Inspiration From Beyond the Summit

The 2017 Bray Whaler Team Summit brought our team in from around the country to celebrate a great year and plan for 2018.

The highlight of the event was a keynote address by world-renowned adventurer and emergency medicine physician assistant, Jeff Evans.  Jeff has traveled the globe for over 20 years seeking out the most unique challenges in the realm of adventure, primarily on the world’s highest mountains; including guiding Erik Weihenmayer, the first blind man to summit Mt Everest. The published author of MountainVision: Lessons Beyond the Summit, Jeff has appeared on the ABC series Expedition Impossible, The Travel Channel series, Everest Air and made numerous guest appearances on CNN. Recent humanitarian efforts have taken Jeff to Nepal to provide medical care following the devastating earthquake and most recently to the front lines in Mosul, Iraq.

In Elisa Whaler’s words, “Jeff  left us all inspired and ready to tackle our leadership roles, both inside and outside of the workplace.  It’s funny that the work doesn’t change, but the attitude surrounding the work is positive, strong, and therefore better.  Jeff’s message was magnificently aligned with our goals and culture.”

It is our pleasure to share one of Jeff’s recent blog posts. Check him out at




It’s Always Coldest Before The Dawn

The current state of geopolitical affairs has me feeling a bit unsettled and apprehensive these days. And it appears that I’m not alone in my sentiments.

As I share conversation with friends and family and listen to the anger and frustration from essentially everyone I know, I find myself trying to find solace in one of the great lessons that alpine climbing teaches us…

It is always the darkest and coldest just before the dawn.

Summit nights/mornings are always a roller coaster of emotion and energy. As you climb through the night, the ebb and flow of momentum is noticeable. The internal struggle of strength fighting weakness. The dark and cold are persistent enemies that require vigilance and acknowledgement.

Then, just before the sun crests over the horizon, a cold sets in and challenges you. It does it’s best to steal what remains. It’s as if the dark takes one more valiant pull from you as it is vanquished by the sun. It’s a palpable, corporeal feeling. I have seen it steal the gumption from many a climber in spite of being within a mere hour of the summit. It is at this point we must be the most hopeful. It is here that we must embrace our position that we have worked so hard to achieve. We can’t concede. Right now is when we need to show our strength.

It is at this point that the dark is pleading with us to tap out and turn around. But it is now that we will dig down the deepest. We must embrace the effort we have put in to get this far. We must push through because the sun will rise again. And it will warm us all.

📷sunrise over Mustang, Nepal. May 2006.
📷credit- Steven Rubin


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