Brian Dickinson – Reader Blogs
After serving 6 years as a US Navy Air Rescue Swimmer, Brian moved to the Pacific Northwest where his love for extreme sports and mountaineering could properly be fulfilled. His venture to climb the 7 summits has allowed him to travel the world while making a difference one mountain at a time.
Click here to follow along the rest of his progress.
Brian Dickinson – Reader Blog 165/17/11 – First off, I’d like to apologize to JoAnna and my family for putting them through this two month worrisome adventure. You’ve been very supportive, which I appreciate, but it was very risky, and I apologize for any pain I may have caused. What started as a major goal ended in a fight for survival, with pure determination to live and a miracle from God helping me get through an almost impossible scenario on Mt. Everest. The day before we were heading up for our summit attempt an 82-year-old Nepalese man died in the ice fall. He was trying to become the oldest man to summit Everest. Brian Dickinson – Reader Blog 155/5/11 – I’m as acclimatized as I can be to climb the highest mountain on earth! Unfortunately the Everest claimed its first victim while we were high on the mountain. I’m not sure what’s been released to the press so I’ll be vague. A man had some breathing issues and had a heart attack, dying immediately. We watched the helicopter recovery mission from the base of Lohtse Face. There were also several others evacuated down the mountain with oxygen and one client broke his wrists on the bergschrund.Brian Dickinson – Reader Blog 144/28/11 – Four days at Everest basecamp could very well drive me crazy. I have the personality to effectively multitask and to always be on the move working toward a goal; making the most of each hour. Rest days put a halt to that. Other climbers love the down days since they can lie in their tents and listen to music all day. I gave up that behavior almost 20 years ago in high school. With that said, I don’t have a choice. So I develop tasks to complete.Brian Dickinson – Reader Blog 134/25/11 – It was really cold up at Camp I, but luckily I had my -40 sleeping bag and I wore a couple down layers. I’m not sure what it is about altitude, but I woke up 4 times to pee. My bottle was frozen each time so that made life interesting. I woke up around 5 and started melting and boiling snow for coffee and breakfast. Pusan left me 2 bags of seafood noodles and one kimchee noodle. Nothing like noodles for breakfast… I went with seafood. Right when I was done eating Lochba showed up and asked if I was ready. I was expecting him at 8am and it was 7am. I said, give me 5 minutes and I was ready to roll.Brian Dickinson – Reader Blog 124/24/11 – I slept great last night and woke up ready to move to Camp I. I gave JoAnna a call before I left since she was having dinner with good friends (Heytings and Bakers) so I was able to speak to them on all. It was great hearing their excited voices but I had to cut it short since Pusan was ready to head up. He basically was climbing up with me and heading back down, leaving me there to fend for myself for the night. He plans to climb back up with Dennis tomorrow. I will most likely head up to Camp II with our other climbing Sherpa, Lochdpa, and then go all the way back to basecamp to rest.Brian Dickinson – Reader Blog 114/21/11 – Last night I staged my gear for an early morning climb. When I woke up I found out it was just me since Dennis and Veronica decided to take a light day to fully recover from some illness. Up here most people get the Khumbu cough, which is just an annoying cough that leads to either nothing (annoyance), vomiting or breaking of ribs. Pusan Sherpa and I headed up the Khumbu Ice Fall at 6:15 am with minimal gear (crampons, harness, helmet, etc.). We moved efficiently at 17,500’ toward our 19,700’ destination. The path through the ice fall is amazing.Brian Dickinson – Reader Blog 104/20/11 – It’s good to be back at Everest Basecamp (EBC – 17,500’). Yesterday I made the 8-mile trip from Pheriche to EBC, ending in a snowstorm that passed as I walked into camp. I used my Flip HD video to document my journey as I passed trekkers, Sherpa and yaks. I figured my kids would think it was cool to watch someday. I stopped in our dining tent and had some hot mango (Tang) and dipped some cookies in peanut butter. The food and living conditions are safer here as long as you can avoid others coughing on you. I went to my tent to settle my gear and Dave Hahn and his group was out playing a game of horseshoes. What a cool idea…but consider the weight!Brian Dickinson – Reader Blog 94/17/11 – Today I’m back at Pheriche (14,000’) to rest a couple days before the attack. I just finished washing some of my clothes in my room. When your socks and pants standup on their own and start running you know it’s time to wash them. I rigged some climbing cord in my room to hang dry everything. On a down day anything is something to do, so I really enjoyed doing the laundry.Brian Dickinson – Reader Blog 84/14/11 – Last time I wrote I was at basecamp and lying in my 80 degree tent wearing nothing but shorts trying to sweat out my cold. My massive headaches were almost too much to bear. I called JoAnna later that night and she mentioned the pics I posted on Facebook showed how swollen my forehead was. With that bit of info I was able to self-diagnose some symptoms of HACE (High Altitude Cerebral Edema). Brian Dickinson – Reader Blog 74/10/11 – From Loboche to Gorak Shep wasn’t too painful other than moving from 16,000’ to 17,000’. During the day while I was active and conscious of my breathing I didn’t have any altitude symptoms. However at night my body went into auto-pilot and the headaches began. I would have taken some Tylenol but I was too cozy in my sleeping bag…. so I just dealt with the pain. Brian Dickinson – Reader Blog 64/8/11 – I woke up and packed then went outside in the sunlight and setup my Goal0 solar recharging battery pack. I figure I should get as much sunlight recharge as possible before we left. As I was setting up my panel a Japanese woman bent over at the hips and let one go. I told her thanks for that. One little unknown fact is that increased altitude causes pressure in the stomach, which in turn must be released. It is many times called HAFE (High Altitude Flatulence Expulsions), but is less deadly than HACE and HAPE (High Altitude Cerebral / Pulmonary Edema)Brian Dickinson – Reader Blog 54/6/11 – It’s easy to get comfortable in the tea houses at each location but when it’s time to move, it’s time to move. We woke up early and packed our gear, had breakfast and prepared to set out for Namche Bazaar. As I was applying sunblock a little boy came up to me and asked me to open his bottle of Coke. It was about 8am…. I opened it and then he shook it and let it explode in his mouth. This kid knew how to party! Brian Dickinson – Reader Blog 44/3/11 – This morning we got up at 3:30 and got ready for our 5am flight to Lukla. Lukla has the shortest airport in the world, which makes it one of the top ten most dangerous in the world. Pretty much if you don’t take off or land the plane quickly…it’s over. It was hectic at the Kathmandu domestic airport since everyone scrambles to get on the early flights. We had a ton of expedition gear, but our local team was there to assist. Brian Dickinson – Reader Blog 34/2/2011 – Yesterday I arrived in Kathmandu, Nepal. As we approached our final destination the Himalayan range came into view. I was on the opposite side of the airplane but when Everest became visible it was obvious. It was interesting to see how just the sight of a mountain could impact so many people regardless of their nationality. I’m surprised the plane didn’t tip to the right as everyone got up to get a glimpse of an eye-level view of the highest mountain in the world. Brian Dickinson – Reader Blog 24/1/11 – Saying goodbye to my family was the hardest thing I can remember doing. The days leading up to my departure were tough, but I tried to spend all of my time with JoAnna and the kids. We also spent time with friends, but during those last days I’d almost rather fly under the radar since those final moments are just awkward. Others don’t quite know how to act and I was pretty much in a zoned-out world.
Brian Dickinson – Reader Blog 1 3/28/11 – What possesses someone to climb the highest mountain on the 7 continents? My view has changed over the past 3 years as I’ve climbed Mt. McKinley in Alaska, Kilimanjaro in Africa and Mt. Elbrus in Russia. Early on I was driven to climb as a part of my compulsively ambitious goal-setting curse. But along the grueling journey of carrying 50 lb. packs on multiple Pacific Northwest training climbs and visiting under-served children in Tanzania, I’ve transformed from taker to giver.