Two Pittsburgh natives are set to subject themselves to the difficulties of climbing the highest and most challenging peak in the world — Mount Everest. This is not exactly the first time they are both doing this, but they have joined forces in the name of a worthy cause and that is to raise money for the Navy SEAL warrior fund.
Michael Kobold and Will Cross have both been to the ‘top of the world’ and back. Kobold, 29, is a Pittsburgh watchmaker whose creations have been worn by Steeler Max Starks and actor James Gandolifini, first scaled Mt. Everest a year ago with Sir Ranulph Fiennes, adventurer and uncle to actor Ralph Fiennes. It was, apparently, a spur of the moment adventure. Kobold and Fiennes are close friends, and when the latter invited Kobold to go, it was a week before the actual climb. The watchmaker found himself saying yes.
Will Cross, on the other hand, is best known as the first person with diabetes to walk both the North and South poles as well as conquer the highest peaks on all the continents of the world. He was on an expedition to Everest at the same time that Kobold and Fiennes were there last year, and the two men ran into each other several times. Cross is more at home in the harsh Everest environment than Kobold is. Kobold’s first climb was not exactly his best moment, but he insists that this climb with Cross is going to be different, as he does this with an entirely different purpose.
Kobold prepared for the climb by training with the Navy SEALs in Coronado, California. Who better to prepare him for the harsh realities of the Everest than the masters of navigating through the most difficult terrain?
The Navy SEAL warrior fund, the beneficiary of the expedition, benefits the children and families of Navy SEALs. The expedition will be documented by Sir Ranulph Fiennes and a BBC crew.