At the end of March every year, fans of electronic dance music (EDM) gather in Miami for the Ultra Music Festival. Being a huge fan of the genre, I have attended every year since my first time in 2014. When I first soaked in the atmosphere of this festival, I immediately loved it and the many sensational artists. Each year is a breath of fresh air after a long winter, especially since a comfortable 22 to 26 degrees Celsius is a nice contrast to Europe’s rather crisp temperatures.
As a child of the Alps, I have always had a strong connection to mountains. However, after fracturing my heel bone during a climb a few years prior, I can no longer climb well, due to the resulting deformation.
Nevertheless, one of my lifelong goals has been to climb some of the “Seven Summits” (the highest peaks of each of the seven continents). In Europe the highest peak is Elbrus (5,642 meters elevation); Africa’s highest peak is Kilimanjaro (5,895 meters elevation) in Tanzania and South America’s highest peak is Aconcagua (6,962 meters elevation) in Argentina. I selected these as my targets since I believed that I could summit them with my ability and training.
Due to the coronavirus, I had plenty of time at home to spend making plans. It was then, by chance, that I saw an ad from Aktivferien AG. They were holding an informational evening close by, centered around climbing Kilimanjaro.
During a cold winter night in 2009, I was sitting at home with my wife, watching “Pretty Woman” with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. There is a scene in this film that would inspire the start of my own aviation adventure. In this scene, Edward invites Vivien to the opera. She wears a glamorous red dress and joins him on a private jet, which he organized for their journey. When I saw this scene, I looked at my wife and said just two words: “One day…”
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Namasté – the friendly Nepalese greeting that means “I bow to you” – is a phrase I found myself using often during my harrowing expedition to Island Peak in the Himalayas.
Island Peak, or Imja Tse, is nestled in Nepal’s Sagarmatha National Park high up in the Himalayas. Island Peak has earned its name as it appears to be an island in the middle of the Himalayan Range’s enormous glaciers.
It is considered to be one of the easier 6,000 meters climbs in Nepal, though “easy” is a misleading term to apply to a mountain of this height and with its type of terrain. The mountain should not be underestimated under any circumstances.
During this expedition, I was accompanied by my brother and my father – the latter joining the trek until we reached base camp. The trekking part of this expedition is something everyone can join in on if they are fit enough to hike in mountainous terrain for several hours each day.