“People ask me, ‘What is the use of climbing Mount Everest?’ and my answer must at once be, ‘It is of no use.’There is not the slightest prospect of any gain whatsoever. Oh, we may learn a little about the behaviour of the human body at high altitudes, and possibly medical men may turn our observation to some account for the purposes of aviation. But otherwise nothing will come of it. We shall not bring back a single bit of gold or silver, not a gem, nor any coal or iron… If you cannot understand that there is something in man which responds to the challenge of this mountain and goes out to meet it, that the struggle is the struggle of life itself upward and forever upward, then you won’t see why we go. What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy. And joy is, after all, the end of life. We do not live to eat and make money. We eat and make money to be able to live. That is what life means and what life is for.”
-George Herbert Leigh Mallory
“Because it’s there” is the famous response that George Mallory gave when asked why climb Everest. To me it is more than a simple witty quote. This mentality defines my life. In 2009, as a freshman in college, I decided to attempt a winter thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. Why? Because it’s there. In winter of 2013 I traveled to Newfoundland to summit it’s high mountains in the deep, early season snow. In 2014, I became the first person to paddle a kayak from Key West to the Dry Tortugas. In 2015 I attempted to break the Appalachian Trail thru-hike unsupported record. Why? Because it’s there.
In addition to backpacking and kayaking, I am also an avid freediver, climber, and mountaineer. I am also currently a Family Medicine Resident in Missoula, Montana.
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