- Fitness - i am feeling quite good and feel that i am making appropriate progress along the training schedule MountainTrip provided. my core is substantially more solid (even if not more attractive) after 4 months of work and my overall strength and endurance is dramatically improved. i can't but think, however, that my fellow climbers are working as hard as i am, but starting from a better place and decades younger. just hoping i can come up with some way to ingratiate myself to them so they don't just let me slip into a crevasse and leave me there for millennia to come. College street is my hill of choice. It is a hill leading up to the main gates of Brown University and it is about a 7 minute roundtrip to do the hill. i have been alternating days between simply running the hill and walking the hill with 50 pounds of rice in my backpack. Friends have said they would like to join me for this late afternoon hour or two ritual and so far, my friend Jim from the age of 11 (48 years) joined me one day this week and is threatening to do so next week as well.
- Gear - this is a major undertaking. turns out that much of the gear i purchased for previous climbs of Ranier (USA), Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), Elbrus (Russia) and Aconcagua (Argentina) are not acceptable for Denali or i simply dont have enough - packs not big enough, boots not warm enough, coat too heavy, not enough rope, etc..... So i have been researching options and purchasing gear and narrowing the list of stuff still to be acquired. the boots i decided on, (after tracing my foot and sending pics to MountainTools people in california and receiving two pair of recommended boots to try and walking around the house in them) are Millet Everest boots - $999.00! my climbing partner Keith says, "not a bad deal....only $100 per toe!"
- Philanthropy - i have decided to use this climb to raise funds to support the college dreams of kids in my community who are capable, ambitious and hard working but don't have the resources, networks or mentors around them to help them develop and prepare a great path for themselves. I will get a fundraising site up in the coming days to enable that part of my mission