I don’t intend my blog to be about nothing but Ed, but at the moment I can’t seem to help myself 🙂
I just finished his bio No shortcuts to the top. As I said before, it is an awesome read. Besides all of the technical mountaineering that you’d guess his accomplishments would be about, what comes through to me above all is (1) his humanity, and (2)that mountaineering is more about brains than brawn. The intellectual capacity of world class mountaineering, the problems that you have to think through, the planning to make things go right, and so on, may be easily underestimated by a lot of people. This is where Ed really stands out, and for me it is one of the most appealing aspects of mountain climbing. His success is the result of a formula for all successful people; hard work, dedication, planning, more hard work, ploughing through self-doubt, and of course, some pretty serious talent. I also found the book quite a lot of fun because Ed and I are nearly identical in age to the day, and both grew up in Northern Illinois. So I could compare notes as it were. Our childhoods seem fairly similar; I liked his mention of baseball playing in Summer, and the flooded back yard hockey in the Winter months, and the dislike of scouts Man all of that sounds familiar. But then we diverged. I went east to Ohio State, Ed went West to the University of Washington. When He attempted Everest for the first time, I was in Cairo, working away on a thesis, and trying to figure out a career path. And so on. I am really grateful to Ed for writing his bio; besides the adventure, one can really learn a lot about oneself by reading the book. Better, of course, to get out there! And now, I read today, that Ed is coming out of “retirement” after his Quest for the 14 8000 ers. Yep, he is going for number 7 on Everest this Spring, something like Lance at the Tour de France in 2005. And here my world intersects. Cycling and mountaineering! You can follow Ed on his homepage or at First Ascent. I am certainly going to be glued to the internet. It will be something this Spring to watch with a good deal of awe. Sure wish I could be at base camp! Good luck Ed. and the rest of the Eddie Bauer-sponsored team! And by the way, a new book is forthcoming from Ed in the Fall about K2. Can’t wait.