Mt. Kosciuszko, Australia - 7,310' - December 2010
Mt. Kosciuszko is the centerpiece of Australia's largest national park located in the Great Dividing Range of New South Wales. It is the highest mountain on the Australian continent. This is the coldest and snowiest part of Australia, which is mostly a hot continent. The weather can be extremely unpredictable, and climbers are advised to be prepared for all conditions.
Ten months after embarking on my Seven Summits journey, I had reached the top of Mt. Kosciuszko. The hike up the mountain is considered the easiest of the summits as it takes only one day; however, that does not take away from the accomplishment. I decided to climb Kosciuszko in December, their summer season. Even though we were able to avoid the extreme ice and snow of winter, the weather was still unpredictable, and we encountered high winds, snow, rain, and fog. The fog was especially distracting since it reduced our visibility of the surrounding area, making it difficult to see the beauty around us.
Although this was not a physically demanding climb, I always make sure to be well prepared in order to have success. Every expedition is different and offers its own kind of personal insights. This was the third climb in my pursuit of the Adventure Grand Slam, and what began as a selfish endeavor of climbing the Seven Summits became something that allowed me to learn from people of all walks of life as they shared their own life challenges. This experience made me realize that inspiration is a two-way street, and when you open up to others around you, they will respond by sharing their own experiences. This climb might have been an easy one, but I gained a deeper understanding of the meaning of inspiration.