Double Nickles!!



As was the case last April, I once again am celebrating a birthday in the Himalayas.


Happy to me!  I’m double nickels…..that sounds a little better.


Ah but the day began most grand.  First, we are enjoying a rest day after yesterday’s foray into the icefalls and some altitude gain.  Second, we had pancakes (made out of rice flour but that’s okay) freeze dried blueberries from the states (Cosco does that count?) real US butter…. yes its true everything’s better with butter thank you Julia Childs!  Real maple syrup all thanks to Brooke’s smart shopping in the US.  Oh! But I forgot the most important delicacy – bacon.  Yes that too imported from Cosco in a special cooler flown to Nepal onto Lukla, on a yak, on the back of a Sherpa and delivered a few days ago to EBC along with the butter and some good old USDA beef!  Remember this is Nepal, 90% Hindu and pork and beef are on the big no no list.


And third for my birthday I had a shower –well not exactly a shower as you might picture it more like a 4 gallon bucket with a pitcher.  A small tent has been erected for just this purpose.  It offers complete privacy unless there is a strong wind gust and then everyone would be so busy running around catching their own gear no one would notice a naked woman covered is soapy water….at least this is what I tell myself.  The tent floor is stone covered with a piece of plastic insulation so your feet don’t kill you. I knelt on the insulation and tackled my hair first.  Since it had not been washed in quite sometime this took a lot more manpower and soap than usual.  After the hair I work my way down to my now frozen toes. Despite the air temperature of perhaps 40 in the morning sun the entire process is overwhelmingly enjoyable and a lot of hard work on everyone’s part. Our cooking Sherpa have to gather the water from the glacier flow, heat it on a portable stove and carry it up to the tent.  No wonder we bath so infrequently.


So now I sit in my tent covered in girlie girl lotion, baby powder, creams and just great smells. The only minor set back is that my shirt, pants and camisole are not nearly as sweet smelling as the rest of me.  Bummer.


The days pass quickly despite the lack of electricity, cell phones, any phones, tv or news from the outside world.  It amazes me that I am able to sit and write this from a Dell laptop and if we can get the remainder of the technology running you will be reading this shortly.  Technology continues to defy and frustrate and I apologize for the lapses in my blogs.  It is all predicated by the ability to get the internet up and running.


In the meantime we prepare to climb to Camp 1 within the next few days.


Climb On!



7 Responses to “Double Nickles!!”

  1. 1 bobtheisen April 25, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    Happy Birthday Wendy!!!!

    You will always be an inspiration to me

    Take Care, Bob

  2. 2 Felicia DeMay-Berman April 25, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    Wow. Just want to remind you how incredible we think you are (bad English, but warm intent). I do not realize that I’m not breathing as I read your blog until I get to the end and relax and exhale. It’s incredible to be sharing this slice of your life with you. Having dinner with Nancy next Monday evening and, if she behaves, perhaps even Tuesday evening! We are SO looking forward to her being here. Please take care.

  3. 3 Chris April 25, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    Happy birthday.

    Good luck heading toward camp 1.


  4. 4 Sheryl April 25, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    Wendy, it’s so funny you used the “double nickels” term! Pixie and I were at the beach today with Liz, the fast girl–yes Good Harbor on April 25th in bathing suits!!!–and we were discussing your age (your not here to defend yourself so…) anyway I told her I thought it was 55 or “double nickels” to which she laughed, you know our Pixie. We’re supposed to have another beach day tomorrow. Who knows who, I mean what, we’ll talk about tomorrow–long as our feet are moving!!!
    Anyway Happy Birthday to you, it sounds special, if not rugged, to the rest of us! Just want to let you and the team know the Red Sox beat the Yankees 5-4 in 11 innings at Fenway ON YOUR BIRTHDAY, bringing their winning streak to 8 games. Take that all you Yankee loving climbers!!
    Onward and upward Girl!
    Sheryl 😉

  5. 5 Todd April 25, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    Happy double nickles Wendy…


  6. 6 Della April 26, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY WENDY! Double nickles in age, but single nickles in spirt.


  7. 7 Maida Broudo April 27, 2009 at 12:17 am

    I love you Wendy!

    Get to your highest peak in good health and good humor…cna’t wait to be girls when you get back!


    NYC here we come!

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April 2009
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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.


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