David Roskelley, who climbed Mount Everest last year, is coming to speak on campus to share his experience and talk about how to accomplish difficult tasks in life.
He will be speaking May 15 in Taylor 120 from 7-8 p.m.
“He was on Mount Everest last year, and it is so timely because there has been this recent tragedy on Everest, said Kari Archibald, an instructor who organized the event. “He can help us understand the accident and gain some perspective on the sacrifice Sherpas and their families make.”
Archibald said Roskelley will be speaking as a guest for the Department of Health, Recreation and Human Performance.
“His professional side is relevant to our department,” Archibald said. “We have him here to talk about his quest to climb the seven summits.”
She said she invited him to speak because there are a lot of students interested in risk recreation, and Roskelley is a great example.
“I was invited to come and speak and share my experiences with climbing,” Roskelley said. “I have had the great opportunity to speak to a number of gros — specifically youth — since I have been back. Primarily what I share is the need to do hard things.”
Roskelley said he shares quotations from the general Young Men and Young Women presidencies and asks the audience to challenge themselves.
“I like to do difficult things,” Roskelley said. “I have three boys, and I think it’s important to set a good example for them so they can see their dad doing difficult things.”
He said he doesn’t care if they climb, but he wants them to be active and challenge themselves.
Roskelley said his desire for climbing first came when he was a Boy Scout in Chicago, and it continued when he went to college in Utah.
“I saw the mountains and I fell in love,” Roskelley said. “After seeing the mountains for the first time it unlocked something in my DNA that made me say, ‘I have to go to the top of those.’ It was like a dog to a bone.”
Keith Barney, BYU-I faculty member and friend of Roskelley, said his personality is easygoing, but there is an intensity about him.
“He has ambition and he is driven,” Barney said.
Barney said that is why Roskelley is successful in everything he does, including his climb to the summit of Mount Everest in 2013.
“It didn’t really hit me until I got all the way back home because getting to the top is awesome, and it feels really great being there,” Roskelley said. “The journey is really the reward. Getting there is just the end, but everything that leads to it is where the growth comes from.”
He said the journey was satisfying but difficult.
“You end climbing the mountain multiple times because you do what’s called rotations,” Roskelley said. “You spend most of the time at base camp before you summit.”
He said that when he got camp three he could see the summit and it wasn’t very far away, but he couldn’t climb because his body wasn’t ready.
“When you go for the summit it’s a five-day climb,” Roskelley said. “From camp three you really don’t sleep, you just rest.”
He said that he left at 8 p.m. and arrived at the summit at 6 a.m., then had to make the hike all the way down.
Roskelley said that he couldn’t have done the climb without the Sherpas.
“I think if anyone thinks that they get through life on their own, they are fooling themselves,” Roskelley said. “You need somebody as a mentor to help lead the way for you.”
He said that in life everyone should have mentors, bishops or parents and scoutmasters to help get them through tough times.
“David is an industrial health professional, good family man and a solid dad who climbed Mount Everest,” Archibald said.
She said he is a great role model for the students that have a passion for outdoor activities and adventures.
“Roskelley is a great example that you can be a great, committed, successful professional, husband and father,” Archibald said. “And then he goes to the top of world and gets a picture with the Book of Mormon.”
Roskelley said his wife bought The Book of Mormon for him to read during his journey.
“I took it to camp three, but the lack of oxygen really limits your ability to think; you can’t focus,” Roskelley said. “I was trying to read and I couldn’t focus.”
He said he was going to leave it there, but his hiking partner Steve Pearson asked him if he thought that a Book of Mormon had ever been to the top of Mount Everest.
“He said we should take it to the summit, so he carried it and we took a picture with it and brought it back,” Roskelley said.
Barney said that someone could think that it was a publicity stunt to have The Book of Mormon on the summit.
Barney said that is not the case — that is just David’s personality.
“He doesn’t attract any attention, but when you take the time to know him you would be totally blown away and amazed,” Barney said.
Archibald said that if someone went to Mount Everest and can share their story, people are going to want to hear that.
“We love outdoor adventure stories,” Archibald said. “If there is someone that we can bring on campus to share their personal adventure story, we are excited to have them at BYU-I. Their story can be a source of inspiration for all of us.
Roskelley said he plans on taking The Book of Mormon to Vinson Massif and possibly the South Pole in Antarctica on his quest to finish the Seven Summits, a list of the highest mountains on each continent.