Climbers on Mount Everest.

Fundraiser movie on Mt. Everest trek

Ex-NFL player inspired by daughter with epilepsy

Garrett Madison, a Bainbridge High School 1997 graduate and America’s premier Mount Everest guide and climber, is part of a film that will be shown at Lynwood Theatre Nov. 19 at 7 p.m.

After the movie, there will be a guest panel of Madison, Mark Pattison and NFL Sports producer Ryan Travis.

Tickets are $25, and all proceeds go to Higher Ground.

The documentary film, “NFL 360: Searching for the Summit” is about former University of Washington and NFL receiver Pattison’s trip up that mountain. Pattison had planned to also climb nearby Mount Lhotse, but decided for safety’s sake not to do that. Madison is the only climber in the world to have done that three times.

Pattison, 59, loved football, catching 59 passes in two years at the UW and 12 catches in 18 games playing a total of three years for the Raiders and Saints.

But when he was cut he had no plan for his life. He was lost with no clear direction. He was “beyond lonely” and when he and his wife divorced he wondered if he’d live past the age of 50.

He began training and started mountain climbing to take his mind off the negativity. He says in the movie that being in the mountains had a healing effect on him. He’s now the first NFL player to have conquered the highest summits on the seven continents of the world.

Former NFL and college coach Jim Mora, who has known Pattison since they were seniors in high school, helped train him for Everest over two years. That training included going uphill with weight on his back daily for two months.

Mora says in the movie that climbing the 29,035 feet of Everest, there’s “not enough oxygen to sustain life for very long. You make a wrong decision on Everest and your body stays there forever.”

Pattison says in the movie that he underestimated the physical, mental and emotional strain of climbing Everest. He called it “absolutely terrifying” when he slipped and fell down a crevice. But he admitted he paid “way more attention” after that.

Of the 20 climbers on his trip, nine quit for various reasons. When the weather got horrible he thought of his daughter Emelia, who has epilepsy. Her daily struggles helped push him to the top.

Once he got there he says he had a hard time enjoying it because he was so worn out. He wanted to get home to his loved ones safely, so he decided against going up Lhotse.

He says breaking records is no longer important. “My end goal was not to die,” he says.

Mora adds, “He’s gotten out of his own way and back into the team.”

Pattison is focused on helping others as part of Emelia’s Everest, a part of highergroundusa.org, which raises money to find a cure for epilepsy.

Kevin Lynch of Faraway Entertainment said the Lynwood Theatre has been hosting a number of local productions recently, and they are mostly selling out as because of COVID-19 they are filling just half of their 227 seats.

However, some are so popular they are having encore presentations, which he would be willing to do for this movie, too. He even said he might film the discussion afterward so it could be shown at such a presentation if it takes place.

For tickets go to farawayentertainment.com or go to the box office at Lynwood Center.

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