I love travel, and I love Summit, and thus have a particular affinity for spreading the Summit gospel wherever I go. I wear Summit shirts and Summit hats, bring Summit coffee and hand out stickers. And I bring the Summit flag. To Colombia and Peru and Guatemala, on coffee trips. To the Grand Canyon and Mt. Mitchell and Denali, on adventures. To Italy and France and the Cayman Islands on family exploration.
I’ve brought the flag dozens of places. It has spent nights under mosquito nets in Kenya, in a tent in Tennessee, and within a stone’s throw of Kodiac bears in Alaska. It’s been wrinkled in backpacks and duffle bags, stuffed next to a laptop computer and in a camera case. I never travel without it.
What gives me more of a thrill, though, is when the flag heads on adventures in other bags, with other laptops and cameras, with other travelers.
This here, in the gorgeous and holy-wow-that-looks-freezing photo above, is Benjamin Breckheimer. On the summit of Mt. Vinson in Antarctica. With the Summit flag.
Benjamin’s adventure, to the tallest point at the world’s most remote place, makes it seven-for-seven continents for the Summit flag. He wasn’t aware when he left with the flag (unbeknownst to me), and when he carried it with him to the other half of the globe, that this was the final continent. Frankly, I didn’t think the flag would make it to Antarctica unless I convinced my family to head there (and my wife hates cold, so odds weren’t good).
The Summit flag has been around the world, to third world countries and bourgeoning cities. To deserts and mountains and rivers. To churches and temples and monasteries.
The flag has been to Mt. Mitchell and Mt. Vinson and Mt. Kilimanjaro. To the summit of Mt. Everest with Conrad Anker, and to Everest’s basecamp with my brother, Tim.
It’s been on camping trips in Boone, Chattanooga, Wyoming and Kenya.
It’s been on the Great Wall of China, to the depths of the Grand Canyon, boating down the Seine.
It’s been riding on canoes, hot air balloons, across country on a bicycle and through Asia on an elephant.
It’s been with me as an 18-year-old to Cleveland, as a 22-year-old to Las Vegas, as a 25-year-old to St. Lucia, and soon as a 33-year-old to the Amalfi Coast.
The flag tells stories of caring about a coffee shop/company/brand/movement so much that you’re inspired to bring a flag with you on your adventures. It’s about wanting Summit to be part of your adventures, of you finding your summit.
Thanks for making us part of your adventures. Keep climbing.