Our two original band members - circa 2013
Our little group goes back to 2009, when Adam and David were neighbors in Steinbach. For the uninitiated, Steinbach, a small prairie town in Canada, is probably the flattest place on earth, and the most unlikely place for mountaineering passions to germinate. We often joke that Steinbach is so flat you can watch your dog run away for three days!
David and Adam were out on the front lawn one day, and soon discovered that they were both going to Kilimanjaro to hike to the roof of Africa. Since that time, David and Adam have traveled to three different continents to walk, hike, and climb in some of the most beautiful corners of the world.
The last time David and Adam were together was in 2014, when they climbed Mount Elbrus, in Southern Russia. Since then, they have been active in their solo careers, with those adventures documented on this website.
Jimmy Collier - Mountain Man Extraodinaire!
That trip to Kiliminjaro in 2010 was not only the start of our climbing trips abroad, it also brought us Jimmy Collier, our next Flatlander.
Jimmy hails from near Galveston, Texas, which is at sea level (and is just as flat as our Canadian prairies). Jimmy joined us on our Aconcagua trip in 2013, where he was stuck inside a two-man tent for over forty hours with David and Adam... Needless to say we know more about each other than we care to!
Along with his wife Regena, Jimmy even took time out in the summer of 2013 to visit us in Canada! Jimmy has experience in Nepal, having trekked to Everest Base Camp a couple of years ago, so we will be relying on his expertise (and famous Texas Ranger tracking skills).
Mike Fast - Grizzled Outdoorsman!
Our last, and newest member of the Flatlander team is Mike Fast. Mike has spent a lot of time in the mountains, having lived in Canmore, Alberta for several years.
Mike is an accomplished skier (judging from the picture, maybe he should stick to snow skiing!), and also loves dirt bike racing. This will be his first foray into high altitude (14,000 feet plus), but he has been training hard and is excited to cut his teeth in the mecca of climbing!
He has provisional membership as a Flatlander - the moment he sets foot in Nepal, he will become a full-fledged member of this exclusive group.
Russia - 2014, almost three years to the day.
Hitting golf balls off the summit of Europe's highest peak in the freezing cold, we would not have imagined it would be another 3 years until we would be gearing up for another adventure.
A lot has happened since then - Adam has moved across the country to be in the mountains full-time, while family adventures around the world have included a grueling hiking and rafting trip through the Arctic Circle for Adam and his daughter Sophie , as well as an 11,000 km road trip in South America from tip to tip with David and his father, Bob.
After these "solo" projects, we were ready to put the band back together and give it one more try in a place we have never been - the Himalayas. The opportunity to see the worlds' biggest mountains, as well as experience legendary Nepalese culture were big draws for both of us.
However, finding an expedition that would fit into our busy schedules (no more than three weeks) while also being at least a little off the beaten path, and with a smaller group, proved difficult. After much searching, we came upon IMG (International Mountain Guides) and their Mera Peak Express Climb.
The climb was organized by well-known climber and IMG owner, Eric Simonson - if that name sounds familiar, it's because Eric was the organizer the Mallory and Irvine Expedition, which, in 1999, found the body of famous Everest climber Edward Mallory, who was lost on Everest in 1924, and had never been found (if you have the chance to watch the National Geographic documentary on this expedition, it is worth the watch). While we were deciding on a guide service and route, Eric, as well as Greg Vernovage and the rest of the IMG staff was always available to answer any questions or concerns we had. So far, IMG's reputation as a top-notch guiding service is well deserved, in our eyes.
You can get a look at the itinerary by clicking HERE - the main advantage of this trip is that we will be taking helicopters over the initial pass to save valuable time (and/or avoid a very aggressive and dangerous altitude gain the first couple of days). Not only do we save time, we also get a helicopter ride in the shadow of Mount Everest!
We will Blog more about the specifics of the trip in the next couple of months - next up, we will introduce our team of Flatlanders - this time 4 strong!