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  Aspen Ski Cho Oyu / Everest 2007: Three Friends Climbing a Mountain


Three Friends Climbing a Mountain

This spring I have the good fortune and unique opportunity, with my friends Mike and Steve Marolt, to stand on top of the world and hopefully make a few good turns on the way down. As I was skinning up Grays and Torreys this weekend, my final foray into the hills before setting out to climb and ski Cho Oyu and Everest, it dawned on me; what makes our expedition so unique, in this day and age, is that it is just 3 guys who all grew up together and share the same passion for the mountains. We arenít professional climbers, we arenít in it for money or fame, we arenít doing it for a particular cause; we are doing it because we love being in the mountains and we think we can.

The Marolts and I grew up 2 blocks from each other on the fifth hole of the Aspen Municipal Golf Course, they lived by the tee box and I lived down the fairway. The golf course provided countless hours of entertainment from rock fights to pickup football games to huge games of 500, the only drawback being the occasional person who actually wanted to play golf. The community of Aspen and the Outdoor Education program within the school system instilled in us a deep love and respect for our natural environment and the mountains in particular. We participated in many organized outings such as snow camping with cross country skis and backpacking to Marble and spending a week at the Outward Bound Camp as well as numerous unorganized outings (some of which canít be mentioned in order to protect the innocent). Those times grew in to life long passions and friendships.

After going separate ways during our college years, the Marolts playing baseball for St. Maryís College in California and me playing hockey and baseball for Colorado College, there was a one in a million chance meeting between Mike and me at a gas station in Leadville in 1989. Mike had his climbing gear in his car and I asked him what he was up to. He informed me that they were planning a trip to Denali in 1990 and was out doing some training. He asked me if I was interested in joining them and the rest is, as they say, history.

It is now 17 years  later and climbing has taken us all over the world.  We are all married with children,  so priorities have changed but the passion is still there and in a few days we will embark to fulfill our dream. The mountains always dictate what the outcome will be but I know I will be climbing and skiing in the company of lifelong friends.

-Jim

Mike Marolt lives in Aspen and is a KPMG Peat Marwick alumni.

Dispatches 2007

To see there reports from earlier Everest Expedition see here. We are currently building there pages for Cho Oyu 2007/ Everest 2007

 
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