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The most dangerous worldview is the worldview of those who have not viewed the world.

- Alexander von Humboldt

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Expeditions

Jun 29, 2018

Live Updates: Colin O’Brady’s 50HP World Record Attempt.

This page will be regularly updated as and when we hear from Colin during his challenge.

WRITTEN BY

The Outdoor Journal

Remember if you see Colin out on the trails, make sure you grab some photos or video, and upload them to social media with the hashtag #50HPandMe.

0/50 high points left to summit!

19th July – THE 50HP WORLD RECORD HAS BEEN BROKEN.
19th July
18th July

16th July
14th July 

13th July 

11th July – When one door closes another door opens…
The Good News: Arizona’s Humphrey’s Peak is now open for climbing! 
The Not So Good News: Mt. Whitney in California is closed due to an uncontained forest fire that has shut down access to the mountain.

Within minutes of landing at the Bishop airport in California, I received word that the Arizona high point, which has been closed for two months, would be reopening Wednesday, July 11th at 8:00am. The monsoon rains have arrived and the fire danger and restrictions on Humphrey’s Peak have been lifted. Celebration ensued!

We had arrived to the Eastern Sierras —  the jumping off point for Nevada’s Boundary Peak and Mt. Whitney, California’s high point and the highest mountain in the lower 48. With a sigh of relief, I knew AZ would now be accomplished.

Moments later another phone call came in alerting us to a lightning strike that had just occurred in the Alabama Hills, igniting a forest forest adjacent to Mt. Whitney. With only 10 percent containment, the Forest Service has closed the Whitney Portal and the access to California’s high point.  Now it’s a waiting game for news of reopening. Luckily my July 11th permit will be honored and valid for 7 days once the trail is accessible again.

10th July

9th July – East Coast Completed

8th July – 31 States Summited

7th July

5th July

4th July – A look back at the Denali Summit, and the start of the 50HP clock.

3rd July – 14 High Points Summited.

It’s been a whirlwind through the Southeast the past two days, hitting ten high points (14 total) already! A special thank you to @skallamarc for arranging everything for us ahead of time to hit the ground running! The best part has been all of the incredible people who have come out to participate. We met a 70 year old man who recently hiked the entire Appalachian Trail, Dr. Drizzle @daciapjones an incredibly passionate leader in education who inspires teachers and kids alike, and the @theboundless8 a crew of friends training for the Leadville 100 mile run. For me that’s what this whole journey is about; meeting amazing people and inspiring people to get outside in our beautiful country! The Forrest Gump Effect is building momentum. Who is coming to join the fun during our next stops? Fun giveaways from our sponsor @standardprocess for anyone who comes out!

A post shared by Colin O’Brady (@colinobrady) on

2nd July – 10 / 50 high points summited. 

1st July – Looking back on Denali

29th June – In Hawaii

Summit of Denali!! The #50HP world clock officially started ticking when @drjonkedski and I reached the summit at 20,320ft just after 4pm AST on June 27th. It was an incredible day that didn’t end on the summit. With the clock ticking we had to race all the way down the mountain pack our gear up at 14,00ft and ski another 14 miles to reach the Basecamp airstrip at 7000ft at 4am and cross our fingers that a bush piolet could get us out in time to make our flight connection to Hawaii. What an adventure!! 1 down 49 to go. And of course as I did last time on this summit I had to rep with pride my hometown team @timbersfc, and thanks to @alaskaair for helping us thread the needle with these crazy logistics…we made it to Hawaii!

A post shared by Colin O’Brady (@colinobrady) on

28th June – On Top Of North America

After a week of acclimatising, preparing, and monitoring climbing conditions Colin set off for the summit of Denali, Alaska’s high point and the tallest mountain in North America.

They were underway first thing this morning underneath partly sunny skies. Ascending from 14,000ft, and after 12 hours of hard climbing, we reached the summit of Denali.

The world record clock is officially ticking!

Now for a safe descent and a quick transition off the glacier via bush plane so I can continue pushing forward. We have up to 41 days to complete the other 49 U.S. high points. Next stop, Mauna Kea on the big island of Hawaii.

27th June

26th June

 25th June

 24th June

23rd June

21st June

We woke up to good news today. I have been cleared to fly to basecamp on Denali, after a week long delay in Talkeetna due to a bad weather system. While waiting on weather is always a little frustrating, impatience was dissolved somewhere between the pancakes and the camaraderie with the other climbers at the bunkhouse. We had a beautiful flight up here and we’re already off climbing. I’m thrilled to finally be out on the mountain, taking my first steps on Denali, and making progress on the 50HP world record!

18th June

A tough start in Alaska.

15th June

Colin was meant to fly out onto the glacier to begin his climb of Denali on June 15th. However, due to a low pressure system that is causing typhoon like winter conditions on the mountain, Colin’s departure out onto the glacier has been delayed. Once the weather clears and the bush planes are green-lighted to fly again, Colin will be dropped at basecamp to begin his ascent of the first high point! Stay tuned.

REMINDER: The world record clock doesn’t start ticking until Colin reaches the summit of Denali. As such the current delay has no effect on the success of the record attempt.

14th June

Colin is leaving home in Portland

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Expeditions

May 08, 2019

The Dream of Everest: Four Arab Women Challenge Social Expectations

Pushing back against social norms, some with family resistance, some with support, these women from Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Oman are proving that social expectations do not count for anything.

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WRITTEN BY

Sean Verity

Most recent update: May 1st 2019 | The Khumbu Icefall

This article will update with every video dispatch that we receive from the expedition. All of the despatches are courtesy of award-winning filmmaker Elia Saikaly, and are a build up to a feature-length documentary due to be released towards the end of 2019.

Why can’t a little girl from the Arab world, who’s always wanted to go to the moon, have that dream and believe that she can actually pursue it? We want Arab women to toss all those excuses out the window; I can’t, I don’t want to, nobody is going to support me. We’re here, we’re standing on the roof of the world, one hand, one heart. If we can do it, you can do it.

Nadhirah al Harthy from Oman, Mona Sharab from Saudi Arabia, Joyce Azzam and Nelly Attar from Lebanon have set themselves the ultimate challenge.  During the Spring of 2019, these four Arab women will attempt to climb to the summit of Everest, something that has never been achieved before.

With the prominence of the #MeToo, and wider female independence movement, there has never been a better time to tell the story of these four women who intend to break down barriers that some expect to confine them. For some, they will be the first to summit Everest, for others, they’re climbing for cause, but they all share the same goal of empowering Arab women. “If we can do it, you can do it.”

NADHIRAH ALHARTY – OMAN

The Outdoor Journal had the opportunity to speak with Nadhirah Al Harthy before she left her native Oman. Read the full story here.

Nadhirah will become the first woman from Oman to climb Everest, however, that’s just the beginning of her story. Oman is a country where mountaineering falls outside the traditional gender purview of women, and much of Nadhirah’s training had to be carried out in secret. It was only a few weeks before she left for the Himalaya, that Nadhirah broke the news to her family from fear of their disappointment. Fortunately, their fears lay solely in the risks associated with the ascent, not the gender-defying pursuit.

“Growing up in a conservative environment made me want to break the mould and box Arab women are put into. After a difficult divorce and almost losing myself to the cultural pressures, I found strength amongst the world’s tallest peaks. It seems crazy to others who wear the Hijab like myself, but I learned to believe in my capabilities and to show others that their dreams are possible too.”

MONA SHAHAB – SAUDI ARABIA

Mona co-founded ‘The Empowerment Hub,’ a grassroots initiative that focuses on fitness and health for youth and women in the Kingdom back in 2014. Each event/campaign was for a cause related to well being, be it physical or mental. Driven by change, ‘The Hub’ was the unheard voice that echoed a basic right. Physical Education for females in the public system has come a long way. The Hub’s mission was to revolutionize what females and youth feed their minds, bodies and souls.

“If not for my generation, then for the generations to come. Together we will shift perceptions and shatter stereotypes. Here’s to becoming more accepting and tolerant. To quenching thirsty minds who have been forced to flee for safety. Let’s move some mountains and make some waves.”

JOYCE AZZAM – LEBANON

Joyce Azaam

Joyce begins her pursuit of summiting the world’s tallest mountain with plenty of experience behind her. This 34-year old woman has climbed over 26 mountains around the world on six continents. Everest is the last of her Seven Summits challenge. However, Joyce also has a story that has so much to it. There was pain, doubt, and both cultural and social pressure to battle against along the way. Joyce recently summited the highest peak in Antarctica which garnered her the attention and support of the Lebanese Prime Minister and the President himself.

“Arab women and girls are not given permission to dream. I had a dream that should not be mine: my PhD & my ‘7 Summits’ . I am climbing Everest to complete my dream for all of those women out there who are told they shouldn’t have one.”

NELLY ATTAR – LEBANON

Nelly Attar

Fitness shouldn’t be a problem for Nelly, having recently made a shift from a full-time psychology and life coaching profession, to pursue her passion for fitness and sports. This is supplemented with twelve climbing expeditions, three global marathons, one ultra-trail marathon, and two half Ironman races (triathlons). Nelly is now a recognized fitness ambassador, trainer and healthy living advocate, contributing significantly to the transformation of the sporting landscape across the Middle East.

“Sports was my gateway to create a positive impact for people in Saudi Arabia, and beyond. I’ve switched careers, taken my own athletic activities to another level, and regularly work on numerous initiatives to promote and enable more and more people to get active across the Middle East. Movement is essential for life, and regular physical activity does wonders for our physical and mental health. Let’s MOVE the world!

Dispatch #1: Ready
Date: April 16th 2019

The team of Arab women climbing Everest depart Kathmandu to Lukla where their journey to Mt. Everest and their climb to the top of the world begins.

Dispatch #2: The Memorial Site – Chukpa Lare
Date: April 18th 2019

Before reaching Everest basecamp, the team of Arab women stop through the area known as Chukpa Lare. It is a memorial ground built in honour of both Sherpa and Foreign climbers who lost their lives on Everest.

Dispatch #3: The Puja
Date: April 19th 2019

The team had their Puja ceremony at Everest Basecamp, the spiritual blessing performed by a Lama, a ritual that all who attempt Everest partake in before stepping foot into the Khumbu Icefall.

Dispatch #4: Icefall
Date: April 29th 2019

The team of Arab women sharpen their skills on the ice around Everest basecamp, in preparation for their first rotation through the Khumbu Icefall.

Dispatch #5: The Khumbu Icefall
Date: May 1st 2019

Experience the journey into the Khumbu Icefall with the team of Arab women. We explore their reasons for climbing Everest and their aspirations to inspire change in their societies.

 

Dispatch #6: The Lhotse Face
Date: May 11th 2019

The final video dispatch before the summit rotation. The team of Arab women climbers depart basecamp at 2 am and attempt to reach camp two in a single push. A cyclone is on the way, the Lhotse Face awaits and the stakes are high to acclimatize and touch camp 3. Will they make it?

Edited from 3450m in Namche Bazaar while on an oxygen vacation.

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