U.S. Air Force Capt. Colin Merrin, a GPS satellite operations mission commander from Santee in San Diego County, is part of an Air Force team participating in a 50-day journey to climb Mount Everest.
The USAF Seven Summits Challenge team hopes to summit in mid-May, and become the first group of active-duty U.S. service members to reach the top of Everest.
Team co-founder Capt. Rob Marshall made a call home Monday from Everest Base Camp, according to the Air Force News Service, in which he explain the team's strategy for the grueling climb:
"You can climb Everest at a faster pace, but from our research, we are giving ourselves the best chance to acclimatize and the optimal amount of time to reach the top."
In a brief bio of Merrin listed on the USAF Seven Summits Challenge website, the climber gives a William James quote as his inspiration:
“Beyond the very extreme of fatigue and distress, we may find amounts of ease and power we never dreamed ourselves to own; sources of strength never taxed at all because we never push through the obstruction.”
Merrin is currently based at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado.