Everest climber urges Carleton students to aim high - Metro US

Everest climber urges Carleton students to aim high

They may not be climbing the world’s highest peaks anytime soon, or communing with polar bears in the far north. Nor may they want to.

But an Ottawa-based adventurer, philanthropist and television host still had some good advice for first-year university students at Carleton’s new student convocation Wednesday.

Nearing the top of Mount Everest’s 29,035-foot summit several years ago, Elia Saikaly fought the effects of the extreme altitude, avalanches and dangerous temperatures.

“When things got extremely difficult, I had to remind myself of the reason why I was going through this,” said Saikaly, who was climbing in memory of a friend who had passed away.

“But I believe that the chance was worth taking, because sometimes, it’s through those chances that we find (something) at the end of the road or the top of a mountain.”

He made the difficult decision to turn around, but earlier this year, Saikaly finally stood on the top of Mount Everest.

“Embrace the moment,” Saikaly told students yesterday. “Always aim high. Embrace the challenges that lie ahead.

“I leave you with one final question– that was my journey of finding life. What’s yours?”

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