Let The Quest For 100 Summits Begin!

Let The Quest For 100 Summits Begin!

My husband, our cat, and I arrived in Japan on Wednesday afternoon so I could begin the 100 Summits project. As always, Japan was beautiful from the air: The patchwork quilt of green fields interspersed with towns and villages, looks similar to other agricultural areas from thousands of feet in the air. But the plane descended, the curved tile roofs, bamboo groves, and sparkling, water-filled rice paddies of Saitama revealed their distinctive details. We passed through customs and animal import inspection quickly, and hopped on the N’EX (Narita Express) for the 90-minute ride to central Tokyo. (Haneda airport is closer to the city

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Chemo, Hair Loss, And Waiting To Grow Again

Chemo, Hair Loss, And Waiting To Grow Again

Chemotherapy is a liar and a thief. It lies, because it makes us feel impossibly sick–so sick we cannot possibly recover. It steals, because it causes most of us to lose the physical characteristics we associate with personal identity: our hair, eyelashes, nose hairs (trust me, you’ll miss them more than you might think), facial shape, and sometimes fingernails and skin. (You don’t lose *all* your skin, of course, but it becomes a crackly, dried-out thing you might not recognize.) This was me at the start of my cancer journey: This is me today:

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We Interrupt This Program…

… for an update on the 100 Summits project and my cancer treatment. I completed my last chemotherapy infusion two weeks ago today. My side effects are mostly gone, with the notable exception of my nearly-bald head, which will likely remain almost completely hairless for at least another week before I start getting “baby fuzz.” If everything goes as expected, I’ll have a little “real hair” within six weeks.

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Ginza, Visas, and the Start of the 100 Summits Quest

Ginza, Visas, and the Start of the 100 Summits Quest

Yesterday afternoon, I arrived in Tokyo to begin the first official step toward the #100Summits Project: filing my visa application. Japanese residence visas can be difficult to obtain, but I’m hopeful my plans to climb the hyakumeizan and my publishing contract for 100 SUMMITS–a nonfiction book about my quest to scale Japan’s most famous peaks in a single year–will be sufficient for me to obtain a one-year visa.

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Onward, Into the Breach!

Onward, Into the Breach!

Yesterday, my husband and I sold the house we’ve called home for the last 14 years and moved to a rental apartment where we’ll spend the next two months (and a little more) while waiting on our visa application for the move to Japan. When I decided, a year ago, to close my law practice and take a sabbatical year to climb the nihon hyakumeizan (hundred famous mountains of Japan) the endeavor seemed crazy but exciting–a chance to face my fears and live the life I’d always dreamed of living. Now that the time has come, it’s also terrifying.

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100 Summits: Nihon Hyakumeizan 2018!

100 Summits: Nihon Hyakumeizan 2018!

Happy New Year, everyone! Now that 2018 is upon us, I’m officially launching My 100 Summits Project: Nihon Hyakumaeizan 2018! As I mentioned in December, I’m under contract to climb and write a book about the Nihon Hyakumeizan (100 Famous Mountains of Japan) as described in Kyūya Fukada’s 1964 mountaineering book by the same name. Fukada’s book has inspired generations of Japanese mountaineers (and many from other countries around the world) to climb his “Hundred Famous Peaks” – which Fukada selected on the basis of their history, beauty, and essential “Japanese” character.   The world record for climbing all 100 peaks is

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