Thursday 21 December 2017 I successfully summited Mount Orizaba (5636m/ 18491’) in Mexico. After 5 days of acclimatizing on volcanoes Iztaccilhuatl and Orizaba itself, we finally had a long 18 hour day climbing from high camp (16900′) up the glacier to the summit and back down to low camp in the dark. The glacier was very icy and we needed to belay down the 1500′ to the rocks. I must admit I had nothing left in me at the end. Team: Michael Hamill, guide; Tim Igo; Zav Mahlum; Clint Kugler; Mat Wood; Kent Stewart; AndrewGregory; myself Theodore Fairhurst.
This makes #5 in my year challenge to climb all 7 of the Volcanic 7 Summits in one year at 70 years old. This project began last May 2017. I am scheduled to fly to Antarctica early January 2018 to Mt. Sidley and then after I come off the Ice Continent I plan to go directly to Ojos del Salada, the highest volcano in the world, on the border between Chile and Argentina.
I have had the great fortune over the years to climb many mountains and volcanoes around the world, and just a few days ago this high-altitude volcano Orizaba (5636m/ 18491’) in Mexico, the highest in North America. These opportunities and challenges to climb mountains has certainly enriched me in ways I may never fully realize. One thing I know is I am very lucky to have the desire and spirit to choose this lifestyle for myself. I have encouraged family and friends to reach out past their grasp to discover the great strength we all have within us. We are bombarded everyday to live up to others demands and expectations and we can lose sight of why we are here and how unique we all are. If we are not inspired everyday to be all that we can, then we are losing special time, and time is measured. Life doesn’t care if you are happy or sad, and being both is life, so taking control of your direction entirely rests in your own hands. Don’t count on a bigger or smaller power to help you realize your profound greatness. It is not a question of quantity of pursuits but it is a question of quality of achievement. Reaching the summit is really cool, but getting out there daring and pushing your limit is the real great.
Being out in NATURE is my way to achieve this balance. Studies clearly demonstrate its healing power. However, there are many avenues available to challenge and learn about ourselves. The key I think is not to be afraid to poke our fears and doubts and move our confidence level continuously higher to the next degree. There are many ways to describe it: passion for life, go for it: get out of your comfort zone: follow your dreams: but the point is to be alive and getting the most and best from yourself. I am no guru but that seems obvious to me. Use it or lose it – mind, body and soul. Make high expectations of yourself. What do you have to lose that you can’t build stronger. You can be more than you think you can be.
After 11 hours of hiking up through dense jungle and grassy equatorial highlands following a ridge over many hilltops we arrived in the rain at basecamp.
Highlands of Papua New Guinea
Monday October 9 we climbed up a steep couloir (about 65 degrees on the upper 150m) to the summit of Mount Giluwe. The climb was pretty straight forward but more exposed and technical than I was expecting. There was little room for error in some places. We were mostly in slow drifting engulfing clouds but the jagged saw-tooth mountains would gradually appear out of the mist. The whole landscape has a fairy tale beauty.
summit Mt. Giluwe
scaling Mt. Giluwe
I shared a sincere special affinity with my Papuan guide and porters. Under a tarpaulin shelter built on the edge of a miniature forest on the grassy sloped highlands they started a fire in the rain and cooked on the coals sweet potato, corn & rice. Papuans are gentle and friendly and so willing to help. Unfortunately life expectancy is only about 45 years because of a poor lifestyle and lack of modern infrastructure.
basecamp Mt. Giluwe
Giluwe is the highest volcano (4368m) in Oceania and it is # 4 reached on my challenge to climb all 7 of the Volcanic Seven Summits (highest volcano on every continent) in my 70th year. To date since May I have climbed Mt. Elbrus – Russia/ EUROPE (June 2nd); Mt Kilimanjaro- Tanzania/ AFRICA (June 11th); Mt. Damavand – Iran/ ASIA (September 29); Mt. Giluwe – PNG/ OCEANIA (October 9). THE WORLD IS HUGE. WE DETERMINE HOW BIG WE DARE TO ENVISION OUR LIVES.
I summited Mount Damāvand in Iran yesterday 29 September 2017. It is the highest volcano in Asia at 5610m. It is now no. 3 in my challenge at 70 to climb the Volcanic Seven Summits in one year. Elbrus and Kilimanjaro completed in May/ June.
Summit of Mt. Damavand with Babak Kheirjoo
I climbed it in 3 days only, which is quite fast for this size of mountain. Winds were about 75kph. At the summit the mountain emits powerful Sulfuric smoke and gas as seen in the photo.
Sulfuric gas cloud
Damavand is very near the Caspian Sea which dramatically impacts its weather and has a special place In Persian Mythology. It is a potentially active volcano.
Tomorrow I fly to Papua New Guinea to climb Mount Giluwe, the highest in Oceania.
Our lives are based on DEFINING MOMENTS. But they are only defining when we have acted on those moments.
Climbing Mt. Damavand was great. Experiencing culture and people in the raw is so rich. On the mountain i met so many extraordinary and welcoming people. Knowing I was from Canada they opened their arms. I was touched when one man gave me his trail mix just in passing. Mr. Hosenpur from the Pulur Climbing Federation embraced me and said I was the 1st Canadian in more than 5 years to climb Damavand. It is very dear to Iranians and I met a woman climbing the mountain who is a doctor from Tehran who pushed herself to the extreme to realize her dream to climb Damavand. I feel honored to see such beauty and greatness in the world.
I have now completed climbing Mt. Elbrus, June 2nd (Europe) and Kilimanjaro, June 11th (Africa). This was my 2nd time climbing these two mountains. In 2012 I also climbed them in my quest to climb the 7 Summits (highest mountain on every continent) which was an eight year project I reached in 2014.
Now as many of you know my new challenge at age 70 is to climb the Volcanic 7 Summits in one year. Fortunately the next 5 mountains will be new climbs for me. Damavand, Iran; Giluwe, Papua; Pico de Orizaba, Mexico; Ojos del Salado, Chile; Sidley, Antarctica.
I am doing this surely for me as a new decade challenge, but my real driving purpose is to be an example to all generations, especially Millennials, to get out into Nature themselves. Einstein once said: “Look deep into Nature, and you will understand everything better”. Nature holds such extraordinary originality of wildlife, terrain, weather and pure raw beauty. Nature is the ultimate experience to find out who you are and what you have in you. The more we are in her fold, the more we love her, and the more we love Nature, the more we will want to protect and fight for her.
I DARE all of you reading this post to take on your own challenge this year in the mountains, rivers, oceans or forests. Something that will push you out of your comfort zone. See what amazing strengths of body, mind and spirit you have in you. You will never know unless you make that DECISION to get out there and ‘go for it’.
And if you possibly can please be generous to a cause of your choice to support and enrich NATURE. All of you who share these great values please post on your timeline. We need to act collectively to save out flora and fauna for future generations. Touching Nature is Touching Your Soul. Thank you.
Mount Everest: Min Bahadur Sherchan dies attempting record
An 85-year-old Nepali man who was attempting to become the oldest person to climb Mount Everest has died at base camp, Nepali officials say. Min Bahadur Sherchan, a former British Gurkha soldier, was trying to reclaim the record from Japan’s Yuichiro Miura, who climbed Everest aged 80 in 2013.
Mr Miura broke Mr Sherchan’s own record set as a 76-year-old in 2008. It comes a week after Swiss climber Ueli Steck, 40, died as he prepared to climb the mountain. Mr Sherchan died at base camp on Saturday afternoon, officials at Nepal’s tourism office said. Doctors suspect he suffered a heart attack, the Kathmandu Post newspaper reported. His long rivalry with Mr Miura – a year his junior – included a 2013 attempt to reclaim the record aged 81 that had to be abandoned after late spring weather conditions worsened. In 2015 he was on his way to base camp for another attempt when a devastating earthquake struck the country, forcing him and many other climbers to abandon their plans. “I want to climb Everest to set a record so that it will inspire people to dream big,” he told German news agency DPA in March. “This will instill a sense of pride among old people like me.”
Renowned climber Ueli Steck dies near Mount Everest
Mountaineer known as ‘Swiss Machine’ had been planning to ascend Everest and nearby Mount Lhotse next month
The renowned mountaineer Ueli Steck, known for his rapid ascents of the Alps which earned him the nickname the “Swiss Machine”, has died in an accident in Nepal near Mount Everest.
Steck, who was 40 and one of the most celebrated climbers of his generation, was killed on Sunday after falling to the foot of Mount Nuptse, a smaller peak in the area, according to Mingma Sherpa of the Seven Summit Treks company that had organised the expedition.
Sherpa told Reuters that Steck’s body had been recovered and was being taken to Kathmandu.
Kamal Prasad Parajuli, an official with Nepal’s department of tourism, confirmed Steck had died while climbing Nuptse and that he had planned an ascent of Everest.
My favorite back-country mountain biking marshes. In 2 weeks there will be a lush blanket of green. So great to be back in the saddle after winter. I love 4 seasons and the wonderful contrast of sports you do in winter and summer. Can’t imagine biking all year – nor skiing all year.
A REMARKABLE MAN: Montrealer Theodore FredericFairhurst, who turns 70 in April, has had several careers as a fine artist, entrepreneur, high-altitude mountain climber and a public speaker. He has climbed the Seven Summits, including Mount Everest and recently found himself in a jungle in Papua New Guinea. There he got separated from his teammates, finding himself all alone. As night fell and without food, sleeping bag or tent, he had to huddle alone in the pouring rain and listen all night to the sounds and calls of different animals. His new challenge at 70 is to climb the highest volcano on all seven continents (Volcanic Seven Summits) and hopefully poke all generations of people to take on their own goals and get out into Nature.