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Ex-NFL WR Mark Pattison on Verge of Rare 'Seven Summits' Feat with Mt. Everest Climb

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVMay 15, 2021

AP Photo/Tashi Sherpa, File

Mark Pattison played wide receiver in the then-Pac-10 for Washington and the NFL for Los Angeles Raiders, Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints, but his most impressive accomplishment is set to happen off the football field.

In fact, facing linebackers over the middle is nothing compared to the treacherous journeys over ice and terrain he has taken in recent years.

Tom Schad of USA Today reported Pattison is "on the cusp of" reaching the peak of Mt. Everest, which is the last of the "seven summits" he has not climbed. The seven summits are the highest peaks on each continent.

He has been working toward the goal for approximately nine years and is set to summit Mount Everest and Lhotse—the world's fourth-highest peak—in the next few days.

"My confidence has been building tremendously, trying to check off the boxes of the unknown, of what's ahead," he said. "My brain, the way I'm wired, I'm very much the optimist. And so I don't see a scenario where I don’t see myself on top of both Everest and Lhotse."

In 2019, NPR reported approximately 500 people have reached the top of the seven summits.

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Pattison's path started by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa in 2013. Since then, he reached the top of Mount Elbrus (Europe), Mount Kosciuszko (Australia), Aconcagua (South America), Denali (North America) and Vinson Massif (Antarctica).

He initially planned on climbing Everest last year but had to push the journey back to 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

His climbing group reached base camp on April 11 after he flew to Nepal and is now waiting for the correct forecast to make its final ascent.

Pattison has chronicled the climb on his Instagram page and is looking to raise money for epilepsy awareness and research since that is what his daughter, Emilia, was diagnosed with as a child.

On the field, he was drafted in 1985 and played in the NFL through the 1988 season. He finished his career with 12 catches for 152 yards.

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