When you live at or below sea level, the top of the world may seem that much further to climb.
But that’s not stopping Hoboken resident Justin Condon—who intends to summit Mount Everest this March, honoring the memory of his late father, Gerry Condon.
Originally from Dublin, Ireland, Justin has lived here since 1996. Back home, his father Gerry had spent his retirement caring for his mother, who had suffered a brain hemorrhage. Then Gerry passed away last year, from complications brought on by renal failure.
“He lived vicariously through my attempt to climb ‘the 7 summits’ (tallest mountain on each continent),” says Justin.
Justin began climbing while on a two-year career hiatus from Wall St.—initially trekking up Mt. Kilimanjaro.
“Fifteen years ago, I was 100 lbs. heavier,” says Justin. “Obese, hyper-tension, high cholesterol, too little sleep and too much stress, eating and drinking poorly, smoking—you name the bad habit, I had it.”
Since then, he has managed to climb the highest mountains on five of the seven continents—Kilimanjaro (Africa), Elbrus (Europe), Denali (North America), Kosciuszko (Australia) and Aconcagua (South America).
Arriving in Nepal on March 28th, Justin will join International Mountain Guides (IMG) expedition to Everest—climbing in aid of the American Kidney Fund, in the name of his late father.
“I was back home for several months last year after dad was rushed to the ER with total kidney failure and remained until he was stabilized, on dialysis and back home. I returned to work in NY and later headed to Alaska for my second attempt on Denali, when Dad appeared to take a turn for the worse. We had a tear-filled long-distance phone call where he insisted I not fly home, that he would be fine, and that I should climb—which I did. I got to return and see him after. I wanted him to see me summit Everest—but with that not possible, I will climb in his honor.”
“Only 420 people in the world have completed all 7 summits – 127 Americans, 7 Irish,” says Condon. “I hope to join this list—by completing Everest, then heading down to climb the Vinson Massif in Antarctica next year.
“I not only want to use this opportunity to raise money and awareness for a very laudable charity, but also to show people with weight and/or health issues that you can change,” says Justin. “Corny, I know—but also true, as it happens.”