Last week, my AWExpeditions team member Nima and I reached the top of the highest mountain outside of the Himalayas, and the first thing I did was burst into tears. We had been climbing for 10+ hours on summit day and trekking for 14 days. I had witnessed breathtaking sunrises, woke up to flash snowstorms, and confronted 40 to 50 mph winds. I had devoured grilled steak in the middle of the Andes, gotten my ass kicked at foosball by Franco at base camp, and had diarrhea twice on the trail. I had been fucking miserable, elated, exhausted, and utterly bored. I cried at 22,841 ft because i was in disbelief. The what-ifs vanished. Fantasies materialized. It felt like a dream, but it wasn’t. I was alive. A profound thanks to Sunny Stroeer, our “mega monster” guide and my daily inspiration on the mountain, and fellow climbers Nima and Charlotte.