ExWeb have been closely monotoring Sean Burch progress crossing the Kingdom of Nepal from one side to the other. It has been really interesting reading, with reports of frustration over porters, dirt, stomach problems, steep mountain sides and exhilaration reaching different goals and meeting a very generous and welcoming people.
ExWebs Mikael Strandberg has been very lucky to get an interview with a very busy Sean, who has had a lot of media contacting him after his successful crossing in 49 days.19 days faster than the previous record.
ExplorersWeb: Sean, what single moment from the trip do you remember the best? There was no single moment. Every day was so jammed packed with intense experiences, so it was like doing 49 individual Expeditions.
ExplorersWeb: You made it much faster than planned, how come? What was easier than expected? I had originally planned a 60 day itinerary because I figured there would be logistical problems that would really rise up...and they did. However, I really stayed on the teams to push hard, and we changed our porters as much as possible. Gave them lighter loads so they could go faster and for longer hours. It paid off....once I was 4 days ahead of schedule, I became obsessed with the goal of 49 days...fortunately things worked out.
ExplorersWeb: So it was easier than expected? No, the expedition wasn´t easier than expected...definitely the toughest adventure by far of my life...tougher than an 8000 peak. No days off. Long hours. Always intense. Plenty of dangerous situations where the result could have easily turned up very serious.
ExplorersWeb: How did you find the nepalese? At one stage you thought some folks were a bit too dirty and porters unreliable. What is your general picture of the locals you came across? For the vast majority, nepalese are extremely friendly and warm people. As I wrote in my dispatches families in the eastern part put me up in their homes, let me sleep in their own bedrooms while they slept somewhere lese...it was incredibly generous. Some areas where very dirty...even for nepalese standards...my nepalese sirdars commented on this as well.
ExplorersWeb: And the situation with the porters? Yes, at times the porters where unreliable...you really had to stay on top of them to make sure they did what they where hired to do. I spoke with the sirdars every night to keep logistics to schedule. The importance of that was the key, otherwise things would go haywire.
ExplorersWeb: Where people poorer than you thought before setting out? No, this is my 5th time in Nepal, so I knew the circumstances....although I did experience it on a much more personal level this time....staying with them.
ExplorersWeb: Any rebels along route still? Yes, I met several....I did not have any problems with them, and we supported the local villages and towns by always buying local, so people were happy to see us.
ExplorersWeb: How did Contact 5 work? Excellent. Although there was some confusion on the GPS coordinates and how to list them properly...so that took a bit of work before everything was in line.
ExplorersWeb. You wrote this is the highlight so far in your life, what is next? Since my frostbite acted up again, cold expeditions, no matter how much I love them, are really playing havoc on me. So I have to consider that. I already have something in mind, but wait until everything is in place to reveal what.
ExplorersWeb: You were really run down on and off, but came back greatly, what did you think about when running and what motivated you do overdo yourself as you did? My body was put through a meat grinder on a daily basis. I still can´t feel any of my toes! I haven´t for a month now and if I had listened to my body I would have stopped about 10 days into it. I always kept the goals of the expedition in my mind. Always. I don´t like to fail. So the stubbornness also helped a lot as well.
Final question, Sean, what is important to you regarding being happy/content with life? Life is to be lived passionately. I am always happiest when on an Expedition because I learn so much about myself, life, people of various cultures, you want to learn something new about yourself - than, travel to a third world country! Stay with the locals in their homes, meet as many different people as possible. Walk everywhere...get out there where tourists don´t go.
ExplorersWeb: Well, with such a great and important answer, let me than ask you, do you have any role models of life? My grandfather Hans Schou, my parents and all explorers and athletes who push boundaries. Inner and external.
Thanks, Sean, keep us all updated about your next quest!
.Sean Burch is well known for his super-fast ascents on high mountains and is crossing Nepal on foot from border-to-border (India to Tibet) on the Great Himalaya Trail. He will be doing over 500,000 feet of climbing and running at altitudes over 20,000 ft. Sean plans to run and climb 10-15 hours a day to complete the trail in 60 days. He says the average time for doing this trail is 157 days.
He started his run/trek/climb on August 22, 2010.
The American lives the Washington D.C. area. His favorite foods are shashimi and venison. The last book he read is Tears in the Darkness - about the Bataan death march and his favorite movies are Spinal Tap and Best in Show.
Sean follows a Hyperfitness Living mental, physical, and nutritional program and has achieved the following:
- World Record: Fastest Winter Ascent of Mt. Fuji, Japan: 4:05:42
- World Record: 63 Summits of Unclimbed Peaks in 23 Days, Solo, Tibet
- Guinness World Record: Fastest Ascent of Mt. Kilimanjaro: 5:28:48
- Guinness World Record: Fastest Time for Northern Most Marathon (First Marathon and wearing snowshoes)
- First Place: North Pole Marathon
- Mt. Everest (29,035ft): Summit, Solo, and almost completely without bottled oxygen
- Guinness World Record: Jump Rope at Altitude 26,181ft.
- USA Record Speed Ascent, Aconcagua (22,841ft.): Solo, Argentina, Highest Peak in Southern and Western Hemisphere
- First in World: 14 1st Ascents, 2 Solo 1st Ascents Previously Unmapped and Unexplored Mountain Areas within Arctic Circle in East Greenland
- Shishapangma (26,552ft.): Summit, 13th Highest Mountain in the World, Tibet, No Bottled Oxygen
- First in World: 3 1st Ascents, St. Elias Range, Alaska
Sean is a freelance writer, who wrote the highly received fitness/wellness book,
Hyperfitness, 12 Weeks to Conquering Your Inner Everest and Getting into the Best Shape of Your Life (click here) (Published by Penguin Group USA) and DVD video supplements. The book is also available at Amazon.com and other Internet bookstores.
He will be raising funds and awareness for the Nepal Trust Organization www.nepaltrust.org, and the Love Hope Strength foundation www.lovehopestrength.org/site. The non-profit Nepal Trust organizations current project works in Nepal are in primary healthcare, renewable energy, education, sustainable tourism and heritage preservation. The Love Hope Strength Foundation in the U.S. campaigns to save lives for those with cancer.
Another focus is his eagerness to bring attention to the very remote 'Hidden Himalaya' of Nepal, where Sean will be:
1) documenting historic and very famous Buddhist monasteries (many previously unseen by Westerners), and their cultural diversities; and
2) joining school children in the U.S. with children in makeshift schools in remote Himalayan villages.
Sean Burch is going to be the first to use the new CONTACT Augmented in addition to CONTACT5 to report during the 60 days on the Nepal trail.
#World #Trek #interview
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