Portland man plans record 'Explorers Grand Slam' expedition
MENDOZA, Argentina —
A Portland man has begun his adventure of traveling to the North and South poles and climbing the tallest mountain on each of Earth's seven continents. His trip is called the Explorers Grand Slam. Less than 50 people across the world have every completed it.
Not only does Colin O'Brady want to finish, he wants to do it faster than anyone else.
"If everything goes to plan, I will complete it in around five months or just over," said O'Brady in a Skype interview from Mendoza, Argentina. "Anything under six months and eleven days would be a success, but I'm aiming for about five months right now."
O'Brady has already crossed two objectives off his list. Earlier this month he traveled to the South Pole and climbed Mt. Vinson, the tallest mountain on Antarctica. He's taking a short break in Argentina before attempting to climb Aconcagua, the tallest mountain in South America.
From there, O'Brady plans to climb Carstensz Pyramid in Indonesia, Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, and Mount Elbrus in Europe. He then plans to travel to the North Pole before attempting Mount Everest in Asia. His last summit would be Denali in North America.
O'Brady's adventure is improbable because of the severe injuries he received in 2008. While backpacking in Thailand, he suffered a serious accident in which 23 percent of his body was burned, mostly his lower legs. He tells KATU that doctors weren't sure he'd ever walk again. But he remained determined to do that and much more. He became a triathlete and eventually decided to attempt the Explorers Grand Slam.
While competing in triathlons, O'Brady says he had a realization about his motives.
"I thought, 'this is amazing, but somewhat self-serving,'" said O'Brady. "So I was kind of asking myself the question, 'can I do something with this endurance athleticism that has a greater impact in the community?'"
O'Brady eventually decided to advocate for children's health. He hopes to inspire kids to lead active, healthy, and more successful lives.
You can read more about Colin O'Brady, his 2008 accident, the Explorers Grand Slam, and his mission to help children at www.beyond72.com.