Three Springs Employee and Local Durangoan Ascends Peaks in the Himalayan Mountains.

Kurt Blair, IT Manager of the Southern Ute Growth Fund takes the Three Springs adage Live. Work. Shop. Play to another level.  Literally, he plays at 26,906 feet (that is not a misprint).  In October of this year, Kurt Blair summitted Cho Oyu- the 6th highest peak in the world.  Cho Oyu is located in the Himalayan Mountain Range on the borders of Tibet and Nepal.  He spent six weeks preparing for his ascent and acclimating to the harsh weather conditions that can consume the Himalayan Mountains and those that attempt to ascend them.  Of those six weeks, only 10 days were spent actually climbing.  This is Blair’s second ascent in the Himalayas. He first summitted Ama Dablam in Nepal in 2005 with Three Springs co-worker Red Willow Geologist, Colby Vandenburg.

Cho Oyu- the 6th highest peak in the world

One might think that physical strength and prowess are paramount in accomplishing such a lofty goal.  Strength alone won’t take you to the top, “mental fortitude is as important, if not more so,” says Blair.  With his own determination and logistical support from Summit Climb, Blair was able to finish the climb without the use of supplemental oxygen. His adventure to the top of Cho Oyu included suffering sleep deprivation, enduring long sustained travel (2,000 vertical feet took 7.5 hours), the loss of 22 group tents and every bit of mental tenacity he could muster.  Considering the fact that brain cells are already compromised at that elevation, mental strength is just that much more difficult to sustain.  His passion for climbing, trekking, and high altitude mountaineering inspires him to constantly self-reflect, meditate, and of course, stay healthy- physically and mentally. He plans to continue the Live. Work. Shop. Play ethic at home in Durango’s back yard- but sees an ascent up Mt. Everest in his future.  For now, he will allow the beauty of Durango’s own open space and public recreation areas to fulfill his passions. 

Kurt Blair has been an employee of the Southern Ute Growth Fund for almost 7 years.  He began working here because of his passion for technology;  but we know what his real passion is- that’s adventure, and we commend that! Namaste Kurt.