Leadership at 20,000 Feet

This year has been filled with outdoor adventure. Topping the list are two mountaineering trips to Nepal with Red Panda Expeditions. This past spring I attempted to climb Island Peak, making it to 18,500 feet before turning back. I returned to Nepal in the fall, this time making it to the summit of Lobuche East, at 20,075 feet. The overwhelming beauty of the Himalayas, the company of great people, and the extraordinary leadership of our climbing guides were constants.

Our Team and Lead Guide, Lenduk Lho Mee on Lobuche East, 6119 meters.

“It’s a round trip. Getting to the summit is optional, getting down is mandatory.”¬†Ed Viesturs

Prior to our team’s accent of Lobuche East we caught news that a climber had died from altitude sickness attempting Island Peak and a second had been severely injured in a fall. The inherent risks that come with high altitude mountaineering are out of our control but how we lead and who we chose to follow can make the difference between getting down or not.

I returned to Nepal to climb again, knowing I could trust my friend and climbing guide with my life. His leadership is a great example of what I’ve seen work both in the mountains and in the workplace.