|Benjamin Breckheimer, USA SSG ret.|
After retreating due to sickness on Kilimanjaro a few years ago, Benjamin along with 17 American300 support climbers reached the summit of Africa's tallest mountain this spring. Knocking off two of his '7 Summits' (Mount Elbrus in Russia and Kilimanjaro in Africa) and the first of his 'redemption summits'.
With five more mountains on his list, Benjamin returned to the states, not to relax and celebrate his African success, but to prepare for the next 7 summit: Mount Everest in Nepal.
This past week, American300 founder Rob Powers traveled to Nepal with Benjamin to begin the acclimatization routine hand him off to fellow Am300 mentor Chhiring Dorje Sherpa. Together with two Swedish and one Polish climber Benjamin will be attempting to summit the world's tallest mountain this May as part of the Rolwaling International Expedition.
Like, Kilimanjaro this will be Benjamin's second visit to the mountain. Unlike, Kilimanjaro where he feel victim to sickness, Benjamin was returning to base camp from high on the mountain in 2015, when the major earthquake rocked the country and caused catastrophic damages and death throughout Nepal to include 19 climbers being killed by avalanches.
"Getting knocked down mentally came way closer to killing me then having my leg blown off," says Benjamin, referring to the darkness that enveloped him during his recovery from the Afghanistan roadside bomb. "Having this 7 summits goal has ignited a passion within me that has restored me, I can't wait to get back onto the mountain."
American300 will continue to provide updates as they become available from Chhiring Dorje Sherpa and the International Expedition team members.
UPDATE - 20APR17 - The team is at base camp and has completed several acclimatization climbs to 5,000 meters. All team members are doing great.
UPDATE - 22MAY17 - Benjamin and Chhiring achieved the summit of Everest on 22MAY17 at 0825hrs local Everest. They have descending to Camp 3 and are resting over night before continuing downward. Benjamin now joins two other combat wounded warriors (purple heart recipients ) as the 3rd Purple Heart Climber to stand on top of the world.