best gaming mouse under 50

Here We Are at the Start of 2013

Posted on Friday 4th January, 2013

So here we are at the start of 2013, already! What a year 2012 had been. I have met some really special people over the course of the year and lots of very inspiring ones that have touched my heart. My expedition in April and May was such an amazing experience and my summit day on Manaslu stands out as one of the most awesome days of my life so far. The support I received for this trip from my sponsors, family and friends was overwhelming and I am very, very grateful. Now moved from Blackheath to Wentworth Falls, I feel like I am probably close to or perhaps the fittest I have ever been which feels great. It has been fantastic to share so many adventures with so many people during during the year. Whether that be with Dawa Sherpa and the other climbers on Manaslu and Lhotse this Spring season, my climbing and training partners back home here in the Blue Mountains, clients I guide on day adventures at ‘High and Wild’ or the students I teach at TAFE, we have had some fun in the outdoors and have learnt plenty more about ourselves along the way.


Dawa and I at Camp 1 on Manaslu, April 2012

In my last blog post I mentioned that I was undertaking a new challenge which was the Sydney Marathon in September and I also said I had hopes to finish in under four and a half hours. I would like to say again that I don’t see myself as a runner. Sure I train by plodding along the trails up here in the Blue Mountains and hiking up and down stairs with a back pack however I have never really run regularly as a form of exercise. The longest distance I had ran before the marathon was 25 kilometres so you can imagine I was very nervous on race day! I was really just hoping to finish the 42.2 km at that point and didn’t care too much about my time. Luckily my friend Nick Murphy came along to support me and rode his mountain bike around meeting me to top up my water bottles and give me gels so I didn’t need to carry too many. It was awesome as this really motivated me during the race. I finally met one of my biggest inspirations Pat Farmer who ran from the north pole to the south pole. We had a great chat for about 20 minutes as he was the 4 hour pacer. I eventually had to tell him I couldn’t talk anymore as I was getting too tired talking! He slowly slipped away as I could no longer keep up. Anyhow I ended up finishing in 4 hours and 15 minutes. I could’t believe it and really surprised myself. I went in this race for my charity and didn’t expect that I would actually have so much fun! It hurt like hell but only for a few hours and compared to a summit day on Manaslu of 18 and a half hours it wasn’t too much to suffer! In the back of my mind I thought that if I made the qualifying time for the 6ft track marathon I would go in it. I made it with five minutes to spare so that is now my next training goal. The race is on 9th of March and starts in Katoomba, heads along the 6ft track and fire trail and ends at Jenolan Caves. I have been training a lot lately so feel pretty confident I will make it. If you would like to support me by supporting the local fire brigade please go to my fundraising page- Thanks heaps guys!!



The finish of my first full marathon!


I mentioned in my last post that I was super psyched when I returned from Nepal at the end of May. I really felt like I did well on my trip and made good decisions even when it meant I had to turn around on Lhotse. I felt more driven than ever to climb more 8000m mountains and was really keen to get back to Lhotse and/or head to Pakistan to try the Gasherbrums this year. Unfortunately I still have quite a lot of debt from my last two Himalayan expeditions which means I am unable to head off again quite so soon. I have struggled with this mentally the last few months as I really enjoy having something big to train for and that has been a large part of what has motivated me in my life the last few years. These types of Himalayan expeditions are not cheap so I have had to refocus my goals again for 2013 so I can be in a better financial position. Of course this is a great lesson and I am reminded of how grateful I am to have had the opportunity to climb this last year which is largely because of Northcote Pottery and Andrew and Jenni’s support and belief in me. If it wasn’t for those guys I would never have been able to go on my expedition to Manaslu and Lhotse so I can’t thank them enough for helping me to live my dreams. I would also like to thank Moore Stephens, Asian Pacific Group and all those at Marcellin Football Club for their support of my expedition. It means so much to me that you all believe in and support me and it inspires me to be my best and train harder. I have decided to focus towards planning the next big trip to take place in 2014. Details of the adventure will be disclosed as plans are concreted but it looks to be a big one and I am actually now very happy to have the whole of next year to train and prepare for it!

Marcellin at Everest Base Camp

Marcellin at Everest Base Camp


Back at home I have a lot to be grateful for. I have shared and continue to share adventures with lots of people in my everyday life which is really inspiring for me. During the year I work for TAFE NSW in Lithgow and Wentworth Falls in the Outdoor Recreation departments. I have had the pleasure of working with some amazing new guides that have done some great jobs as bushwalking instructors. Its wonderful to think that I can now train students in the very course that changed my life back in 1999 and ultimately led me to an ascent of Mount Everest. I have also had the pleasure of meeting some fantastic  young adults through the Tvet outdoor programs I teach. One of them even inspired me to go fly a plane! It is great to see how students gain confidence in themselves through adventure in the outdoors especially the ones that may have difficulty at school and in their home lives. To all those from my programs last year, you guys rock and don’t stop believing in yourselves. I know sometimes it is tough at the end of school and you may not be sure what to do. However just do what interests you and you never know where it may take you. Also have an open mind and don’t be scared to give it a go. Just like when we went rock climbing,  you never know what you might achieve. In fact this is probably good advise at any stage of life and also something I follow in my own life.

In Summer I work as a senior instructor with High and Wild Adventures in Katoomba. The last few trips have been great as I have had return clients. We have been out in the National Park climbing and canyoning together again. It is always nice when someone has such fond memories of a trip that they come back  years later to do it again, sometimes from overseas. We have lots of fun out there in the outdoors and I look forward to more adventures in 2013.  If you are keen for an adventure in the Blue Mountains and have never done one of our wonderful canyons here please contact Darren or Aidan. If I am available I may even be your guide! Perhaps this is a good chance to step outside your comfort zone in 2013 if its something you have never experienced.

Tvet students in Dalpura canyon

Tvet students in Dalpura canyon

In November I headed down to Melbourne to talk at the Victorian Outdoor Education Association AGM. I met some really great people on the night and it was fabulous to be in a room of folks also so passionate about the outdoors. We were all reminded of the importance of outdoor education in young peoples lives and I shared my story from my first outdoor course to the summits of the highest Himalayan peaks. I am really looking forward to doing more speaking and sharing my story in 2013. It is certainly a different type of challenge to the challenges I face in the outdoors, speaking to a crowd. My teaching skills help a lot and I definitely love to tell a story! So it is something I enjoy very much and is also very rewarding for me.


On January 1st I ran 44 kilometres of trail here in the Blue Mountains with my training partner. We wanted to start the year with a hard run as we both aim to get super fit this year. We ran a good amount of the North Face 100 trail race track starting in Wentworth Falls heading to Katoomba and Narrowneck Plateau then back across the valley and up Kedumba Pass. We started quite early but unfortunately it was a crazy hot day so we both suffered in the heat and it took us longer than we estimated. I had thoughts of what it would be like to run these crazy ultra races through the desert in 40 degree heat, man that would be hard! However I really enjoyed it, even the suffering of course! I am keen to do it again soon and try beat our time on a cooler day. As I wasn’t sure for a while if I would be around in May this year I didn’t enter the North Face 100 race. However I am now keen to do it so I am on the wait list. This means I will probably get a place as everyone on the wait list last year was offered one. So I am training for it and super motivated with my trail running right now.

Such a fantastic training ground I live in!

Such a fantastic training ground I live in!


So New Years resolutions-

Train harder

Work harder

Keep positive

Live a healthy lifestyle

Do my best in my trail races

Hone the skills I need to make my 2014 expedition a success

Enjoy the simple pleasures in life

Spend quality time with friends and family

I may not have any huge Himalayan goals this year but I have plenty of other challenges planned which I am really looking forward to. So heres to a happy and healthy 2013! I hope you guys have some great resolutions and good luck with achieving them. Lets always remember that we never know what we can achieve unless we give it a go. No harm in trying!

2013 January | 3 Comments


Sponsor Logos Mont Sea to Summit Goal Zero Wild Aid Northcote Pottery Sydney Indoor Climbing Gym Villawood Freeze Dri Back Country Cuisine Marcellin Old Collegians Football Club Moore Stephens Accountants & Advisors