Monday, April 1, 2013

A Wednesday With Fane

I recently had the pleasure of meeting with Fane Tulpan, a Romanian mountain climber who, in 2003, became the first Romanian to summit Everest.

Fane's a wiry guy with a mind so enthusiastic and energetic, his mouth has a tough time keeping up.

Whether it be talking about passing dead bodies on the way to the top of the world or how his toddler son wakes him up at 7 o'clock every morning to play, Fane grips you, and keeps you.

(Fane shows me his picture book from his successful trip to the top of Everest in 2003.)

However, what most impressed me about Fane was not his contagious enthusiasm, nor was it his unassuming, friendly demeanor, especially considering his impressive resume. What most impressed me was his perspective.

Despite his successful summits of Everest, Kilimanjaro and McKinley, Fane's most impactful story, at least on me, was about his failed expedition up K2. After nearly two months on the mountain, and just about one thousand meters from the top of the world's second largest peak, he turned back. Why?

According to his website, it was due to weather and Grade 1 frostbite on his toes. However, with me, he expanded:

"The mountain isn't even worth my thumb, much less my life," he said. "Everyone has their Everest. Your Everest might be to build an American school in Bucharest. My Everest isn't Everest. It's my family."

No comments:

Post a Comment