Colin O'Brady: Portland's world record-setting mountaineer - KPTV - FOX 12

Colin O'Brady: Portland's world record-setting mountaineer

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A Portland Timbers scarf has been to the top and the bottom of the globe, and at the peak of the highest points in all of the world. 

Portland's own two-time world record setting mountaineer, Colin O'Brady, was honored before the Timbers match Sunday against the Houston Dynamo. 

Not only did the Lincoln High School graduate reach the seven summits on seven continents in the fastest time ever, but he also completed the Explorers Grand Slam, which adds treks to both the north and south poles.  

Truly "Rose City 'til I die", O'Brady survived and thrived.

"It's a dream come true to be here. It's awesome," he said. 

The American endurance athlete was a soccer player during his high school days at Lincoln, then swam for Yale. In fact, after graduating from college, he and some friends rode their bikes from Connecticut to Oregon. It was the start of him testing the limits for how far the human body can be pushed.

Pole to pole and back to Portland, the 2002 Lincoln High graduate obtained his goal in 139 days. The previous record was 192. Only two of the previous 42 to attempt the Grand Slam even finished in less than a year. O'Brady did it in six months. 

The 31-year-old professional triathlete wasn't just playing beat the clock for himself but his Beyond 7/2 Project, which continues to have the goal of climbing towards a million dollars to help curb childhood obesity. 

"The whole goal around this is to inspire kids in the next generation to live healthy, active lives," he said. 

O'Brady's record-setting journey for the Explorers Grand Slam, began in January with a 69-mile haul to the South Pole. 

"Basically dragging all of my gear with a sled through minus-40 temperature days," he said. 

O’Brady’s first summit? Antarctica's Mount Vinson. 

"I spent a lot of nights in windy tents where the nylon was rattling against my ear," O’Brady said. 

Not rattled as he battled Kilimanjaro in Africa and Everest in Asia.

"On Everest, I actually made one summit attempt that failed in a storm and had to come all the way back down from 26,000 feet and I really didn't know if I was going to be able to make it at that point," O'Brady said. 

Then on May 27, the 139th day of his global trek, it was the final summit: 20,300 to the top of Alaska's Mount Denali. 

"We made it in a pretty big storm and even though that was the world record-setting moment, it was like, a few photos, a couple hugs and let's get out of here," said O'Brady. 

All totaled, O'Brady broke the needle on the world record by almost two months...

"Absolute euphoria," he said. 

O’Brady packed his Timbers scarf in with the rest of his survival essentials.

"I knew every ounce you bring with you on a mountaineering project weighs on your back, but I couldn't compromise there," he said. "I wanted to show my Oregon and Timbers pride."

It is an accomplished checklist of bucket list adventures many climbers will never live to witness.

"The views and places I have been able to see and experience will just last a lifetime," said O’Brady. 

This, after doctors told him he might never walk again.

"I was in Thailand and I was jumping a flaming jump rope which sounds ridiculously stupid and I will admit that it is," said O’Brady. "Tripped up, kerosene spread my entire body, lit me on fire to my neck."

He added, "The truth is, that was an incredible turning point in my life. That moment and overcoming that massive setback is what taught me that anything is possible."

They are teachable moments for today's explorers of tomorrow. 

What originally sparked O'Brady's interest in the Explorers Grand Slam was his manager Jenna, who will take his hand in marriage later this year. 

As for what's next? It's to reach the summit of that $1 million raised to benefit the alliance for a healthier generation. 

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