Denali September 2004

It Takes a Village to Climb a Mountain 9/25/2004


Please excuse the corny subject line-it was the best one I could come up with. I’m writing to invite you to become part of my village and to be a part of my support team over the next months as I prepare to climb Denali. Denali is the tallest mountain in North America and is located in Alaska. It is 20,320 feet or 6190 metres tall (in other words way big, way tall!!!). The climb is in June but conditions on the mountain can often reach -40 degrees C (or F) with 100 mile an hour winds. In order to be ready for such an endeavor, I will spend lots of time in the next eight months training physically, mentally, and spiritually for the challenges ahead.

That’s where you come in…I’d like to have a group of folks who know what I’m up to, who will cheer me on, who will encourage me when I need encouragement, kick me in the butt when I need kicking, drive me to trail heads, send e-mails, read e-mails, send me crazy training ideas, send good quotes, make me laugh, suggest I rest, meet me for breakfast, going hiking with me, etc. etc. etc. Some folks in the group will be in St. John’s and others are spread out around the world so any and all ways of being supportive are welcomed.

I’d like to share the experience of training and preparation and the inevitable life lessons they will bring…those of you who followed my travels around the world will be familiar with my writing of that sort…I imagine sending out an e-mail every week or so keeping you posted about the joys and tribulations of life, fitness and the pursuit of 20,300 feet readiness.

No pressure, no shoulds, no arm twisting…if you’d like to be a part of my support team (and receive future e-mails) just reply to this e-mail and I’ll add you to the team. You can also let me know if you have some goal or event in your life that you would like some support around from me…I’d be happy to jump on board your support team.

I’m not exactly sure why I want to climb Denali…she’s been on my lifelist for a number of years now-I saw her this summer when Liz and I were in Alaska and climbing such a tall peak seemed impossible-maybe that’s why I want to do it-to know that I can do something that appears impossible, or maybe because I’ll turn 40 during the expedition and it seems like a good way to celebrate or maybe because I hate to go uphill or maybe the preparation process is exactly what I need to be doing right now….not exactly sure…stay tuned…I submitted my application to join the expedition last Monday. The climb is organized through the National Outdoor Leadership School and will climb the little used Muldrow Glacier route on the north side of the mountain. The route starts at the tundra level around 2000 feet so we will climb almost the entire mountain-making the elevation gained similar to climbing Everest…

So…I hope this e-mail finds you well, excited and engaged in life, and let me know if you want to join my support team…I’d love to have you!!!

All the best, TA

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