Sir Edmund Hillary: An inspiration to us all.

You climb mountains, Sir Edmund Hillary once said, “because they’re there.”

So I faced the mountain Monday with determination.

For three weeks, the mountain stymied me, laughed at my feeble attempts to scale its sheer face of ice and snow.

For 22 days, any attempt to conquer the mountain fell short.

No more. On this Monday, I would conquer the mountain. Man would triumph.

I slipped the Wrangler into four-wheel-drive and lunged forward, laughing maniacally as it bounded over the boulders of ice and snow still frozen hard by unyielding, freezing, temperatures.

One rut threw the Wrangler to the right and it careened towards the precipice of disaster and the seemingly-inevitable plunge into the ravine. I wrenched the wheel to the left, mashed on the gas and the wheels caught at the last minute, straightened the Jeep out and sent me towards tire-swallowing deep snow on the left.

I steered to the right as all four tires fought for traction, throwing snow, ice and gravel in various directions.

As I neared the top, a hairpin to the right provided a final obstacle. drifting snow had frozen into an 18-inch wall over the past three weeks. The front-wheels struck the edge and the Wrangler bounced into the air and flew over the barricade of frozen tundra. One last course correction and I rolled to the stop, victorious in my assault on the mountain.

I stepped out with a smug smile and surveyed the path of ruts, tracks and disrupted ice and snow that lay in my wake.

Man, for a change, triumphed over nature.

I had conquered the mountain and made it to the top of my driveway.

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