Former NFL Player Set to Make History Climbing Mt. Everest

by Madison Miller

An ex-NFL player is looking to become one of many to take on Mt. Everest.

The player looking to reach new heights is Mark Pattison. He is looking to achieve the record of becoming the first NFL player to climb the Seven Summits, including Mt. Everest.

Pattison: From NFL to Mt. Everest

Mark Pattison played football professionally for four seasons. He played for the Los Angeles Raiders, Los Angeles Rams, and the New Orleans Saints. Before his professional career, he played college football at the University of Washington in Seattle. Now he is 59, but nowhere near retirement status in his personal life.

Although he had a relatively shorter career in the NFL, he began to use his athleticism in a new way after. He took up mountain climbing after his time in the NFL. Starting in 2013, he had the goal to eventually climb the Seven Summits, which are the highest points on each of the seven continents.

He has already successfully taken on Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Elbrus, Mount Kosciuszko, Aconcagua, Denali, and Vinson. He wants to climb Mt. Everest and Lhotse this spring 24 hours apart from each other.

If he completes all seven, Pattison will join the group of fewer than 40 people that have achieved that accomplishment. He hasn’t been doing this alone, either. College and NFL Coach Jim Mora has been putting in the work alongside him.

“One of the things that has been really amazing is when you put so much effort into the training and grinding up the hill. I’m so fortunate that my best friend Jim Mora is here living fulltime in Sun Valley,” Pattison said to KMVT.

He will be taking on Mt. Everest and Lhotse in about a month.

Pattison Raises Money from Efforts

His daughter, Emilia, has epilepsy and he’s raising money for a cure. His passion in mountain climbing is helping him do this.

KMVT reports that Pattison is working alongside Higher Ground, the NFL, and other contributors. In the process, he has raised over $50,000 toward epilepsy research. Beyond achieving his other lifelong goals, Pattison is well on his way to making a difference for those with epilepsy.

“I really want to dedicate that to my daughter and everybody else out there who has cognitive or adaptive issues,” Pattison said in a YouTube video.

He urged people in October 2020 to take a pledge to raise money for any task they’ve never accomplished before. The goal was to “Find Your Summit.” It would all go toward Pattison’s donation.

He also has his own podcast called “Finding Your Summit Podcast.” This is where Pattison speaks with ordinary people trying to accomplish extraordinary things.

His most recent episode featured Jerry Schemmel. He survived the United Airlines Flight 232 crash and went on to become a popular play-by-play announcer for the NBA. He is now also an accomplished writer.

Besides possibly breaking a record for the Seven Summits, Pattison has been taking people along with him for the ride. Namely, to help them understand and achieve how ordinary people can achieve their wildest dreams.