Holiday Message

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.



16 thoughts on “Holiday Message

  1. Merry Christmas, Bill! As always, I will be anticipating each and every step! Wishing you all God’s blessings this Christmas season and always…..The Ooms Family

  2. My prayers and best wishes for you and your family as you embark on more beautiful and wonderful memories in 2012!

    The Buitrago Family

  3. Bill,
    thank you for your inspiring Christmas greeting. Best wishes for a successful conclusion of your continueing adventure and especially good wishes to Ollie.
    After our early sudden snow storm in October which did quite a bit of damage we are now looking for the snow for snowshoeing and skiing in the Catskills.
    Merry Christmas and may God be with you

  4. I have been following your inspiring adventure.
    I was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at Altitude 2450 meters. My parents were natives of the Eritrean highlands.
    Three times in the past 50 years I hiked to the summit of Kilimanjaro. The first time was in 1959 when I was 25 years old. The second time was in 1984 when I was 50. And the third and last time was when I turned 75 two years ago.
    I had ambitions of climbing Everest. I am now 77 years old, and I am afraid it may be too late.
    With deep admiration and best wishes
    Naigzy Gebremedhin,

  5. Robert Browning indeed has summed our philosophy quite well. A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and yours. I’ll be following your adventures with great interest. Good luck!

  6. Thank you so much for your inspiring thoughts. God speaks & acts through you, Bill, because you are a willing messenger. Thank you for your dedication & inspiration to all you come in contact with. My prayers are always with you & your family. I feel so blessed to have you in my life & your parents before you. Love & Blessings, Betty

  7. We are excited for you and proud of all you continue to do – your persistence and successes are truly inspirational. But nothing is more inspirational than Ollie and your relationship with him and the gift that he has been to you and your family. That beautiful child has raised to the bar for all of you, as his family, to show what we can all aspire to be as human beings. Your love for him exemplifies this, thanks for sharing it with all of us. Your safety on the mountain will be in our thoughts and prayers.

  8. Christmas greetings! I pray that you have a wonderful time with family and friends and that 2012 holds many good things in store for you.

  9. Happy to recieve this post from you Mr. Burke,Ollie looks great, Happy Holidays to you and your family,( Hi, Mrs. Burke and Amy I miss you guys).

  10. Hiya Bill,

    I’ve been saving up a bunch of used radios that should work on the Mountain for you. Get in touch with me so I can donate them to the cause if needed.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all, and to all a good climb !! :O)


  11. Hi Bill

    You and your family are great inspiration to all of us.
    We wish you continued success in all lifes adventures.

    Merry Christmas,
    Tom & Maria

  12. Dear Bill, Sharon and Family
    We have been following all your adventures and enjoy them so much. You are a wonderful family.
    I do not have your address, But we want to wish your a wonderful Christmas and many blessings in the New Year to all of you. May this be the year all your dreams come ture.
    Love Jerry and Linda Glenn

  13. I,Lou Ellen, play golf with Martha and she was telling about her brother last Fri….I was awed by your tenacity and ability…then I read all about you in the magazine and I too will pray for your success…can’t wait to read all about the experience when you return…God Bless your family too…

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