Everyone has an Everest to Climb – What’s Yours?

“The barometer of success isn’t standing on the top of a mountain, it’s having an adventure.”  Jake Norton – Eddie Bauer First Ascent Guide

Everyone has heard of Mt. Everest, that famous mountain located in the Mahalangur section of the Himalayas.

Mt. Everest

Mt. Everest – 29,029 Feet

In 1865, Everest was given its official English name by the Royal Geographical Society upon a recommendation by Andrew Waugh, the British Surveyor General of India. Waugh named the mountain after his predecessor in the post, Sir George Everest.

Over 50 years ago on May 29, 1953, New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, a Nepali Sherpa climbed, then reached the summit of 29,029 feet, the first men to do so.

Asked why he made climbing Everest a lifelong dream, George Mallory said, “because it’s there“.

Climbing Mt. Everest then and even now is considered one of the most challenging of adventures.

But for most of us, even if we had the perfect combination of desire, fitness and financial wherewithal, the chances of us summiting Mt. Everest are very remote.

But, there is a Mt. Everest challenge for all of us. Along the way to your personal Everest there may be many other less challenging adventures. None of ever know when or if that Everest moment will ever come, that’s why it is important to challenge yourself with the smaller “mountains” along the way.

It may be a 5K, Tough Mudder, triathlon, a half or a full marathon, or even a walk around the park. Everyone’s “mountain” at the time is different. Some are smaller, some are huge, but we all get the opportunity to “climb” them each and every day.  Think about it, what are yours?

For me, this past weekend, it was climbing 11,918 foot Mt. Charleston in the Spring Mountain range of Nevada.

Mt Charleston - Charleston Peak - Spring Mountains

Mt. Charleston – Charleston Peak – 11,918 Feet

Mt. Charleston (aka Charleston Peak) is the highest peak in southern Nevada. It is the 8th most prominent mountain in the U.S. with 8,259 feet of prominence. It’s also the most prominent and highest mountain in Nevada.

From the top, you can expect panoramic views, with the Sierra Nevada on the horizon to the west and parts of Las Vegas visible to the southeast. The peak is served by two trails, South Loop Trail and North Loop/Trail Canyon , which can be done together as a loop, a round trip of nearly 18 miles.

This very demanding round trip hike can be excruciating if you are out of shape, and it takes all day for even someone well conditioned.

Mount Charleston, officially named Charleston Peak is the highest of the Spring Mountains of southern Nevada and the state’s eighth highest mountain peak Mount Charleston is in Clark County Nevada and can be seen from Las Vegas. It was named after an Army Engineer who surveyed the peak in the 1850’s and named after his hometown of Charleston South Carolina.

It is about 35 miles (56 km) northwest of Las Vegas and is within the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.

Mt. Charleston is one of AMERICA’S 57 ULTRAS. Ultras are Summits with a Prominence of 5,000 feet or more and it also has an elevation of nearly 12,000 feet at 11,916 feet above sea level.

Okay, it’s not Mt. Everest, Everest is 29,029 feet, a difference of 17,113 feet more, but it is still a big mountain.

This past weekend though, it became my “Everest” for the day.

Below is a gallery of photos taken along the way. We started early at 5:15 am as this is a very long  endurance challenge of about 18 miles round trip. Make sure that you are in reasonably good shape and be prepared for a long day with water, food and proper equipment. (Clothing, hiking boots, hat, jacket, etc.)

We took the North Loop trail up and the South Loop trail down. I am told that the North Loop trail is a bit more treacherous but shorter, I agree. Coming back on the South Loop trail is longer but less steep and there is what seems like never ending switchbacks near the end of the trail.

Both trails have unlimited beauty so bring a camera if you go. Here’s some of what I saw.

Hope you enjoyed the gallery tour, short and sweet, but you get the picture, right? 🙂

So what is the bottom line here? Art of Adventure advocates living the adventurous life. If you expect adventure to come to you, it rarely does. Or it may come as a unwanted surprise.

In fact, Roald Amundsen, the great Norwegian explorer of Polar Regions said this kind of adventure is , just bad planning.”

The best adventures are those you plan to do, because it’s there.

So don’t wait, there are literally millions of adventurous options open to everyone. Period.

The beauty is, is that you get to choose your personal adventures based on your own individual set of circumstances. So open your mind to the endless possibilities and make your plan.

For Art of Adventure this past weekend our plan and our adventure, our Everest was climbing
Mt. Charleston.

Now, what’s your Everest?

Explore the Adventurous Life –  Why?  Because it’s there!

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