Dear Family & Friends:

During the darkest days of World War II, King George VI came to the microphone of the BBC to deliver the annual Christmas message to the British Commonwealth.  He spoke these eloquent and immortal words:

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.” And he replied: “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than a light and safer than the known way.”

As we approach the New Year, I take comfort in these words, and look forward to the future with great hope, promise and anticipation for the good things to come.

I wish all of you God’s blessings, and I hope you have a Happy Holiday Season and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2012.

I will be returning to Nepal in April of 2012 to finish what I started in 2010 and 2011–a double ascent of Mt. Everest from both the South and North sides of the mountain. Those of you who have followed my previous adventures know that I summitted Mt. Everest from the South (Nepal) side in 2009, becoming the oldest American to do so. I reached the Second Step on the Northeast summit ridge on the North (Tibet) side in 2010 before being turned back by bad weather and fatigue. In 2011, I reached the First Step on the Northeast summit ridge before being turned back as a result of a miscalculation by my Sherpa. In both years, I was less than 1,000 feet from the summit. In 2012, I plan to start on the South side first because the lines are fixed on the mountain earlier on the South side than the North side. I will post more information about my 2012 expedition in January.

I have updated my website, and invite you to browse and catch up.  I have set forth the 2012 Itinerary. In the “Mt. Everest” “Intro,” I provide a comparative analysis of a South side climb and a North side climb. In the “Teammates” link, I introduce DreamQuest Productions and describe the documentary that the company is preparing related to the 2012 expedition.

For those of you who have inquired about Ollie, please check out the updated link titled “My Training Partner.” You can watch a recent video showing Ollie, his Aunt Lori, Uncle Jeff and me on one of our Sunday bicycle training trips.  Those of you who have followed my prior trips will notice how much bigger Ollie is getting. If you are interested in making a donation in honor of Ollie for Angelman Syndrome research, please consider purchasing holiday cards, personalized stationery, custom stamps or other unique gifts from my daughter, Lisa, as she donates a portion of the proceeds to the Angelman Syndrome Foundation. See Charming Cards link on this website.

2012 will be my sixth consecutive year on Mt. Everest and, most likely, my last. My passion for this magnificent mountain has not diminished in the least. In fact, I am more excited than ever to return to the mountain of my dreams. Dreams are everything. I think about the 2012 expedition every day. Robert Browning wrote: “Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for.” I place my dreams and my ambitions for 2012 in the hands of the Lord. I will dedicate my body, spirit and will to the task, but He will dictate the outcome. I promise to take you every step of the way on my journey and to draw inspiration, support and encouragement from your good wishes, thoughts and prayers on my behalf.