Mt. Ngauruhoe (aka Mt.Doom🇳🇿) is the first mountain I ever climbed back in 2014. It also was the first time I’ve ever truly backpacked. I was into hiking but it was more casual at the time. I went to NZ to work a tattoo convention, hitched a ride on the back of a Ducati for 3.5hrs through sunshine, rain and hail with a 75 liter backpack mostly full of my convention work stuff then did the 4 day hike up and around the mountain. Looking back I really just winged the entire thing, super underprepared, was carrying a ton of unnecessary weight and lacked everything I actually needed mainly food which I ran out of on day 2. I learned so much during that trip. The mistakes made my first climb twice as hard as it should’ve been. I left that hike beside myself full of admiration for mountains and inspired to actually start hiking on a different level. My first night back to a hostel I shared a room with a really friendly Austrian couple and we stayed up telling each other our best travel stories. They told me they recently did Basecamp Mt.Everest and I couldn’t even comprehend it after struggling through my first climb. Basecamp Mt.Everest has been on the top of my priority list ever since. Troltunga in Norway has also been following in at number 2 for the past couple years as well. Today I pulled the trigger and made it official. I just booked my flights to do BOTH in one epic trip in October. On top of that I somehow talked @halfanese into letting me drag him along. 2018 is gonna be all about slaying my bucket list.