Archive for May 1st, 2009

News from Camp 2

I had a wonderful call with Wendy this morning (evening in Nepal)!  She sounded so healthy and chipper – it was great to hear the excitement in her voice.

Lhotse Face Route on Everest

Lhotse Face Route on Everest

The team spent last night at Camp 2 at almost 22, 000 ft.  They are right below the Lhotse Face – a wall of ice that they will have to climb to reach Camp 3.  Wendy said that it’s a beautiful mass of blue ice, but will pose a challenge as they will be climbing without oxygen at such high altitude.  The Lhotse Face is an unavoidable part of the traditional southeast route up Everest.   Camp 3 sits about halfway up this ascending wall of glacial blue ice. From its base to the top, the Lhotse Face rises 3,700 feet at 40 and 50-degree pitches. The entire route is fixed with ropes, and climbers get into a rhythm of pulling and stepping up to ascend.  I’ve attached an image of the route so you can visualize Wendy’s location on the mountain.

Early summits estimates are now around May 3rd-5th, but the Sherpa have still been unable to get the entire route prepped.  Wendy’s expedition will position themselves for a summit attempt based on how well they are doing with the altitude.  If they begin feeling sick or really fatigued, they will move down to a lower elevation for a while to allow their bodies to adjust.  So far, Wendy said that she is feeling good.  They continue to cough and get winded just walking a short distance, but low energy is to be expected in the thin air.

The climb to Camp 3 will probably be the most physically demanding yet, due to the fact that they will be so high and will make the climb without the aid of oxygen.  Once at Camp 3, the team will sleep on oxygen at night.  Wendy said that when the sun comes out in the daytime it is actually quite hot, but then at night the cold is bitter.  They are all bundled up in down and report that the tents are pleasant at night for sleeping and relaxing.

Wendy and Brooke had a long call with the kids at Donald McKay Elementary today and I could tell that made her so happy.  She also talked with her mom and was in high spirits as she was heading off to bed.

More news from Everest to come soon…

Climb On!

Trish

(Trainer Jen reminded me last night that everyone in the universe may not know who I am!  For those of you who don’t know, I’m Trish Thomas, Wendy’s publicist in Colorado.)

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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.