We woke to a bright and sunny day , our last day in base camp and the 'last day' of the 6 Summits Challenge. As I packed our tent and started to stuff sleeping bags in our duffles the realization the 'it's all over now' began to sink in. There would be no more expeditions, no more climbing, no more mountains. After a year of this lifestyle it was all ending - today. So many thoughts and memories to process. In many ways I am glad for the three hour hike out this morning.
So many people have written and thanked us for doing this challenge and raise awareness of modern day slavery. There has been so much love and support from people we know and from hundreds whom we have never met. It takes the edge off the sadness and frustration I feel when I think of how much time and energy we spent here trying to summit these peaks and came away empty handed. But I take some comfort in the knowledge that it was a crazy-difficult objective, attempted in a wildly unpredictable year. In the end, we did all we could and never gave up and I know in the end, we did help boost awareness about slavery. I am proud of our teams that worked so hard to keep us moving forward, especially my loving wife Sandi, who spent countless days and nights in base camps encouraging me via two way radio and as much time worrying.
I know the result is not what any of us had hoped for, or even thought would happen, but it reinforces my belief that there is no action too small in the fight to end modern day slavery... only inaction! If there is one thing you can take away from following the 6 Summits Challenge over the past year it's that the time is now for you to get off the sidelines and step boldly onto the field of play and use you skills, talents and energy to do something in this fight for basic human rights. Not everyone can attempt to climb a 8000m peak, but everyone can do something. I urge you to visit the Mission 14 website and start a Be Brave Challenge of your own to fight human trafficking and slavery in any way you can.
And stay tuned. This portion of the trip might be over, but the journey has just begun.