In April I will once again be joining True Patriot Love as a guide on one of their fund and awareness raising expeditions. As a life-long climber and guide, I have been involved in all of the True Patriot Love mountaineering expeditions to date. As a team building and leadership development expert, I also bring essential team development and team building skills to the expedition.
This expedition will bring together a team of ill and injured Canadian soldiers and civilians to accomplish a task that will require planning, teamwork, trust, communication, determination and so much more. It is something that would be overwhelming as an individual, but possible with the support of a team.
As part of the leadership team, I will also be helping to monitor the mentorship program which connects soldier and civilian in a mutual coaching developmental relationship. We have seen huge successes with the mentoring program on past expeditions and I expect we will see the same again on this expedition.
We will be trekking to Everest base camp and climbing a small mountain called Kala Patthar 5643mas part of our acclimatization. We will then set our sites on the summit of Lobuche East 6145m.
In our Summit Team Building programs, we focus on helping individuals, leaders and teams develop skills in goal setting, communication, trust building, strategic planning, coaching, change management, emotional intelligence and so much more.
Part of my role is to help the team prepare for the expedition. A primary focus is on physical training which is essential. However, a critical element that is often overlooked is the mental training. Emotional Intelligence is a huge factor in building success in a mountaineering expedition and in life in general. I always say that your physical fitness gets you to base camp, but the difference between success and failure on the mountain will come down to emotional intelligence.
Take a look at this short video to learn more about True Patriot Love and the April expedition to the Himalayas.
Welcome to the second video in my South Pole adventure series. We have just been dropped off on the Ronne Ice Shelf where the ocean meets the continent of Antarctica. It is a beautiful day, but we are intimidated by the challenge we are about to embark on. As the Twin Otter flies away we are now completely alone. Isolated in one of the harshest environments in the world. We put on our skis, hook onto our sleds, file into a line and begin to pull. The journey of 1000km begins with the first step. For the next 45 days we will work together as a team to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles to accomplish something few people have ever done.
This is the second in my video blog adventure series. This series will share my expedition to the South Pole.
In November of 2016, I set out with three friends to trek from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole. Something which few people in history have ever done. We will ski almost 1000km across some of the most unhospitable terrain on the planet to achieve our goal. This video blog series will give you some insight into our journey.
It is November 17, 2016, and our expedition to the South Pole has officially begun. We have just landed at Union Glacier in Antarctica. This is the main staging camp where we will be for a couple of days before we get dropped off at the edge of the continent on the Ronne Ice Shelf. The flight from Punta Arenas is just over 4 hours and we land on a blue ice runway which is a 1000m thick block of solid ice. This Russian built aircraft is one of the few planes that can land in these conditions. We will be shuttled over to the main camp which is about 8km away and set up our tents. Once we have all our final gear checks in place and the weather is good for flying we will board the twin otters to fly to our starting point.
Our journey will take 45 days and will require us to dig deeper than ever before to endure the suffering required to achieve this goal. I have created a new keynote presentation called “Achieve the Outrageous” that shares this story and relates it to achieving greatness in our personal and professional lives.
It is hard to believe, but it has been over a year since I trekked to the South Pole. I am still learning from this expedition and have created an exciting motivation presentation, “Achieve the Outrageous”, that I share at conferences and meetings.
I am in the midst of training for my next expedition to Nepal, and I wanted to share the release of a story, “Go South Until You Go North”, about my South Pole expedition published in Escarpment magazine. Please check out this story and the rest of the magazine as well. It is full of interesting stories and great photos. An interesting fact is that every cover of the magazine has been painted by Deena Dolan Findlay (Graphic Art Designer, Art Director).
A common question people ask me after one of my keynote presentations is “what’s next?”. The options are endless and sometimes it is hard to decide, but this time it was easy.
Since 2012 I have been volunteering with True Patriot Love to help organize, lead and guide their fund raising expeditions. These expeditions take a team of ill and injured soldiers and civilians on a challenging expedition. This trip is part therapy, part fundraising, part transition coaching, and all adventure.
The team has been assembled and I have just returned from a training camp we ran in Canmore, Alberta. This training camp was designed to focus on technical skill development and team building (as I always say, a relationship is the foundation of any high-performance team).
We spent the camp working on crampon technique, technical ice climbing, roped travel, crevasse rescue, gear review, clothing review and more. In between the adventure we got to know one another and share our motivations for being part of this expedition.
For many of the soldiers, it is about working past the challenges of physical limitations and PTSD and them making a transition out of the military to an unfamiliar civilian world. For the civilians, it is about helping the people who have given so much to our country and culture.
The training camp was very successful in all of these areas and we are now one step closer to making this expedition a reality. We will depart for Nepal at the end of March 2018 and return 3-4 weeks later.
Over the next while I will share with you more about the expedition objectives and the team members.
This clothing and gear video will help you better understand what you need to bring on the expedition. If you browse through some of the past expedition blogs you will also find some details and video about the trek to Everest base camp.