• Mera Peak, Makalu Barun National Park
  • Hiking/Trekking

Meet this year's Defining Moment, shared by David T. 

A story of pushing through doubt, pain, and missing vertebrae, to reach the top of the world.

Climber David T. summited Mera Peak in the Himalayas just seventeen months after having a walnut-sized tumor removed from his back.  Along with the tumor, the surgery removed the rear portion of three vertebrae, and as David lay in his hospital bed, barely able to move, he thought his climbing days were over.

But then, his will won out: “Days later, still unable to get out of bed even to use the bathroom, my mind was made up. It began by sitting, next came standing, and finally one foot in front of the other. With the unyielding support of family and friends I was Himalaya-bound.”

David says that in fact, it was his illness that pushed him to climb higher than he ever had before: “Having escaped death, now was the time to live my dream. . . At 21,247ft. [Mera Peak is] far from the tallest, and is classified as a trekking peak, meaning it doesn't require too much technical climbing, but I knew getting there was still going to be a huge challenge.”

This photo captures David’s epic Moment on the mountain he chose for his quest.  His Mera Peak summit is a challenge and an inspiration to adventurers everywhere. David decided to award the $10,000 donation to Access Fund. 

High Fives for All. 

Your stories made Meet The Moment. So many Moments submitted were worthy of winning. And those Moments were shared and liked thousands of times helping to spread the word. Your involvement helped raise $35,000 for non-profits. Best of all, you’ve helped inspire others to seek out adventure and help Protect the Places We Play. Keep cycling, climbing, hiking, laughing, aching and posting your Moments. We can’t wait to see what’s next.

25 Finalists for the Defining Moment

About the Contest

Our goal with The Defining Moment was to inspire passion for adventure and raise funds for our non-profit partners' crucial efforts to Protect The Places We Play™. You, visitors to the site, determined the 25 finalists by your "likes" and "shares." A CLIF panel then chose the one that best captured the Meet The Moment ideal. Once chosen, CLIF then sent a donation in the winner's name to the non-profit partner of their choice. Thanks for uploading, sharing or following along. Click for full contest rules.