Massage Heights 'Backs' Member's Ascent to Mt. Everest Summit

Adventurer Embarks on World's Highest Climb with Support of Nation's Leading Massage Franchise

March 31, 2008 // Franchising.com // San Antonio, TX – With the financial support of Massage Heights, the nation's leading massage franchise, "average Joe" and Massage Heights member, Jim Curtin, embarks today on a two-month journey to climb the highest mountain in the world and to broadcast Mt. Everest to the rest of the world.

Curtin hopes to show the entire world that ordinary people can accomplish truly extraordinary goals and bring the mountain to the masses by documenting the climb through ongoing blog and video postings on his website: www.mounteverest2008.com.

Curtin has already climbed the three highest mountains in the Americas and Africa: Denali in Alaska, Aconcagua in Argentina and Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. "I am not an elite athlete nor have I set any mountaineering records – and have no plans to for the time being," said Curtin. "But I am a firm believer that the world is meant to be seen and experienced and I plan to show the world that with mental and physical discipline, we can persevere over the greatest of challenges."

By the end of the 2007 climbing season, only 2,436 individuals have ever reached the Everest summit. There have been 210 deaths on the mountain, where conditions are difficult even for the most experienced climbers.

"When Jim told us he had plans to conquer Mt. Everest, we collectively decided to throw our support behind him," said Glenn Franson, CEO and president of Massage Heights. "Our company culture, by nature, is one that encourages positive risk taking. Our franchisees are typically entrepreneurs who are looking to take risks by investing in a relatively new concept in a new segment. As a Massage Heights member, we felt that Jim's cause fit well with our company philosophies. He's an inspiration, and like us, is seeking to reach new heights."

Curtin's climb launches at a time of political unrest in Mt. Everest's region, with the north side in Tibet (part of China) and the south side in Nepal. Just a month ago, China "closed" the north side in order to avoid any disruption of its plan to carry the Olympic torch to the summit this spring by ongoing Tibet-related protests. It appears the Nepalese government might implement additional restrictions that would also shut down the south side, where Curtin and team plan to launch the climb.

Nonetheless, Curtin's journey will begin with a flight to Katmandu, Nepal. He is scheduled to arrive at the base camp, a tent city at 17,300 feet, on April 13, and spend weeks on the mountain before the scheduled final climb to the summit during the latter half of May. These weeks will be spent acclimating to the high altitude by traveling back and forth between the base camp and higher camps on the mountain, moving equipment up the mountain. Much of the organizing of the trip is being done by Alpine Ascents, a guide service based in Seattle, Wash.

About Massage Heights

Founded in 2004, Massage Heights is the premium massage clinic service that offers a tranquil atmosphere, experienced staff, soothing services and convenience at an affordable price. Massage Heights is reaching dramatic elevations in an exploding industry, focused on providing affordable luxury products and services for the mind, spirit and body. With 19 perating franchises, company plans call for 288 more by 2010, with a total of 1,620 locations within the next five years. For more information, visit www.massageheights.com.

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