LAKE STEVENS, Wash. — A Western Washington man just completed climbing the Seven Summits, which includes Mount Everest. The Seven Summits are the highest mountains on each of the seven continents.
Travis Van Overbeke is a dad, and husband, and owns a small construction company in Lake Stevens. Now he can say he is also one of the people who have completed the seven summits. He just returned from his trip to Mount Everest two days ago. He started on the journey of completing the seven summits more than 15 years ago
“I started in 2007, climbing Aconcagua, and that really just inspired me to set out on an adventure and see the world,” said Overbeke.
The past seven weeks he spent conquering Mount Everest, a long process that led to the final summit push.
“It took me six days because I climbed Everest and then I also climbed the fourth highest peak next to Everest,” said Overbeke.
After years of training leading to this moment, what does someone think when they reach the summit of the highest peak in the world?
“I need to get down because it's literally, I could not feel my hands, it's freezing cold,” said Overbeke. “And I was scared to run out of oxygen because what you have on your back is your oxygen to get up and down.”
Although Overbeke made it to the summit, the friends he went with did not.
“One of my friends got pulmonary embolism, so he's lucky to be here,” said Overbeke.
Overbeke knows it is a trip that comes with risks.
“If the wind picks up, you can immediately get frostbite, in a second,” said Overbeke. “I mean, windchill becomes a major factor.”
With those risks now behind him, the bags are getting unpacked and Overbeke is going to focus on a goal even more important to him.
“It's really just being a great dad, that's kind of what I'm hoping for,” said Overbeke.
He said when one journey ends, more await.
“It's the journeys in life that we take that really we value, not so much the tops of the mountains,” said Overbeke.
His advice to others is to not start with Everest, as he said that can be a fatal mistake. He said it is better to work your way up to it.