Meet Gary Scott, the man who set the world record for the fastest ascent of Mount McKinley in Alaska. A Colorado Springs resident since 1988, he moved here to work with the U.S. Olympic Committee.
"To accomplish something as phenomenal as doing the first one-day ascent, apart from being an incredible accomplishment, it was an enjoyable one ... the most memorable, most favorite thing I've ever done," he explained.
Now he has his sights set on another famous mountain: Mount Everest, an ascent that has been a dream of his since he was a kid.
Originally from Australia, Scott decided to become a mountain climber at the age of 8, on first sight of the breathtaking Canadian Rockies. By the age of 10 he was already bushwhacking and scaling the cliffs of Australia. At 24, he packed up, sold everything and followed his dream to the world-renowned mountains of Nepal. In 1991 he attempted the summit of Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen, ran into bad weather, and almost didn't make it back.
Now, 12 years later, Scott has joined the daring Team Everest '03 Expedition for his second attempt. It will be led by Gary Gullen, a fellow mountaineer and close friend. Gullen, who has only one arm, organized the Team Everest '03 Expedition in connection with the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities. The team is scheduled to climb to Everest Base Camp in March 2003; Gullen and Scott will then attempt the perilous summit in May.
A contributing factor to his successful career is his healthy philosophy for mountain climbing. "If you're not happy with yourself, the summit won't matter," Scott said.
-- Story by Kasey Camp