A swim for the ages

The island of Salina sits off the northeast coast of Sicily. This paradise is in the centre of a cluster of six other volcanic islands, each in a varying state of agitation. Fortunately Salina can only be described as serene, having recorded it’s last eruption 13,000 years ago. My house is on Salina and my…

Snowboarding on a volcano

Mount Etna towers over daily life in the northeast corner of Sicily. It is Europe’s most active volcano and rises to 3,350 meters above sea level. THAT is a recipe for snowboarding fun: snow, ash, and smoke. Lava if you’re lucky. The Etna ski season has to be the world’s shortest, and most unpredictable. As…

I’m not done

I’m writing this two weeks after failing to reach the summit of Ama Dablam. With some time to reflect on the expedition since I descended from Camp 2, I’m more disappointed now than at any time since that morning I decided to head home. I can’t reproduce the feeling of hesitation that convinced me to…

Ah, now we’re talking

November 4th 2017 I was thrilled when morning came at Camp 1. Despite 18 hours in a tent, and absolutely nothing to do, I managed less than three hours sleep. I wanted to get up and get out even though I was exhausted. When you try to sleep at 20,000 feet a strange thing happens….

Two men in a tent

November 4th 2017 – All memory of my glamping at Basecamp started to erode with the trip to High Camp yesterday. Tonight, the relative luxury of Basecamp is a foggy recollection as I share a two man tent with Rinji, the climbing sherpa, at Camp 1. We are perched on a small ledge of rocks…

Welcome to the moon

November 3rd 2017 – This day makes me think of the old television series The Beverly Hillbillies. The opening jingle told the story of how Jed Clampett (the old mountaineer) accidentally discovered oil on his land so he packed up his family and moved to Beverley Hills. There is a wonderful scene of Jed and his…

A little unsettling

November 2nd 2017 – I woke up this morning in my tent at Basecamp to find the water in my washbowl had frozen overnight. Binoy tells me that this kind of cold doesn’t typically roll in until mid-December. I guess picked the perfect year to attempt Ama Dablam. This place is a small village although…