Thwarted twice by disaster in his desire to scale Mount Everest, Clintonville resident C. Michael Fairman has another shot at making the climb -- and at a greatly reduced cost for the expedition.

Thwarted twice by disaster in his desire to scale Mount Everest, Clintonville resident C. Michael Fairman has another shot at making the climb -- and at a greatly reduced cost for the expedition.

But time is short, and so are funds.

Fairman, who founded an organization called Summit for Soldiers in 2013 to help bring greater awareness to the issue of veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and the high number of them who commit suicide, said last week he's been offered a spot on a climbing team next month for which the usual fee of $10,000 is being waived.

The offer is for mountaineers who, like Fairman, had to scrap their plans when a 2014 avalanche claimed the lives of 16 Sherpas, the famed Nepali guides, and an earthquake the following year killed more than 8,000 people.

"For this opportunity to come along, even with such short notice, was more than exciting," said Fairman, a former U.S. Navy corpsman.

Since quitting his job as a freelance journalist to devote more time to Summit for Soldiers, including gaining nonprofit status for the organization, Fairman said he has had sell off some of his musical instruments and studio equipment, as well as turn to other sources to help pay for his participation in the Everest attempt.

The cost for the April 2014 expedition that had to be called off due to the avalanche was roughly $50,000, Fairman said.

This time around, if he can raise $20,000 to cover his travel and supplies, "I'm on Everest," he said -- or at least he can make the attempt.

"It's a great discount," Fairman said. "I tell my friends and family it's the price of a new car, instead of the price of a new mansion."

Andy Politz, an experienced mountain climber who lives in the Upper Arlington area and has his own organization that focuses on PTSD, is president of the Summit for Soldiers board of directors. He attempted to conquer Everest four times before finally succeeding.

"It's just the ultimate piece of real estate, the highest piece of ground on earth," Politz said. "To be able to pull that off is pretty unlikely. As skilled as all these people are and as strong and tough as these people are, it's unlikely that the planets are going to align and they're going to pull it off. However, if there is someone who can pull it off ... Mike Fairman has that skill set. He's got exactly the kind of motivation that gets you through the hard times.

"He's there not for his own glory. He found a community that can benefit from his succeeding. It would be a great benefit to them if he can pull it off. That's going to help get him out of his tent when he's cold and uncomfortable. It's going to keep him moving forward when he'd rather turn back."

Although Fairman's plan to eventually climb the seven highest peaks on the planet is tied in with Summit for Soldiers, he emphasized it is a personal mission and not part of the organization.

"I do not intend to use a single cent of (Summit for Soldiers) funds toward my part of this endeavor," he wrote in a Facebook post seeking help with expenses on the trip.

The climbers are scheduled to begin the trek April 7, but Fairman said he still can participate if he gets to Nepal by April 10.(Update:) Fairman left for Nepal on April 6 and arrived in Kathmandu on April 8. Follow Fairman's journey on his Facebook page,

"If I have to get rid of a lot of stuff that means a lot to me, it's worth it," Fairman said. "If we save one life with these efforts, it's worth it."

The Clintonville resident hopes to take along with him on the Everest climb a flag bearing the names of veterans who took their own lives, and he's offering for each donation of $25 toward the attempt to carry cards with the names of people supporters wish to commemorate.

"The bigger message here is community support," Fairman said. "Even the businesses I'm looking to get behind me, they've been supporting Summit for Soldiers. It's exciting to see the community come together to share the vision of what we do."

For more information, email Fairman at