Sunday 3 May 2015

Last week I talked in front of a group of finance professionals about achieving big dreams – I illustrated the story and my concept through my journey to climb Mt Everest – the highest mountain in the world and how it developed from the dreams of a child diving in adventure books into a Himalayan expedition.

I highlighted four important steps that were necessary to get myself to achieve my dreams:

Patience – or the ability to build towards your goal step by step

Information – or the need to gather every possible datapoint to manage risk accordingly

Team – the necessity to build a trusted team

and most importantly mindset – the belief and optimism to make your dream come true, quite often the differentiator between success and failure.

In the last week I had to realise that I missed one more:  LUCK

Luck, a strange concept, especially coming from an analytical mindset – but as every mountainclimber would admit: there are things that are totally out of your control….When we speak about objective dangers (ie rock fall, avalanches etc., we see risks that cannot be fully mitigated, just reduced.

Often we only see in retrospect how lucky we were – for me it was when I saw the pictures of the massive avalanche hitting Everest Base Camp during the Nepal earthquake on April 25. Last year a giant serac broke of Everest’s western should killing 16people  – this year an earthquake triggered avalanche hit camp and took 18 people and countless injured with it.

avalanche everest


Two years ago I was camping there myself  – and I could see the scene. A foggy afternoon in Base Camp, climbers lying in their tents after lunch, making siesta, reading books – unaware of the storm of ice and snow that hit them.

In Austria we have the proverb: “Das Glueck is a Vogerl” (Luck is a bird) – means we cannot control luck, and very often success and failure, life or death just depends on being in the right time at the right place..

I am truly grateful for all the good luck I had so far on the mountains and in my life.

My support is going out to all the victims, to all the wonderful people of Nepal. While all my friends that were there during the earthquake are safe my thoughts are with the thousands of families and millions of people affected by this terrible catastrophe! 

From my friends who are helping on the ground I hear that some of the worst affected regions are outside Kathmandu, the remote villages in the hills and deep valleys that do not receive coverage through CNN and where only limited help is getting to. For several years now I have worked with the charity dZifoundation, that builds and supports infrastructure in rural and remote Nepali communities. They have set up a dedicated support page:     Please help too!

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