Greg Paul, a veteran adventurer and climber, will attempt to reach the top of the world in May after undergoing his second total knee replacement. SmartStop® Self Storage and Ortho Development® Corporation are helping Paul, who had knee replacements in 2008 and 2012, finance preparatory climbs, air travel, the expedition itself and other expenses.
“My knees feel really good, and I’m feeling ready to go,” said the 59-year-old Utah climber, whose 2012 summit attempt was denied after extreme weather, poor route conditions and over-crowding forced guides to cancel the expedition. “It has been an intense 16 months of training. Other than the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas 2012, I have done something related to training six days per week. The closer to departure dates the more focused and determined I become.”
Paul left for Nepal on March 25 and will meet his climbing team — led by Phurba Tashi Sherpa, who holds the record for the most Everest summits at 21 and has climbed more 8,000-meter peaks than anyone else in the world — in Kathmandu on March 31. His party will climb the south (Nepal) side of the mountain on the route first pioneered by Sir Edmund Hillary. The expedition is expected to take 71 days, and the climbers hope to summit during a window between May 12 and May 29 when winds at the top recede.
“SmartStop embraces people trying to reach new heights,” said H. Michael Schwartz, chairman and CEO of SSTI, a public REIT targeting the self-storage market under the retail brand SmartStop Self Storage. “The SmartStop brand has seen tremendous success since it launched six years ago, and we’re committed to passing that on by helping athletes reach new heights in their endeavors. SmartStop is an example of what is possible, and Greg Paul exemplifies that message.”
To train for his Everest summit attempt, Paul climbed, biked and participated in multiple endurance mountain and road bike races. He attempted Ama Dablam, a 22,349-foot-peak, and the third most-popular climb in the Himalayas, in October 2013.
To his knowledge, Paul will be the first to attempt to summit Everest with two artificial knees. “If I can get to the top of Everest with my Ortho knees, anybody ought to be able to climb stairs or play a round of golf with them,” Paul said. “I want to be a role model for all those baby boomers who think or feel they are too old to pursue their passions and dreams. Where there is a will there is a way!”
The manufacturer of his knee replacements, Ortho Development Corporation of Draper, Utah, also is sponsoring his 2014 Everest summit attempt. “Ortho Development is passionate about developing products that alleviate pain and improve the quality of life for patients suffering from limitations brought on by arthritis,” said Brent Bartholomew, president of Ortho Development. “Greg Paul is an inspirational embodiment of our company’s vision. We are proud to have designed and manufactured the knee replacement implants, right here in our Utah facility that will help a fellow Utahn reach the top of the world.”
After 30 years in the real estate securities industry, Paul helped create Central Trade and Transfer (CTT), an online ebay-style auction service for illiquid securities in 2010. Paul also is an owner of Utah’s largest indoor climbing gym, Momentum Indoor Climbing in Sandy, and the Momentum Adventure Center, a travel agency for people seeking mountaineering and rock climbing adventures.
An accomplished mountaineer, Paul is on his way to completing ascents of the world’s Seven Summits. He has Aconcagua under his belt, but bad weather forced him to abandon his attempts at Denali and Elbrus. Paul says that mental strength is as important as physical strength and the ability to suffer with a good attitude is crucial to success on Everest. “Disappointment is an inherent element of mountaineering,” he said. “The disappointment of not summiting does not have to negate the joy of the journey.”
Paul will chronicle his Everest attempt on his blog, www.gregclimbing.com. His adventure also will be tracked on SmartStop’s blog and social media platforms, and he will take sponsor banners “to be displayed and photographed throughout the journey and hopefully on all the summits.”
“The more you know people are rooting for you, the better,” Paul said. “I want to inspire my kids and my posterity of the importance of doing hard things and pursuing adventure. Given what I have gone through with my knees, I want to inspire people to not let their handicaps get in the way of their enjoyment of life or pursuit of their dreams.”
About SmartStop® Self Storage
SmartStop® Self Storage offers affordable, accessible and secure storage space for residential and commercial customers. SmartStop offers secure interior and exterior units as well as outside storage areas for vehicles, RVs and boats. In addition to features such as keypad access, security gates and video surveillance, the facilities also utilize well trained on-site associates to provide customers with the highest standard of service in the industry. To view our properties and locations or to find a nearby storage facility, visit www.smartstopselfstorage.com
About Strategic Storage Trust, Inc.
Strategic Storage Trust, Inc. (SSTI) is comprised of industry veterans with extensive institutional experience in the acquisition and property management of self-storage properties. Since the launch of SSTI in 2008, the company’s portfolio of wholly-owned properties has expanded to include 123 properties in 17 states and Canada that are being branded as SmartStop® Self Storage. The portfolio includes approximately 78,000 self-storage units and 10.3 million rentable square feet of storage space. For more information about SSTI, please call 949-469-6600 or visit www.strategicstoragetrust.com.
About Ortho Development Corporation
Ortho Development® Corporation is an orthopedic device design and manufacturing company focused on hip and knee joint reconstruction, spine treatment, and trauma products. Ortho Development is dedicated to making premium products and delivering superior service and value. The company is located at the base of the Wasatch Mountains in the Salt Lake City suburb of Draper, Utah.
About Momentum Climbing Gym
The Momentum in Sandy is Utah’s largest and most comprehensive climbing gym. Referred to as “the best crag in Utah” by local area climbers, our 20,000 square feet of wall space offers lead climbing, bouldering, top roping, and crack climbing! Soon we will be opening our second facility, providing our members with over 45,000 square feet of climbing terrain in the Salt Lake City area. At Momentum we strive to elevate our sport and grow the climbing community by providing the best all-around climbing experience available indoors.