When people find out that I am going to climb Everest soon, some ask me, “How much time does climbing Mount Everest take?”

The entire trip takes 65 days, including the extensive travel and the four to five weeks that we’ll spend struggling up and down the mountain, over and over, forcing our bodies to acclimatize to the extreme altitude. The final summit push will take four or five days, from Everest base camp, to the summit (hopefully!).

Finding the time to climb Everest, or to pursue any other passion, is not easy. Climbers and non-climbers alike have family, children, jobs, homes, and a hundred other small things, all needing our time and attention.

It’s obviously impossible to give each of those interests 100% of our attention and time. So, we hustle and we alternate. Maybe we sleep less and multi-task more. We struggle to find a “work & life balance”. In short, you do the best you can, despite knowing that there will never be enough time for everything.

The time to climb Everest

Find the time

So, how can you find the time to pursue your passion?

  • Engage your passion before everyone else gets up, or after everyone has gone to sleep. Or both.
  • Skip the festivities over a holiday season (missing it once won’t hurt)
  • Create a window of opportunity between major life phases (ex: between jobs, or after school ends but before your job starts)
  • Give up pleasant, but less important pursuits (ex: I essentially quit backcountry skiing and fishing to attend my children’s sports and musicals)

None of these are magical, they all have some minor consequences, but they work. During several decades of climbing, I used all those techniques, and more, so that I could create precious time for my climbing passion. Collectively, they have allowed me to go on a dozen expeditions.

Any you know what? All those expedition days added together are less than 1% of the days that I have spent on all the other things in my life. One percent.

How about you: What passion do you need to find time for during your one precious life?