My brother Steve is an engineer, a sports enthusiast, a salesman a very athletic guy, and a risk-taker. He downhill skis, preferring the most dangerous black diamond, "expert" trails. He almost broke his neck body surfing in Hawaii. He runs, plays basketball, waterskies, golfs, and probably engages in a dozen other sports I'm not even aware of. And he loves to travel, meet people and party. Where I tend to need to recover from social experiences like conventions or parties, Steve seems to recharge in those situations. I love to submerge myself in solitary projects; Steve likes to be active all the time. For the past many years, while he lived and worked out of Hong Kong, he'd come back to Wisconsin for a month-long visit and would invariably host a party at his house the day after the 22-hour flight from Hong Kong. So there are some pretty significant differences between us.
So it was not an earth-shaking surprise when Steve told us that he was going to make a 15-day journey through Nepal to Everest Base Camp in October 2019. It was one of his life dreams, he said. (He has also said that another one of his life dreams is to visit Antarctica. I expect that he will start working on that one soon after he retires.) Steve trekked up to EBC with three other men whose ages ranged from 57–70. All were pursuing life dreams to trek to EBC. They became brothers and life-long friends as they hiked for 11 days, spent a total of 82 hours on the trail, and climbed (and descended) 9,163 feet during the month of October 2019. Steve appointed himself the team's photographer and took some truly gorgeous photos. I was very happy to spend time with these beautiful images as I laid out the book and communicated back and forth with Steve as we completed the final design. Steve provided a narrative for each day of the trip along with bios of his climbing buddies, guide and Sherpas. This text and a map make the book something more than a simple photo book.
Steve notes in the acknowledgements of this book that our collaboration on this book was not easy: "Initially I was going to tackle this project on my own. It was Jeanne’s idea to help me. As we were working through the process of selecting pictures, placing them in the correct location on specific days, sizing them, putting captions on them, writing the narrations and the bios, there were moments when both of us wondered if, together, we would be able to make this work. We are Gomolls. That means we have strong opinions and get easily frustrated, and we both got frustrated. But we did make it work, and I can’t thank Jeanne enough for what we produced together. Best decision I made was to let Jeanne help me … I love you Jeanne."
All true. And I love you too, Steve.
Like my other family publication, Home Cooking,Our Trip to Everest Base Campwas not created in order to sell to a wide audience. The full-color pages in this large-format photo book make this an expensive publication. Steve goal was to present copies to his climbing buddies and some family members. But you can go to the Blurb.com page for this book and look through the pdf posted there if you'd like to see some of Steve's pictures.