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!


(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.)


10 Responses to “News from Camp 2”

  1. 1 Wendy Drake May 1, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    Hi Trish! Thanks again for another great update. I’ve just now caught up on all the posts. You’re doing a great job! Hi to Will.

    Wendy, what a wonderful, exciting experience. You are such an inspiration. Tell your brain to crank up the long term memory to store the views, the smells, the feelings of every breath, the discomfort, the elation, the crunch of every footfall, the intake of every sniffle, the tears that are bound to come. Every time I head out for a hard workout up the mountains I think of you and send strong thoughts your way… always starting uphill with AC/DC “You Shook me all night Long.” Go Girl!

    I hope you are having fun too. Have you had a good laugh today?
    What’s the difference between a goldfish and a mountaineer?
    A goldfish mucks about in a fountain;
    A mountaineer #@8ks about in a mountain.
    (Ironically posted from a web site I googled on “Clean Mountaineering Jokes”.)

    Even in a job, you can laugh a little along the way.

    Thinking of you in Boulder,
    Wen and Sadie Girl (curled up at my feet keeping them toasty!)

  2. 2 Sheryl May 1, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    Wendy and Brooke,
    UGO GIRLS!!! I’ve been watching the video blogs from the first ascent team so I can see where you’re going. I can almost see why you’re there, it is absolutely awe-inspiring! Stay safe, stay strong, see you soon!
    “There walks a lady we all know….”
    Sheryl 😉
    P.S. Thank you Trish for being the bearer of the Wendy news 🙂

  3. 3 Todd May 2, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    For all of us following Wendy I just ran across another website that some of you may find interesting? this website has information on all current Everest climbing parties and their websites, also links to what routes they are climbing and at what point of the climb they are now on.


  4. 4 Maggie May 2, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    Best wishes to both of you during this climb.
    I saw you speak , Wendy, at a MS talk in South Portland and have been excited to watch your progress up Mt. Everest. Each step you take, each point of elevation up to the peak is exciting. This is not a feat I could ever match, but your climb encourages those of us who cannot do this to continue with our own everest! My prayers are with you and I look forward to listening to you at the next event! Thank you! Maggie

  5. 5 Trainer Jen May 3, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    Hi Wen,
    Here I am back in CA and I am able to sneak a few moments to catch up on your blog and photos. I am happy you are feeling strong, and that everyone in your team is safe. Many blessings! And thanks Trish!
    Love, Trainer Jen

  6. 6 Maida Broudo May 3, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Oh Wow Gwendolyn….I have the chills!!!!!!!!!!! This is like running by the Wellesly girls I can’t imagine the high…no pun intended of being up there…………Oh how I think of you each and every day, and LOVE these updates!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You can do this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Keep at it girfriend! Oh the stories you will have for all of us!


    So much love to you,
    Maida and Bobby

  7. 7 Jonna May 3, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    Trish thank you for the updates. It is great getting to follow Wendy on her journey even when she doesn’t have computer access.

    You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face ….. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
    -Eleanor Roosevelt

  8. 8 cathy sullivan May 4, 2009 at 11:34 am

    hi Wen.
    I’m following your every move,and sending positive thoughts to you, and Brooke. On the tough days , I want you to remember that you have always found your peace,and safe place while moving,it’s your personal trail to emotional,physical,and mental health. So keep one foot in front of the other. and press forward
    see you after you have reached the top.
    East Coast Trainer,
    Cathy Sullivan

  9. 9 Wendy Drake May 4, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    Thanks to Todd on May 2nd. That’s a great link! There is supplemental footage of the avalanche that dusted into EBC (as Wendy would say) on a few of the sites. Wonder how long it will take to re-establish the route through the Khumbu Falls?

    Thinking of you this morning (tonight for Wen!)

    Sunny and cool in Boulder this morning,
    Wendy D and Sadie Girl

  10. 10 maureen foster May 4, 2009 at 11:20 pm


    I am a friend of Carols…I have MS..I might never climb a mountain…but you have given me sooo much inspiration
    Climb On
    Have a safe and glorious trip

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Posts by Date

May 2009

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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