Nathan settled on a bench at Tamworth's Anzac Park, beneath a cloudless summer sky, and detailed the perilous journey awaiting him as he attempts to fulfil a "lifelong dream".
In two days, the Group 4 first-grader, 19, will fly from Sydney to Kathmandu. There, he will meet up with sherpa Batsal Norgay, the great grandson of the legendary sherpa Tenzing Norgay.
On May 29, 1953, Tenzing and Sir Edmund Hillary summited Mount Everest, becoming the first people to stand atop the world's tallest mountain. Seventy years later, Nathan and Batsal will attempt to do the same.
But here's the nub: Nathan has never climbed a mountain before. In fact, his only preparation for one of the world's most challenging mental and physical endurance tests has been his daily ascents of the Oxley Lookout over the past two months.
Also, the duo will attempt to reach Everest's 8,848-metre peak in one month, instead of the usual two, so that Nathan doesn't miss too much pre-season training ahead of the coming rugby league year.
And, as is customary with Batsal's expeditions, they will use the same equipment that Tenzing and Hillary used, including wood-handle pick axes, and wear the same '50s woolen clothes.
This experience will be the making of me.
Nathan - a miner who saved for the $40,000 trip for three years - spoke on condition of anonymity because his family does not know about the expedition (Nathan is not his real name). In fact, he has told no one about it.
"I don't want anyone to try and stop me from fulfilling my lifelong dream," he said, adding: "I know that what I'm about to attempt seems foolish to most people, but I honestly believe I can do it.
"And when I reach the top of that mountain, I will of proved to myself that I can do anything if I put my mind to it. This experience will be the making of me, and I hope I can inspire other people to dream big."
Speaking over the phone from Sydney, respected mountaineer Steve Hanson urged Nathan to stay home.
"Summiting Everest is hard enough for experienced climbers," said Hanson, who has achieved the feat three times. "It's certainly not a place for a complete novice. He has to stop this madness before it's too late."
Adding to the drama, Hanson said Batsal was "deadset crazy".
"Among the climbing community, including fellow sherpas, he's called Batshit. So, for the love of God, don't do this Nathan!"