Eight Days ’till Nepal

Our favorite Polar Explorer is at it again. Eric Larsen, Save the Poles, is quickly making some last minute preparations for his Everest ascent. Taking with him some of our GOAL ZERO gear he will be powered all the way along. Here is what Eric has to say…

“I suppose the best place to start is the beginning, but neither one of us have that kind of time. Instead, I’ll forgo some of the more mundane details and skip to the past week or so.

I’m down to the wire in terms of Everest preparations (and the usual funding gaps – any leads appreciated). Still everything is moving forward. I’ve been coordinating logistics with a company called Himalayan Trailblazers and Trekking. Tshering has been great sending regular updates and already organizing a load of gear going to base camp.

Jeff Danzer from Terramar stopped by for a few days and accompanied me on a some training hikes. We hiked up James peak then spent an overnight in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. I justified the time away from my computer and gear sorting with extra rocks in my pack: training at altitude. What Jeff may lack in experience, he makes up for in enthusiasm and his presence served as a reminder for me to keep looking at the world through a fresh perspective. The value of wilderness travel exists on many levels.

I leave for Nepal on August 28th and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was nervous. So I’ll put it out there… I’m nervous. The scale and scope of the Save the Poles expedition is beginning to seem a bit overwhelming. For better or worse however, I have become an expert at managing intangibles. There are so many things that can go wrong between now and then and too many steps to count before the summit. I have a time table for each of my worries and somehow I have become adept at suppressing my worst fears until more pending tasks are accomplished first.

The rest of my time has been spent tracking down sponsors, sorting gear, training, coordinating messaging and trying to answer all the emails that come in each day. While I may be the only westerner climbing Everest, my team stretches far beyond my singular efforts, and as always, there is a long list of smarter, more capable people than I helping with the myriad tasks of organizing a major expedition. A quick thanks to Tim and Elisabeth at Web Expeditions and Lora and Zac at Scream Agency.

I asked Maria if it was OK to start ‘staging’ in her basement. I’m not sure if others use this technique or not, but for me, it is the first round of gear sorting prior to an expedition departure. I usually lay out all my gear in neat piles. After staring at the piles for several days, I narrow down choices before one final resort and pack. The process takes up considerable space (after all, I’m bringing four tents, two pair of boots, ice ax, two sleeping bags, and more) and brings unsettling an urban/gear sprawl-like feel to the basement.

Maria answered a surprisingly quick ‘yes’. I had already prepared a long defense as I was worried she would have flashbacks to my North Pole staging which, even by my standards, was somewhat chaotic. The key for me now is to get boots, base layer, tents and more in nice rows and piles.

Fingers crossed… For everything.”
(Taken from Eric Larsen, Save the Poles, Blog Post 8/19/10)


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