KATHMANDU, Nepal - A retired Air Force colonel from the United States climbed the world's highest mountain on Friday morning, becoming the first living kidney donor to climb the highest peaks on all seven continents.
According to Navin Trital, Managing Director of Expedition Himalaya, David Ashley, 48, of Arlington, stood atop the world's highest point around 8:00 a.m. this morning.
He added that David became the first living kidney donor to climb the highest mountains on each of the seven continents with his successful ascent of Mt. Everest.
David donated a kidney to a classmate in 2017 while on active duty in the military.
"From Pikes Peak in the fall of 1997 to Rainier, Adams, and a slew of Colorado 14ers, to Tom Becht in Southern California, I fell in love with mountaineering. But balancing that and work limited my ambitions, "David made a Facebook post.
"Then, in the summer of 2019, I retired, and the world opened up to me. Since then, I've started climbing big mountains worldwide, including Tanzania, Guatemala, France, Chile, Ecuador, Alaska, Antarctica, Argentina, and Australia. Of course, the Seven Summits have played a role in this. I still climb locally, but only as a warm-up for the bigger mountains," he continued.