Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Son honors father’s last wish and becomes a mountain climber

After fulfilling his father’s dying wish to have his ashes scattered on Mexico’s highest peak, Omar Álvarez moved on to an even more challenging mission: scaling the highest mountains on each of the world’s continents with his blind friend.

When his father asked him to take his ashes to the top of the inactive volcano called Citlaltépetl, or Pico de Orizaba, Álvarez – neither a mountaineer nor a high performance athlete – was hopelessly unprepared for the mission.

But determined not to let his father down, he started training and in 2017 – on the first anniversary of his dad’s death – he took his ashes to the peak of the 5,636-meter-high volcano. That experience changed the direction of Álvarez’s life, the newspaper Reforma reported.

Álvarez, now 41, and his friend, Rafa Jaime, subsequently decided to take on the Seven Summits challenge: climbing the highest mountains on each of the world’s seven continents.

And they are already one-seventh of the way to achieving their goal, having scaled the 6,960-meter-high Aconcagua in Argentina in January 2020. In the process, the two men became the first Latin American rope team with a blind member to climb South America’s highest mountain, which is also the highest peak in the world outside Asia.

Alpinists Álvarez, left, and Jaime.
Alpinists Álvarez, left, and Jaime.

Next up is Denali, North America’s highest peak, located about 400 kilometers north of Anchorage, Alaska.

“This year we’re going to Denali, on June 5,” Álvarez, a business consultant and mentor with an MBA from Anáhuac University, told Reforma. “The project is to climb … the highest mountain on each continent,” he added.

The project is undoubtedly ambitious but Álvarez has come a long way since his father told him of his final request.

He told Reforma that mountain climbing has taught him four key lessons: you must focus on the path, not the summit; the path to the peak is winding; never stop; and never walk alone.

Those lessons are crucial in Álvarez’s Philosophy of the Mountain –  a guide/mindset he has developed to help budding entrepreneurs achieve business success. He said he helps people turn their passions in life into ideas for businesses, explaining that he assists entrepreneurs to “scale the mountains of their lives.”

“… I always say to entrepreneurs: find what you love in life, find what you’re good at, find a market that you can really help and find a business model that allows you to monetize [your passion],” Álvarez said.

“That undertaking is the basis of everything. If you ask me what the most important thing is [to achieve success], I would say passion.”

Source: Reforma (sp) 

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