and honored to be loved by people like you.

<Donation link removed. Thank you everyone for you support!>

Love to all,
-Jeff (the Summit Turtle)

2 comments to The Challenge Before The Challenge

  • Okay, Jefe. I’m in. I’ll buy a small slice of your excellent adventure. No doubt in my mind you’ll be on top of the world. Well, the US part. But I’m sure you can see the whole world from there! I need a personally emailed digital pic of you on the summit afterwards. That’s my condition, and I won’t budge from it!

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