My name is Dave Williams, I’m 33 years old and live in New Zealand. I have always had a passion for the outdoors and much to my mother’s chagrin, never once came home in clean clothes from a young boy. As an adult I have fostered this into both a career and a lifestyle, completing a degree in Outdoors and Leadership at AUT University and working much of the last decade in Health and Outdoor Education at Edgewater College.
A few years ago my life came to a crossroads… I was in search of a new adventure, one that would test my limits both physically and mentally. At the time a good friend mine, Ryan, invited me on a sea to summit of Mt Taranaki from the West Coast and it was here where the idea of sea2summit7 was born. The overall goal being to become the first person to climb the highest mountain in each continent from the nearest feasible coastline. I soon realised that this adventure was about more than just challenging myself, I wanted it to be about something bigger and better than that too. I had recently lost two friends, both with adventurous spirits, to depression and as a school health teacher I have witnessed daily the importance of the issue that is male mental health in New Zealand. Too often we try to tackle all our mountains in life alone, brought up with the “she’ll be right” attitude and thus prevented from asking for help.
And so the inspiration to complete this adventure truly began, with the aim of raising $100,000 and awareness for the Male Mental Health Foundation, and to write about every great, hard, brilliant, petrifying moment of it, no “she’ll be rights” in sight. My hope was that these mountains would be a team effort, my steps but your support.
In January 2013 the adventure began with Mt Aconcagua (Argentina). Unfortunately I was forced to turn around on my final summit push of Mt Aconcagua after 28 days of sweat, tears and lessons, and so was unsuccessful. My next adventure brought me to Tanzania (Africa) whereby I ran 9 consecutive marathons followed by a 5 day climb to complete the first ever sea to summit ascent of Mt Kilimanjaro. My final adventure of 2013 was Mt Kosciuzko (Australia), where my friend Ryan and myself completed the 225km south to north sea to summit over 6 days. In July 2014, in an epic 14 day battle, I completed the first ever sea to summit ascent of Mt Elbrus in Russia from the Black Sea on the Georgian coast. In January 2015 I attempted to once again summit Mt Aconcagua, however again at the very last summit push my body decided it had had enough and I had to make one of the hardest decisions on the adventure yet, to turn around for the second time. Failure is never easy, let alone failing it twice, but this is what motivates me to keep at the battle, and so this January (2016) I returned yet again to Argentina for my third attempt at the summit. This time with a great crew and a wealth of knowledge built up from my previous two attempts, I succesfully stood on the roof of South America at 2:15pm on the 16th of January. My gaze is now set upon completing the first ever Sea to Summit of Mt Denali (McKinly) in Alaska.
When the going gets tough i have the ability of being able to walk away from the shadow the mountain casts, but those who battle depression do not have this luxury.
“two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference” Robert Frost