Archive for April 3rd, 2009

Hail the Hyatt

I write from a computer on the sixth floor of my oasis, the Hyatt.  Out the window is the oldest Buddhist “stupa” outside of Tibet.  A stupa (excuse my spelling on that one) is a temple with a tower, it rather looks like an upside down ice cream cone.  Prayer flags are suspended from the top with twelve rings of enlightenment to the Buddha Eyes.  I like the Buddha Eyes looking back at me as I write this.  The stupa is perhaps a tenth of a mile from my window and it is all I can see.  The rest of the country side is totally obliterated by fog and low clouds.  No flight to Lukla at the moment and if not clear in the next two hours, no flight out today.

My three errant bags arrived late yesterday, felt like Christmas!  Clean clothes, a hairbrush, shoes ahhhhh all the luxuries one could hope for.  It was getting a tad weary to wash my one outfit out in the sink every night and put it on damp in the morning.  I’m smelling and feeling like a new person today.  Most of last night was spent organizing the gear and preparing for our now delayed departure.  The expedition bags will fly possibly separately from us and reconnect with us somewhere in the Khumbu.  We prepared a small backpack for a minimum of three days travel.  How is it the guy’s bags look reasonably small and light while Brooke and I look like we have enough gear for a small country?  I have my light sleeping bag, the -40 bag goes on to base camp, a light down coat, gortex in case of rain, various things like toothpaste, sunblock and ipod and a decant luxury -my old flat feather pillow!  Imagine that a down pillow complete with a Laura Ashley pillowcase is accompanying me to Everest…be still my heart. 

But now we wait and wait and well…wait.  Weather is the supreme decision maker in the mountains and certainly rules in the Himalaya and the weather is not looking too great for a departure today.

Good thing I am at the Hyatt reminded of the exotic world outside my door and reminded of the abundance of culture, sights and sounds that await.  I think the Buddha Eyes are smiling.

Climb On!

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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.