Episode 7: Surviving Mount Everest with Dr. Jason Ahlan

Episode 7

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Have you ever considered taking part in an endurance event? How about climbing to the peak of a mountain? For most people, finishing an endurance event is a momentous accomplishment, but for today’s guest, it was just the beginning. Today, we speak to Dr. Jason Ahlan to learn about what it takes to climb and summit some of the highest peaks in the world and the events of the Mount Everest earthquake. Dr. Ahlan is a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, co-founder of Paradigm Health Group, and a member of the American Association of Orthopaedic Medicine. Besides being respected within the medical community, he is also an accomplished endurance athlete, having competed in various trail running, Ironman, and other mountain sports. In this episode, we find out about his love for mountaineering and his journey to climbing some of the highest mountain peaks in the world across four continents. He explains the preparation needed, what people should consider when taking on the challenge, and what mountain he found the most challenging. He also shares his experience of the 2015 Nepal earthquake, the events that took place after, and how he and his wife managed to get safely back home. For this and much more tune in for this fascinating and inspiring conversation with Dr. Jason Ahlan!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • We find out how Dr. Ahlan began his athletic journey.
  • The natural transition for endurance athletes.
  • How endurance events have changed over time.
  • What his mountaineering goals were when he started.
  • Whether or not a guide is needed to climb Kilimanjaro.
  • Other mountains he climbed leading up to Mount Everest.
  • Dr. Ahlan shares which mountain he found the most challenging.
  • Some of the common challenges faced when climbing a mountain.
  • Different aspects that need to be taken into account regarding food.
  • What motivated him to climb Mount Everest. 
  • The preparation needed to climb Mount Everest.
  • How long he had been in Nepal before the earthquake happened.
  • Dr. Ahlan details the process of climbing Mount Everest.
  • The elevation of the Mount Everest base camp.
  • How long it took to climb from Kathmandu to Mount Everest base camp.
  • Learn how long he had to acclimatize at base camp.
  • The amount of time it took to climb Lobuche. 
  • Discover how expedition leaders deal with the high volume of people.
  • The dangers and challenges of navigating through the ice fall.
  • Hear the events of the earthquake and its aftermath.
  • He details how they planned to get off the mountain.
  • What the mindset of everyone at camp was like after the earthquake.
  • Why rescue by helicopter was a controversial idea. 
  • The condition of the base camp after the earthquake.
  • How long it took before he was able to contact family members.
  • We hear about their experience of the long journey back home.
  • The hesitation to climb another mountain after Mount Everest.


“You could climb a lot of these mountains solo, and of course, a lot of the top mountaineers do. But in some ways, the Sherpa not only contributes to your experience, but you’re also giving back to the culture.” — @jahlan [0:08:29]

“You don’t think about an earthquake getting you at that point. And maybe on some level, that vulnerability is a little bit comforting because there’s also nothing you could do. That’s how I felt. There’s nothing I could have done.” — @jahlan [0:39:30]

“I think there’s a lot of ways that can go, that kind of trauma. You might manifest in different ways but Caroline and I found a way to support each other and kind of get through that.” — @jahlan [1:02:12]

Links Mentioned:

Dr. Jason Ahlan on LinkedIn

Dr. Jason Ahlan on Twitter 

Dr. Jason Ahlan on Instagram

Paradigm Health Group

American Association of Orthopaedic Medicine


Into Thin Air

Nathaniel Ernst

Nathaniel Ernst on LinkedIn


NATEFIT on Facebook

NATEFIT on Instagram

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