D.C. lawyer out of his comfort zone on Kilimanjaro hike
Warning to D.C. lawyers: You may be able to juggle multiple BlackBerrys, secure a table at the Palm and commandeer a corner suite, but these skills do not necessarily translate to mountain climbing. So A. Scott Bolden learned this month when he attempted to scale Tanzania's Mount Kilimanjaro and came back down the hard way.
"I wanted to get out of my comfort zone," he said, "but [gosh dang]!"
Bolden is known for repping clients in awkward spots -- the contractors accused of getting a city deal via Fenty frat-brother favoritism, White House crasher Carlos Allen, "Real Housewife" Cat Ommanney. (Also: A costly, losing '06 run for the D.C. Council.) He told us he trained hard and dropped 20 pounds for the hike of Africa's tallest peak -- a fundraiser for learning-disabled children -- with several colleagues from K Street firm Reed Smith.
But after a few days of climbing, he took ill in the thin air of base camp. Bolden was determined to soldier on for the final push to the 19,341-foot peak -- but at 17,000 feet, hallucinations hit: "Flying dragons!" he said. Then he just kind of toppled over. A medic was about to do mouth-to-mouth before Bolden summoned the strength to wave him off. "Oh God," he moaned. "It was awful."
They ordered him off the mountain -- on a stretcher. Two porters steered him down the cold, bumpy path, but lost control -- and Bolden went rolling down the slope, the men chasing after him. He walked the last couple of hours, overheating through the rain forest, and visited a hospital briefly. But yes, he survived -- and still wants to finish those last 2,300 feet.
"But I just want to go back to 17,000 feet and start from there," he said. "Is that possible?"
The Reliable Source
| October 20, 2010; 1:04 AM ET
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