Vivian James Rigney isn’t any informal traveler.
The govt coach and speaker has visited greater than 80 nations and lived on three continents.
He’s additionally climbed the highest mountains on all seven continents, the so-called Seven Summits.
It’s a feat that took him 14 years — one, he estimates, that fewer than 1,000 folks have accomplished.
And he did it regardless of being “terrified of heights,” he stated.
In an interview with CNBC Travel, Rigney talked about what he realized — and how much it cost him — to attain a few of the highest factors on earth.
The cost to climb
Rigney estimates he is paid between $170,000 and $180,000 to climb the Seven Summits, he stated.
“Everest is, by far, the most expensive,” he stated, including that he paid about $80,000 when he climbed it in 2010.
“You have to save and build a plan,” he stated. “That’s why it took me years. I started, then I went to business school, all my money was gone into that, then I started again, got a new job … Piece by piece, I gradually got through it.”
But there’s one other cost — the time away from work, stated Rigney. Luckily, he stated his employers supported his objectives.
“If you have a good employer … they can see [personal goals] as something which can help lift the spirits of the company,” he stated.
From ‘straightforward’ to ‘excruciatingly painful’
In addition to prices, the Seven Summits range significantly when it comes to climbing issue, stated Rigney.
He stated Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro is “easy,” calling it “technically not challenging at all.”
But it is excessive sufficient to really feel altitude illness, he stated, which stops some climbers from reaching the high.
Kilimanjaro will be climbed in per week, he stated. Antarctica’s Vinson Massif can take two weeks — “if you’re lucky” — and North America’s Denali three to 4 weeks.
But Mount Everest is a “massive logistical operation” that takes about two months, he stated. It’s by far the most tough and harmful climb, he stated, calling the expertise “excruciatingly painful.”
“Every cell in your body is saying you shouldn’t be here,” he stated. “Your intuition is going nuts.”
Rigney climbed Mount Everest for about 4 to 5 hours a day. The remainder of the time “you’re recovering in your tent alone … no devices, no internet … nothing.”
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He stated he arrived “bulked up and super fit.” Despite consuming 7,000 to 8,000 energy a day — primarily potatoes, pasta and dry meals — he stated he misplaced 20 kilos throughout the Everest climb.
Staying heat takes an amazing quantity of power, he stated. Everything freezes, he stated, together with LCD digicam screens.
“We have what we call a pee bag. You pee in this bag, and you seal it and you put that into the sleeper bag with you because it’s warm.”
There are solely about three to 5 days in the climbing season that climbers can attain Everest’s summit. If they do, it’s a fast victory, stated Rigney.
“People don’t hang around the summit for hours,” he stated. “You get the heck off the mountain as quick as you can.”
From climbing to teaching
Rigney is now an govt coach and speaker, educating company executives classes he realized from pushing himself, mentally and bodily, to the restrict.
He’s additionally the writer of “Naked at the Knife’s Edge,” a ebook about how he is used a few of the most harrowing moments from his Everest climb for skilled success.
Climbers don’t remain lengthy as soon as they attain Mount Everest’s peak, stated Rigney. “You get the heck off the mountain as quick as you can.”
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He stated he helps “overachievers… [with] tons on their mind” obtain stability and break habits “which pull us along … as though we’re on a conveyor belt.”
For instance, concern — whether or not it’s of public talking or his personal concern of heights — will be overcome utilizing methods of the thoughts, he stated.
And leaders should be taught to settle for issues which can be out of their management, be it an damage or a pandemic, he stated.
He stated he nonetheless laughs when he thinks about arriving at a small airplane hangar in Kathmandu one hour earlier than he was scheduled to fly to the foothills of the Himalayas.
After climbing the “Seven Summits,” Rigney stated he’s intentionally selecting journey experiences which can be much less dangerous. He stated a number of years in the past, he discovered a pastime that’s each difficult and enjoyable: scuba diving.
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“I remember going up to this gentleman … and I said ‘Hey… what time do you think we’ll be leaving?'” stated Rigney. “He said: ‘Maybe today, hopefully by tomorrow, likely by the end of the week.'”
Ten minutes later, one other climber, who received the similar reply, exploded with anger, he stated.
“Eventually this guy looks over, red with steam coming out his ears, and we are just howling. I think it finally clicked — like this is where you are. This is about weather in the Himalayas!”
It’s simply one in all an extended record of “things we can control and things we cannot,” stated Rigney.