The Mountain Is Calling and I Must Go

Costa Mesa, Ca.

September 11, 2017

Dear Family & Friends:

On September 18, 2017, I will be returning to Nepal for another attempt to climb Burke-Khang, my eponymous mountain. The projected summit date is October 5.

As usual, Asian Trekking is organizing the logistics for this private, non-guided climb. I will be accompanied by two climbers, a trekker and a filmmaking crew. Jeff Oppenhiem, the New York-based filmmaker, hopes to produce, for commercial distribution, a full-length documentary film featuring my relationship with Ollie, with Mt. Everest and Burke-Khang serving as metaphors for overcoming physical challenges–age in my case and disability in the case of Ollie.

Ollie is now 17. His condition remains pretty much the same. His progress is slow and he still has the cyanotic episodes that defy medical prognosis and treatment. But, he soldiers on, climbing his own mountain every day of his life. Two weeks ago, he and I completed a 50-mile bicycle ride from Newport Beach to Oceanside. Since he weighs well over 100 pounds, this was a good workout for me in preparation for the BK climb. Ollie is fascinated with water, so I take him to the pool, beach and lakes as often as possible. I have been wanting to take him on a river rafting trip for years, but was a bit concerned about safety. Last month, I decided to go for it, and we rafted down the Kern River in California. I have never seen him so worked-up, happy and excited.

I am working on a book project with my daughter, Amy, who is Ollie’s Mom. The book will have the same theme as the documentary film. We hope to publish a book that helps people overcome life’s obstacles and motivates others to reach out with a helping hand. So far, we have a lot of interest from editors and publishers. This will be a long term project, but we are excited to be doing something that will be inspirational.

I’ll be posting Burke-Khang expedition reports as usual. You may find the photos a bit more stunning than past trips because some of the content is being created by professional photographers.

A list of climbers, trekkers and filmmakers will be provided in the next post.

As always, I place my full trust in the Lord, and I appreciate your interest, good thoughts and prayers.

Bill

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