Are heroes born or made?
Not a question that’s easy to answer. It’s a bit like what comes first – the egg or the chicken? Or, perhaps – the soul or the body? But one thing is clear: without hard work – often even pain – and indefatigable striving (read: understanding what you want to do and then actually doing it), you’ll get nowhere. Any talent needs to be developed. But is a capacity to develop a part of talent? Ooh, we’d best leave that to the philosophers; if we carry on down this rabbit hole in this post’s first paragraph, we may never reemerge from it!
Let’s make this easier on ourselves!…
We love heroes. But of course we do, for aren’t we – rejecting all false modesty – heroes ourselves for coming this far in a full quarter century?! From garage start-up to the coolest tech cybersecurity company the world has seen? Heroes change the world for the better, shape the future, and by their own example mobilize humanity toward ever greater victories for higher causes. Therefore, we have always supported and always will support special folks who share this ethos.
Remember Felicity Aston, who in 2012 with our support skied across Antarctica on her own? Then there was Olga Rumyantseva, who in 2013 completed her ascents of the highest volcanos of all seven continents. And of course there was the expedition of female skiers from all over the world to the North Pole in 2018 (in which both Felicity and Olga took part).
Fast-forward to this year, and we were assisting Olga again, this time in her ascent up to the highest point in the world – the peak of Mount Everest! And on May 17 – she did it! Today, Olga is still in the highest (!) of spirits after such a momentous feat, and is already thinking of her next adventure.
What made her Everest ascent all the more amazing was the fact that she climbed all the way to the top in her favorite Midori Kuma onesie! So now we can say our mascot green bear has also climbed Everest; or, perhaps, been carried up. Some bears get all the breaks – he didn’t even need to put an oxygen mask on, since he’s immune to altitude sickness!
So how was it? What’s it like to actually mountaineer all the way to the top of Everest? I decided to ask her 10 questions all about it…
Q: So, first…: why?!
A: I felt like it!
Q: How long did the ascent take you?
A: 33 days
Q: The internet reports that along the route up to the top things aren’t so great ecology-wise. What do you say?
A: The ecology’s fine. The only problem is there are plenty of climbers – but that doesn’t spoil the ecology.
Q: Making the ascent without oxygen – how realistic is that?
A: It’s doable, but not many are up to it. Around a hundred climbers have managed it in all. This year another climber did it.
Q: Are sherpas aliens?
Q: Did anything go badly wrong in your group?
A: Yes. One of the climbers died during acclimatization.
Q: What are the three most important things you need for conquering Everest?
A: Being a lunatic; being brave; money.
Q: Were there any moments when you feared for your life?
A: Yes – when I understood I really am going up Everest.
Q: What’s your advice to others who might want to climb Everest?
A: Prepare well.
Q: Will you go again? :)
A: Yes, if I can get paid to do so :)
PS: Heroes aren’t born heroes; they become heroes!…