South Summit!

Success!  Congrats to the RMI team who just summited Everest!  I know Wendy wishes she was there with you.  Trish

May 24, 2010 – 5:45 p.m. PST / 6:23 a.m. UTC
28,700= ft.

Mark Tucker at Basecamp:

Just spoke with Dave via radio he and all others are on the South Summit changing O2 bottles. Some high level clouds keeping it cool so Seth had to get on the move or risk getting too cold, he is now on the Hilary step! Dave reports everyone in good shape.

RMI Team is almost there!

May 24, 2010 – 4:05 p.m. PST / 5:20 a.m. UTC
26,000 ft.

Mark Tucker at Basecamp:

Just received a radio call from Seth reporting he is approximately 10 minutes below South Summit. Dave and crew are just a bit behind. Little wind, some high clouds in and out, but overall great conditions.

At the Balcony

May 24, 2010 – 2:15 p.m. PST / 2:56 a.m. UTC
26,000 ft.

Mark Tucker at Basecamp:

All teams are at the Balcony changing oxygen bottles. The weather report remains calm winds and clear skies. The next check-in should be in approximately 2 – 3 hours, the South Summit, where I should be able to speak with the team directly.

Going For It!

May 24, 2010 – 9:30 a.m. PST / 10:15 p.m. UTC
26,000 ft.

We have not been purposely holding out till the bitter end, I promise. You all deserve the final summit push. So lets bring it to you today and tonight. We sure hope that the old adage,” good things come to those who wait”, comes true.

Tough call last night holding back the summit push, always a tricky situation, but it’s looking very promising tonight. Snowed pretty much all day, but now……… not a cloud in the sky, and what a moon! Dave reports a little windy at the Col right now.

I can’t guarantee the team will summit, but there is a group of men at the South Col tonight that have done just about all that is possible to have a shot at the top.
I can guarantee…. this RMI group will give Mount Everest the respect she deserves, and will not push harder than seems reasonable.
It’s all relative when you subject yourself to some of the most extreme conditions on Earth.

With the support we have from our incredible Sherpa staff, and the wealth of experience our guides bring to this expedition.

No worries mate.

I may even get a few winks in between the dispatches I plan to send throughout the night.

Mark Tucker

RMI Team is at Camp 4!

May 23, 2010
26,000 ft.

6:10 a.m.PDT/ 6:45 p.m. Nepal Time

A quick update from Mark Tucker at Basecamp says that the summit team is currently at Camp 4. Everyone is doing well. They have had dinner and hot drinks and are heading for their tents for some sleep before they begin their summit attempt.

We wish them good luck!

RMI Team Closing In On Summit

I have so appreciated everyone’s well wishes since I left the mountain.  I am enjoying the thick sea level air and regaining my strength.  All too soon I will be back to training for my next adventure!

Please keep the RMI team in your thoughts and prayers as they head for the summit in the next day or two!  I am so proud of them and can’t wait to see the pictures of my ‘guys’ standing on the top.

Looks Like the RMI Team is Ready to Go For It!

After weeks of waiting, RMI guide Chad Peele reports that the team is making a plan to attempt the summit very soon.  Good luck, guys!

May 17, 2010
17,575 ft.

Taking advantage of a short weather window, a little over 80 people went for the summit today. News is still coming down from high on the mountain and things are sounding uneventful, which is a good thing!

For us RMI climbers, we had several meetings today with Guides, climbers and Sherpas and decided that our time has come as well. We are planning to let a short window of weather pass and will start our final push up the mountain within the next several days weather permitting.

The team is rested and excited at having known dates for our summit push and everyone is making their final preparations. Meanwhile, we will continue to listen, watch the weather and fine tune our dates as they get closer. Stay tuned for our upcoming summit launch!


Then There Were Four


In 1914 Ernest Shackleton posted a notice “Looking for willing and able bodied men to go on a perilous journey from which they may never return” Over a 1000 applied.


In 2002 I answered a similar notice. I was one of a handful of ‘applicants’ and so began my amazing journey to climb the highest mountain on each of the seven continents. I wasn’t a climber. I wasn’t an adventurer. I had never been higher than a few gentle mountains that make up part of the White Mountains of New Hampshire. I went with my father, I think I was ten. 
But the call to attempt to go on a perilous journey of which I knew nothing but wanted to learn was too great and so with no experience in 2002 I went to Alaska to climb Denali. I did return but I was humbled. And thus began my new life….. 

My journey was further complicated by the fact that unlike Shackleton’s able-bodied men, in 1998 I had been diagnosed with MS but that above all else was my very personal reason for attempting this mission. I wanted to see if I could climb with and for MS. 

Mountaineering is unlike any other sport. It is a very solitary sport and a team effort both at once. The challenge is met by bringing together a clear, responsible decision as to what is the smart thing to do. The ego must be totally eliminated and the glory or self-adulation to reach the summit must be weighed by the total cost of what it takes to get there. As a friend so eloquently put it, “This is not a missed shot in a tennis game, there are no do overs. The ramifications of a single decision are enormous and the responsibility lies totally on and within the individual climber.” A poor decision not only affects the individual climber but also puts great risk on the people who must now give their own lives in order to save that person. A summit will only be recalled or glorified for a finite period of time. A poor decision on the way to that summit will carry a lifetime of regrets or take that life altogether. 

It is all about individual choice. Reaching one’s personal boundary and recognizing that we have a responsibility to ourselves, those we care about, the people we are climbing with and to our personal mission. The hardest choice I have had to face in the 12 years I have been living with MS was to turn back from a summit attempt on Everest… twice. I have had to recognize that on Everest I reached my boundary- sustained life above 17,000 feet, where the air is painfully thin and took my body to a place where it couldn’t function with Multiple Sclerosis. My MS could not tolerate the lack of oxygen to the brain and the enormous daily temperature fluctuations on the mountain. Everyday while others on my team grew stronger I was getting weaker. I noticed new symptoms I had not had before as well as a severe increase of those I have lived with for years. 

Sir Ernest Shackleton’s perilous adventure to Antarctica could have ended very differently then it did. Although the expedition failed because he did not reach the south pole, Shackleton triumphed over enormous odds to bring all 28 men safely home. 

My mission has been to educate, motivate and encourage those facing MS that they too have the ability to take an amazing journey with their disease. They have the personal responsibility to get on a medication to make themselves the best they can possibly be to face the challenges of the mountain ahead. Just like an individual climber facing insurmountable odds, discomfort, fear, trepidations and perseverance, we with MS face this mountain every day. But only within ourselves do we hold the individual decision to push back, reach and recognize our limitations, challenge our hearts, minds and spirit and live a fulfilling life with and for MS. It is not an easy mission but I personally know it is fate that brought us here. Our spirit that will guide us through. And the rewards are like no other. 

Like Sir Ernest Shackleton my mission ended very differently than I had expected. But I did not fail. I have attempted Everest twice. I took MS to the highest it would allow me to go. As the medical staff at base camp have documented, the bar has been set. I am a mountaineer, an adventurer, an explorer. And I’m not done yet. 


Safely back at Everest Base Camp 

Climb On! 



Sherpas Establish Camp III

RMI Dispatch from Dave Hahn…

April 23, 2010
17,575 ft.

The big event today was the establishment of Camp III at 24,000 ft by our Sherpa team. Nima and Tsering were part of a rope-fixing effort composed of Sherpas from a number of different teams. This was the second day of fixing lines on the Lhotse Face and although things seem to have gone well enough, it will still be a few more days before the route is good all the way to the South Col at 26,000 ft.

Casey Grom and Rob Suero got up early at Camp One this morning and made quick work of the route to ABC. After a few hot drinks there, they motored on down to Basecamp, arriving in time for lunch. Michael Brown spent his first “rest” day in BC editing and sorting the images and footage he’d collected over the past four days up the hill, while Leif Whittaker and I simply rested, ate and drank the day away. Scott Jones and Chad Peele also seemed content to take things easy today. Mark Tucker sorted gear, made plans with the Sherpa team and hiked toward Pumori to stretch his legs. Seth Waterfall is back in camp this evening after a quick run down to Pheriche.

Dave Hahn

2010 RMI Everest Team

2010 RMI Everest Team

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About Wendy Booker

In June of 1998, this 55 year old mother of three was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS after experiencing balance problems, blurred vision and numbness on her left side. When first diagnosed, Wendy was devastated. But it took very little time for her to transform anguish into inspiration. She immediately turned her hobby of casual running into a continuous pursuit and has now completed nine marathons.

Mountain climbing became the next conquest. Wendy learned about a team of mountain climbers with Multiple Sclerosis who were attempting to climb Mt. McKinley (Denali) in Alaska. With no previous climbing experience, she dedicated a year to hard training and set off with them in 2002. Although weather conditions prohibited the team from completing, Wendy attempted the summit again in 2004 on her own and she succeeded!

The feeling of accomplishment she experienced propelled her next aspiration: to climb the highest mountain on each continent. Just five years later, Wendy Booker has successfully reached the top of six of The Seven Summits – Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. McKinley, Mt. Elbrus, Mt. Aconcagua, Mt. Vinson Massif and Mt. Kosciuszko. Mt. Everest, the highest mountain on earth, still awaits for 2010.