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History of 54 Candles

In April of 2001, the month of Allen Sherpa’s 54th birthday, a team of seven men from around the United States set out for the summit of Mount Hood, the highest mountain in Oregon. They did this certainly not to be the first and not because they were dare-devils. They did it to experience the majesty of the mountain. In so doing, they were preparing for still higher pursuits in life.

Since that day, the spirit of 54 Candles has grown and taken men and women to the heights of Russia’s Mount Elbrus, Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro, Mont Blanc in France, Mexico’s Pico de Orizaba, Mount McKinley (Denali), Mount Whitney, Mount Rainier, Mount Humphries, Mount Wheeler and Cerro Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the world outside the Himalayas.

“I would like to believe that the roads we choose depend less on economic problems or political battles or the imperfections of our external world, and more on our internal calling, which compels us to go anew into the mountains, to the heights beyond the clouds, making our way to the summits. The sparkling summits and the fathomless sky above our heads, with their grandeur and mysterious beauty, will always draw humanity, which loves all that is beautiful. This was, is and will be the magnetic strength of the mountains, independent of the worldly, trivial vanities and fusses, beyond which, at times, we cannot see the real, the beautiful and the eternal.”

Anatoli Boukreev, one of the heros of the 96 Everest expedition. (Anatoli died the following year in an avalanche on Annapurna, the fourth highest mountain in the world.)
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