I just finished reading another inspiring book ~ Forget Me NOT by Jennifer Lowe-Anker. What an incredible journey the author has had thus far ~ her strength and courage have inspired me to live more in the moment and get started on my own memoir. Ever since I picked up Ghosts of Everest I have been spellbound with the mountain and the mountaineers who climb the highest peak on the planet. You know, you've probably read about many other blogs where I have yammered on and on about Everest (29,035 feet) ~ but seriously, I can't help myself. This feeling that wells up inside me when I open up a book about someones journey up the mountain is indescribable.
I have some theories ~ maybe my brain is re-playing some heart memories of some distant relative who climbed Chomolunga-The Goddess Mother of the World. Perhaps I identify with the incredible endurance of the human spirit to keep moving forward even when you have nothing left to give. Anyway, with each Everest book I have read I have learned about the greatest mountaineers on the planet. Their stories are intertwined in the brotherhood of the rope.
One climber in particular I have grown to greatly admire and respect ~ Conrad Anker. Not long after he discovered George Mallory's body on the North side of Everest he was in a deadly avalanche in which he narrowly escaped. His best friend, Alex Lowe, and Dave Bridges lost their lives that day. Since that tragic day, Conrad has gone on several other expeditions, has started a Khumbu Climbing School and married Jennifer Lowe-Anker.
So, this weekend I was up in the Keene Valley with some friends at the 13th Annual Mountainfest ~ both Conrad and Jennifer Lowe-Anker were doing a slide show presentation about her book and Conrad's expeditions. I had both of them sign some books ~ it was amazing meeting them both! I also had a chance to go on a snow-shoeing outing ~ shhhhhh don't tell my surgeons. There wasn't anything on my discharge papers that said 'no snow-shoeing' ~ it just said no vacuuming for 3 months! Despite the bitter cold ~ it was down in the negatives at night and a high of 13 on Saturday ~ I had a great time this weekend relaxing and breathing in the sweet mountain air.