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Of fathers, sons and mountain summits

May 24, 2010

President Jim Doti and his son, Adam, on a previous mountain expedition.

Father and son adventure climbers John and Ryan Dahlem safely reached the summit of Mount Everest this week and are making their descent, bringing the famous Chapman pennant with them.

And not a moment too soon. Another father and son team is eager to tote the well-traveled pennant on its next mountain journey. President Jim Doti and his son, Adam, have announced plans to climb Alaska’s Mount McKinley beginning June 9. The two have already climbed Kilimanjaro, Aconcagua, Elbrus and Vinson, four of the world’s renowned Seven Summits. Naturally, the beloved pennant will go along on this next challenge. When not packed in with climbing supplies and on its way to a summit, the pennant is displayed in the Leatherby Libraries in the Doti-Struppa Mountaineering Collection.

So if you see someone laden with a 60-pound pack trudging up and down the stairwells of Beckman Hall, it’s just President Doti training for that 20,320-foot climb up McKinley, known in climbing circles as Denali or “The Great One.”

“I’m up to climbing the steps of Chapman’s Beckman Hall (all 120 of them) 10 times.  My goal before leaving is to do it 20 times… with the pack on,” President Doti wrote on an Adventure Zone-hosted website created for trekkers to post expedition updates. Visit the Adventure Zone website here to see how they’re getting ready and follow the trip once it’s underway with the GPS tracking, fan blog and media gallery the website offers. Adam Doti built another website here with additional satellite images and links.

Following along with virtual visits on the mountain will be the easy part, compared to what the climbers face.

“It will be a good way to vicariously climb a mountain without the cold; wet, smelly socks; lack of toilet facilities; and fears of frostbite, altitude sickness and crevasses,” President Doti wrote on the website.

Yeah, we’ll just wait for the photos.

John Dahlem, left, and his son, Ryan, on Cho Oyu, the sixth highest peak in the world, on their 2008 expedition.

Meanwhile, stay abreast of the Dahlems’ descent progress by checking in here at International Mountain Guides for expedition coverage.  Or read more about the Dahlems and other Orange County climbers who summited Everest this week here in the Orange County Register.

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