Puncak Jaya in 7 Days and Everest in 3 months

As 2018 winds down, I think about my Dad and Mom, and the good times they provided my Sister and I for the holidays. We always had abundant, nutritious, diverse food on our plates, thanks to my Mom and her love for cooking. We also had music playing, movies showing, and decorations shining. The holidays were very important for our family, and the ritual associated with the holidays, particularly as we relocated around the world, was as important. Ours was not a textbook family, if there is such a thing, but we were a unit all together. Led by my Mom, directed by my Dad, I was loved and cared for, and it was never more pronounced to me than during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Eve. I long for the simplicity of those times, though perhaps that is romanticized. Regardless, some day, I will give back that experience to my own family.

IN THE MEANTIME…!

I depart for Puncak Jaya, the highest mountain on the continent of Oceana (Australia) in 7 days. I have made arrangements with Adventure Indonesia, and they will ferry me to Western Papua, then transport me via helicopter to the base of the mountain, approximately 14,000 feet. We will acclimate for a single day, and on New Years Day, make our summit push, with a Tyrolean Traverse and a summit of just over 16,000 feet. As such, I will start off the year (with good luck), on the summit of the top of this remote, beautiful mountain. There seems to be a small security situation on the island, and my provider has advised of some challenges in that regard. Locals have massacred Indonesian workers who are laying infrastructure on the island. I think we shall be ok.

EVEREST- Mach 18, 2019

I depart for Mount Everest in approximately 3 months. I have been communicating with, and making logistical and financial arrangements, with Peak Promotions, based in Nepal. Everything is going as planned in this regard. I have decided recently to summit Everest, or at least make an attempt, without supplemental oxygen. Of the 6000 climbers who have made the summit since 1953, only 200 have accomplished this feat. My rationale is in line with my inherent make up as a climber- climbing is about self reliance and self sufficiency. I am going into a battle of will against the highest mountain in the world. She will not play any tricks, or take any short cuts, and if I can avoid doing so, I will. This is the honorable way to climb. Stay tuned on this.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Anthony McClaren