Danville firefighter's dream of climbing in Nepal put on hold

Published: Mar. 16, 2020 at 8:26 PM EDT
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Matt Adkins is no stranger to gear, and no stranger to inconvenience.

"Something is always going wrong," said Adkins, as he prepped his gear at the base of Sharp Top.

Gear and inconvenience are two things he needs in both his full time job as a Danville firefighter and in his hobby as a mountaineer.

"All of these people showing up thinking 'He realizes he doesn't need all of that for this right?"'

It was on this hike, about two years ago that Adkins realized his hobby was more of a passion, and that he wanted something a little steeper than 4,000 feet. So he looked into climbing in Nepal.

In one month and two days, Matt was supposed to leave to climb Island Peak , a 20,300 foot mountain in the Everest region of Nepal Himalayans.

But according to the Government of Nepal, which has suspended all climbing permits this season due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the trip is off.

"They took me off the list, let's put it that way, they took me off the watch list," said Matt, thinking about his disappointment.

This isn't a trip that can be rescheduled for later this year. It's something that will now be on hold for another two years.

"It's a tough pill to swallow for sure but the mountains will always be there, I'm just telling myself that," said Adkins.

At one point, Sharp Top Mountain was considered to be Virginia's highest Peak. Change is a part of life, and while it may be inconvenient, Adkins' dream isn't going anywhere.

"I'm not closed to maybe pursuing a more ambitious objective. I've come this far, so who knows, who knows what that's gonna look like," said Adkins.

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