Local airman makes history with 7 Summits Challenge - WNEM TV 5

Local airman makes history with 7 Summits Challenge

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ATLANTA (CBS46) -

A local Airman and Emory student is back in Atlanta after climbing Mt. Everest. Staff Sgt. Nick Gibson took part in the final climb of what's called the 7 Summits Challenge.

Members of the Air Force took on the 7 Summits Challenge back in '05, to climb the highest mountain on each of the seven continents. They are the first military team to do that.

The team of airmen pushed themselves physically and mentally during the Everest climb.

"It is an ultra marathon with your body of staying healthy," Gibson said.

And they wanted to highlight mountains veteran face every day.

"We want people to know that our military members out there, we're all volunteers. It's about sacrifice and the character of a veteran is defined by sacrifice. It's not just about military climbing Everest, it's about military bringing that awareness of we have so many people coming home who are hurt and hurting and nobody knows around them. I just hope that seed has been planted and we can water it and let it grow," Gibson said.

Gibson served as the team medic and photographer for the two-month trek. He documented the journey from base camp through the climb.

"Being a part of this is a team effort. Everyone had their own role and contribution to what was going on," Gibson said.

Worn out and close to frost bite, Gibson made it more than 28,000 feet of the 29,000-foot climb before making the decision to turn around.

"There's a lot of danger, hazards and risks you've dealt with at that point. I said, 'the risk is not worth what lies ahead of me,'" Gibson said. 

Team members continued on the tradition of bringing an American and Air Force flag to the summit.

"And we're proud to have done that, especially because it's in honor of those how have fallen, and those who are injured and are trying to recover," Gibson said.

They end with pushups in honor of friends and colleagues who've made the ultimate sacrifice.

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