In this wonderful interview with a very heartfelt young man, I get to explore the inner drive and ambition that developed within Bo Parfet to motivate him in his quest to become an amazing mountain climber and conquer the Seven Summits.
For a dyslexic guy who was told he wouldn’t graduate high school, Bo Parfet has achieved a lot in his 31 years. A graduate of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, the Chicagoan scaled the 29,028-foot summit of Mount Everest on May 17, 2007 , and in so doing became one of only 80 people to have successfully climbed all eight of the world’s “Seven Summits,” the tallest mountain on every continent.
You see, the overall list comprises Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania; Mt. Aconcuaga in Argentina; Mt. McKinley (aka Denali) in Alaska; the Vinson Massif in Antarctica; Mt. Elbrus in Russia; Carstensz Pyramid (aka Puncak Jaya) in Indonesia; Mt. Kosciuszko in Australia; and Everest in China. Since mountaineers differ on whether Australasia’s should be Kosciuszko, the highest on the Australian mainland, or Papua New Guinea’s much taller Carstensz Pyramid, Bo decided to cover all bases.
While either working as an investment banker on Wall Street, bio-prospecting for lifesaving micro-organisms in extreme environments, or getting his MBA from Kellogg; Bo not only took on the Seven Summits he helped several students in impoverished areas of Africa get scholarships to complete medical school through his personal efforts and a little help from JP Morgan to help fund their educations.
All of these stories are related in Die Trying: One Man’s Quest to Conquer the Seven Summits, yet this is far more than an action-adventure along the lines of Jon Krakauer’s smash-hit bestseller Into Thin Air (Villard, 1997), among many, many other mountain-based books: Joe Simpson’s Touching the Void (HarperCollins, 1989); David Breashears’ High Exposure (Simon & Schuster, 1999); Beck Weathers’ Left For Dead (Villard, 2000); even Seven Summits by Dick Bass (Grand Central, 1988), the man who first climbed each of the continents’ highest mountains.
Die Trying: One Man’s Quest to Conquer the Seven Summits expands on Bo’s most dramatic, traumatic, and triumphal experiences by not only documenting the different revelations experienced during each of the expeditions, but also describing how these have enabled him to “turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones” in all areas of his life; at home, in the workplace, on the side of a mountain.
As such it will appeal to a far broader readership – gripping people with its graphically-related, death-defying adventures, speaking to them in terms of their own life challenges, and inspiring them with its delineation of human potential; of the inner strength derived from dealing with discouragement and overcoming adversity; of one man’s declaration that he will not be limited.
I know you will really enjoy my interview with Bo, and I encourage you to visit his website to view some of the photos from his expeditions. You will also love the music at his website. Click here to be linked to his website.