Over the course of the past two months, one former NFL player has set out to accomplish a massive feat.
Mark Pattison, who played wide receiver in the NFL for the Raiders, Rams and Saints, found his passion for mountain climbing following the conclusion of his playing career.
Climbing Mt. Everest is widely considered the toughest task for mountain climbers, based on the risk and sheer elevation above sea level.
"It throws everything at you -- from avalanches to crevasses to ice walls that you have to climb, to altitude," Pattison said via the USA Today. "You’ve just got to be on your game, and you’ve got to know what you’re doing, in order to have a successful outcome."
After braving tough conditions, Pattison completed his journey in the morning hours of May 23.
Here is Pattison's reaction, in his own words -- posted on social media -- following his massive and inspirational achievement:
"At 12.30 am we broke camp and headed up the mountain. Each climber ( there were 11 of us), had our own Sherpa and multiple oxygen tanks in hand due to the altitude we were climbing in.
There was a mad rush to get out of camp and didn’t eat enough to sustain me on a summit push like Mt Everest. After 2 months going up and down, preparing for biggest challenge of my life, off we went up into thin air all hoping for a successful outcome.
As we left camp, there was a strong west wind blowing 40 MPH with small ice crystals going left to right piecing against my face. I did my best to cover up but within 1 hour the ice slashed my left eye and quickly became snow blind in that eye.
As we moved up the mountain, I couldn’t believe how steep it was and because I didn’t have much to eat, struggled up the mountain. Many times I thought about quitting and turning around and each time, I thought about all the people that have been inspired or effected by my journey and have been there to root me on.
EVERY time I wanted to stop and turn around, I got re-engaged to keep going. I knew I couldn’t quit as I know my daughter Emilia will never quit trying to overcome Epilepy.
As I slowly I moved up the mountain, I kept hitting these famous points which have been documented in movies. As I climbed past dead bodies, it was a sober reminder that life is fragile & to focus on each step. Although my energy was low, my bigger concern was that I couldn’t see out of my left eye.
On Everest, you are connected to fixed lines, not other people. My ability to clip on and off became difficult and my Sherpa didn’t speak good English so he didn’t understand my need for help. At the end of the day, I was able to summit but not without the help of each one of you.
As I was descending back to C-4, the idea of climbing Lhotse, the 4th highest mountain in the world suddenly didn’t matter as I knew I would have put my life in jeopardy. I completed what I set out to do (climb the Seven Summits) and now ready for a new challenge. Thank u all for coming along for the ride!!!!!"
Approximately 500 individuals have successfully climbed all seven peaks.
The seven mountains are as follows:
- Australia | Mount Kosciuszko -- 7,310 ft.
- Antarctica | Mount Vinson -- 16,050 ft.
- Russia, Europe | Mount Elbrus -- 18,510 ft.
- Tanzania, Africa | Mount Kilimanjaro -- 19,341 ft.
- Alaska, North America | Mount McKinley (Denali) -- 20,310 ft.
- Argentina, South America | Mount Aconcagua -- 22,841 ft.
- Napal/Tibet, Asia | Mount Everest -- 29,032 ft.