nccs-logo-featured70x70Charlie Wittmack’s adventures might never have happened if not for a studious sister, Ellen, he says was a “bookworm” when they were growing up.

When he was about 10, she gave him a book on Sir Edmund Hillary, the explorer who was one of the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest. “I just really fell in love with the story, and it was filled with all these descriptions of things that you know a kid from Iowa just couldn’t even visualize,” said Wittmack.

At 14, Wittmack already had begun contemplating an unusual personal journey. Almost 20 years later, he accomplished his goal in 2010 and 2011: swimming the River Thames and the English Channel; cycling thousands of miles in Europe and Asia; running in the Himalayas; and climbing to Everest’s summit.

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