Working 9 to 5

Pengboche 13,200 ft.

The air-what’s with this air?  I can breathe. I can climb a hill and not feel like the life has been sucked out of me.  Its warm and there is green stuff growing along the trail occasionally marked with pink flowers. puppies and month old yaks-it is spring down here in the lower Khumbu.  Up at base camp it is still cold and frozen.

Okay the above is what my journal entry of May 9 said.  All that is a long time ago and the brief spring weather was quickly replaced by snow and ice not only at base but all along the lower valley as well.  What was to be a few days of r+r turned into 6 days of hunkering down deep in my sleeping bag with a book and a deck of cards.  I have much to report but am now at a cyber cafe in Dingboche where we just stopped for the night on our way back to Everest base camp.

I called this blog entry 9 to 5 because when we left base, along with practically everyone else at camp, all the Sherpa headed for their villages.  To them this is just another season on the mountain and they took our time lower  in the valley to commute to home.  The route could be I-95 or 128 N for all the traffic heading down and all the Sherpa anxious for a few days of vacation.

Back to work soon enough as we will assemble at base camp within the next few days.  Time and conditions will decide what happens next!

More later when time and computer conditions allow.

Climb On!



20 Responses to “Working 9 to 5”

  1. 1 Laura May 13, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    I was invited to speak to a MS support group today here in Wisconsin and again I will tell them what you are doing and how proud I am to have met you! Keep the faith and climb on lady! As always, prayers and thoughts are with all of you!

  2. 2 Tanner Bixler May 13, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    Good luck and enjoy the time down valley…I bet it seems like every day is taking forever and you are probably restless to go up, but just know you will feel every day of rest up there. Hoping the weather changes and that you are well,
    Tanner (and the Bixler family)

  3. 3 Wendy Drake May 13, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    Hi Wen,
    I’m afraid all the good weather is in Boulder right now. It has been an absolutely stunning spring. I am glad you are safe and I hope the weather clears for you soon. I just finished the 1950 account of Maurice Herzog’s Expedition and ascent of Annapurna. It was a nail biter at the end as the expedition raced against the monsoon arrival (on June 10th that year).

    As usual, be safe and stay warm.

    Love from Wen and Sadie girl in Boulder

  4. 4 Jen May 13, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    Hi Wen,
    I know the waiting game isn’t an easy one, so in the meantime, I hope you are enjoing good books, conversation, and cards. 🙂 Hang in there, your good weather window will come. Thinking of you.
    Trainer Jen, Shawn and Evie
    p.s. Evie misses your singing, LOL

  5. 5 Tim May 13, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    Wendy – Keep pushing – your stronger than the weather! We’re all pushing from down here in the thick air!

    Tim Garrett

  6. 6 Carol May 13, 2009 at 9:38 pm


    I am thinking of you and admiring how patient you sound on your blog – one day at a time!

    Keep the faith,



  7. 7 lisa May 13, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    Hey you

    glad to hear the news about your return to BC. Can’t wait for the stories. remember baby steps

    Lisa xoxo

  8. 8 Sheryl May 13, 2009 at 11:43 pm

    Hey Girl! Glad to finally hear from you again. We all know how hard it is to take a day off to regain strength. I know this down time has been harder than anything you’ll face (psychologically). You’ve come through this, I know you’ll succeed in wherever the Mountain allows you to go. Remember, her will not yours! Stay safe…
    Sheryl 🙂

  9. 9 Neil Crawford May 14, 2009 at 10:11 am

    Hi Wendy, I’d just like to say what a pleasure it was to spend some time in the company of yourself and Brooke at Pangboche. It really did make our trek that much more enjoyable. Wishing you every success with the summit attempt. I think you are a special lady. If ever you (or Brooke) are in the UK, I can guarantee you a hospitable welcome in Lincolnshire(no mountains though !!). Keep the faith and don’t give up !!Regards, Neil.

  10. 10 Della May 14, 2009 at 11:09 am

    Don’t stop thinkin’ about tomorrow. Don’t stop, it’ll soon be here. It’ll be here, better than before. Yesterday’s gone. Yesterday’s gone.

    Well, it sort of fits. And to be honest. I just felt like singing. I’m sure you know what I mean.

    You will climb on Wendy Booker. You will climb on!


  11. 11 john k moore May 14, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    Hi Wendy,

    Following your journey; hoping you are well, hoping you get the chance to summit. Know you’ll summit if the weather permits.
    Kevin graduates from h.s. tonight up in boulder. It’s a ahange of seaosns for the boy as is your career path.
    May you summit safely and come back to those you love so much; your 3 boys & your good friends.
    Be well, Wendy. Be peaceful.
    john k moore

  12. 12 Leslie May 14, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    Way to stick it out Wendy! I’ll be thinking about you and sending you good luck and great weather! – Leslie

  13. 13 Maida Broudo May 15, 2009 at 1:39 am

    Wow Wendy………

    I can’t picture you sitting still for this long!

    Remember when my water broke on Mount Washington, and how we laughed for about 15 minutes? The fell asleep practically at Horsefeathers from our trek> Small potatoes compared to this! All is well here… girs ask about you all the time! Libby adores her room….Charlie Brennan keeps poking long, Betsy Winder found the love of her life, Terry has lower abdominal pain that we can’t figure out…tests show nothing…Mike is running faster all the time, Bobby is gearing up for Graduation and then we will gear up to meeting you, the Queen when you return!
    I love you! God Bless You!

  14. 14 Jude May 15, 2009 at 2:41 am

    Hey girl!
    So nice to read about your adventures. We’re all thinking of you and wishing you success.
    Remember: if you think you can you can. If you think you can’t you won’t.

  15. 15 Joyce and Ray May 15, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    Hi Wendy,
    We are following all the climbing through the First Ascent blog. We are so proud of your accomplishments and we don’t know many other women that are so powerful, thoughtful, kind, humorous, tenacious and brave. You are an inspiration to all and especially those that are suffering from a disease. Climb on and be safe!

  16. 16 cathy sullivan May 16, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    hey Wen.

    You know what a fan I am of down time,to rest the body,and spirit . I’m sure that when the next big push comes you’ll be prepared and ready.
    I am pushing myself this season, ,to make sure I stay commited to my personal goals. When the rides get tough you come to mind, the pedals become lighter,and I push forward. You inspire me from a world away. Lets both keep putting one foot ahead of the other !!!!!

  17. 17 Tom Devine May 16, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    Well ladies I just wanted to wish you the very best.I’am confident that both of you have what it takes deep down inside to reach the summit if the mountain allows you to.
    My gear is packed sitting nicely organized on the front deck waiting for Cinda to get home from Lauren’s volleyball tourney then off to Victoria’s ballet recital that should end about 4:00 pm then the big drive to Talkeetna to drop me off for the next big adventure Denali. lets take the time to pray for each other.
    Living the dream,

  18. 18 Helen May 18, 2009 at 12:35 am

    Staying attuned to your adventure opens eyes, mind, heart and soul. You inspire with your will-do flair – which crosses the spectrum, from clamoring over the icefall to playing cards in a teahouse while waiting for the weather to break. I’m so happy another group is blogging the visuals so we can keep up close and personal on your route, and how absolutely extraordinary that is. I’m moved by your responders’ messages and haven’t a fresh thought to add. But…drink in your moments, exalt in the experience. I do hope to connect with you again in this other world. Cheers, Helen

  19. 19 Wendy Drake May 18, 2009 at 2:23 am

    Well is anyone else patience-challenged? I have to admit, Wen, the suspense is killing me. I’ve tried to be patient…I really have. But I’m weak. Weak I tell you! Clearly it’s good YOU are on the mountain taking your time and being patient because I’m eager and excited and thrilled that you are where you are! You are amazing! Two days ago, on May 15th, Mountain Link says you were at EBC and moving up tomorrow which is theoretically “now.” I hope it’s going well. Alan Arnette’s site updates tonight reporting that winds overtook the South Col and that he didn’t believe any of the expeditions went for the summit as planned. I hope all are safe and that the winds miraculously calm for you to pass safely for a wonderful, blue sky ascent. I would gladly trade a few days of our gorgeous spring weather here in Boulder for you to get a window.

    Much love and very best karma to you!
    Wen and Sadie Girl

  20. 20 Terry and Chris May 19, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Hey, Wendy !!! The air down here (oxygenated as it is) fairly crackles with anticipation!!! We read that quite a few climbers have summited, that the weather is holding, and that other climbers are waiting for their chance to stand on top of the world! We are cheering and hollering for you!! Love, Terry and Chris

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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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