Posts Tagged 'Everest'

Gallery of Photos from RMI

Enjoy this sampling of photos from RMI, Wendy’s guide company:

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Puja Ceremony – An Update from Wendy… April 9th

We have been officially blessed, having partaken in an impressive Puja ceremony overseen by a Lama and all our Sherpa team.  This is my third time participating in a Puja, and they never  lose their impact.  To be sitting in a circle listening to the chants, drums and cymbals overshadowed by these incredible mountains and the bluest sky as prayer flags flutter and incense sends the blessings to the heavens is pretty inspiring.

One of those magical moments when all is right in the world.

Puja Ceremony just below the Khumbu Icefall

Puja Ceremony just below the Khumbu Icefall

Great footage of our climb can be seen at http://blog.firstascent.com/.

25 year old Leif  Whittaker is climbing Everest in honor of his father Jim.  Jim Whittaker was the first American to summit in 1963.  His climb with RMI is being documented… great viewing.

Climb On!

Wendy

Just Talked to Wendy…

Hello everyone,

This is Trish, Wendy’s publicist.  I just got off the phone with Wendy and wanted to give you a quick update.

First and foremost, all is well.  The team has arrived at Base Camp and they’re getting settled in.  Wendy should have internet access again later today and will post a blog entry herself.  For those of you who follow Wendy’s climbs often, you probably remember that she has gotten sick every time she has gone to Nepal… Yep – you guessed it – she’s been sick again!  No worries, a course of antibiotics and she seems to be on the mend.

Dave Hahn has a pretty tight schedule laid out for the team and Wendy will really be busy for the next few weeks while they are acclimatizing and getting ready for a summit attempt.  We’ll stay in communication every few days and I’ll try to post an update for you when she is unable to.

Thanks to all of you for your support of Wendy’s mission.  Climb on!

Trish

Rest Day in Deboche

The latest RMI dispatch from Mark Tucker…

April 2, 2010
12,533 ft.

Namaste,

Good Friday to one and all.

A beautiful sunny rest day here in Deboche with just a bit of wind. The team has been doing some short hikes to near by ridges and the Tengboche Monastery. Views of Everest show its not the day to be on top with winds creating a plume off the summit that streches for miles.

Tomorrow we move up from 12,300′ to Pheriche at just over 14,000′. Which in this part of the world means good by to trees. By the time we get to basecamp not even a bush will be present. I look forward to eight weeks from now when we return to this beautiful forest, but can’t wait to get to the base of the Khumbu Icefall and spend time on the glacier.

Wishing you a Happy Easter!

Mark Tucker

Last Day in Namche

RMI Update from Casey Grom…

March 31, 2010
11,500 ft.

Namaste everyone,

Today was our third and final day in wonderful Namche Bazaar. We had an early breakfast and headed out the door for a hike that was part exploring and part acclimatization. The weather was calm and clear and allowed us some of our first views of Everest and other Himalayan giants. It was breathtaking to say the least. Even though Mt. Everest is still miles away it looks really BIG! We climbed up to somewhere around 12,000′ so that’s only 17,035′ more to go.

Our adventure took us to two villages called Khunde and Khumjung. Khumjung is famous from Sir Edmond Hillary having built one of the first schools in the Khumbu Valley and their delicious bakery. Along the way we stopped off at the Everest View Hotel and had a quick drink and enjoyed the view the hotel is famous for.

Everyone is doing great and we are looking forward to moving further up the Khumbu Valley.

Casey and crew

Namaste from Namche

The little village of Namche is perched high on the steep side of a mountain. It is in layers or rings from top to bottom. The base of the village is the town entrance or gate where the steep trail is the only way in or out of the town from the bottom, another trail on the top ring leads out and higher up into the valley. We will take that trail tomorrow. Small paths of dirt and stone ring around the village leading to various homes and businesses. Both animals and people traverse these paths all day. The village really has only three sides the fourth is open to the huge mountains above and cliffs below, almost like the letter ‘U’. My tea house sits about half way up the sides of this large bowl almost in the middle of the U. From my cot next to the window I can see the mutli colored tin roofs in blue, green and rusty red. All the buildings are made of granite bricks hand cut and hand placed, the windows are trimmed in wood often intricately carved and painted either green or blue. There is a window plate of thin glass. The ground is dirt and mostly barren but despite this the view is stunningly gorgeous as these enormous snow covered mountains crown the view. The colors, sights and sounds make Namche a very special place.

I awaken to the first light although it is still very quiet outside. There is no heat in this small modest room. Two wooden beds with a thin mattress, a chair and a primitive table. It is very cold and I can see my breath. The prospect of crawling out of my warm sleeping bag is most unappealing. This I must get used to and force myself to do as this is how it will be every morning for the next two months. Because Namche is considered a metropolis by valley standards we actually have an attached bathroom and running water although it is frigid. I am assured it will get hot if I let it run awhile but the idea of getting wet has no appeal this early morning.

We assemble in the common room where we take our meals together as a team and socialize or play cards in the evening. This room has only one heat source a small cylindrical metal stove which is only lit in the late afternoon. Dried Yak dung is the fuel source. Judging by what I have seen on the trail there is an endless supply.
I am up early because we all seem to sleep a lot. Because it is so cold in the evenings everyone goes to bed early, a down sleeping bag rated to zero or less is our only heat source. So getting ten hours of sleep has becoome the norm. At dawn I quickly dress and those who want an early workout meet for a quick cup of milk tea or cofee in the common room. From there we hike up several hundred feetinto a military compund and at sunrise gain the most spectacular view of Everest, Llohste and Nupste. A really great way to start the day.

After breakfast we went on an acclimatization hike to a village about a thousand feet above Namche. It was difficult to get into the breathing pattern but once I was warmed up I had a great day high in the Himalayas. So now I am back in this funky little internet cafe, clean from a shower although I have so few clothes I am saving clean ones for later when I am really nasty. I can hear great tunes jazz, blues and yak bells and a million distractions of sights and smells. Namche Bazar, although so very primitive by what we are accustom to, has come so far even in the time I have been away. High speed internet has arrived and even here everyone is connected! I’m enjoying it while I can but tomorrow we leave Namache and head even higher.
Signing off for now.

Climb On!
Wendy

Rest and Acclimatize

RMI dispatch courtesy of Seth Waterfall – Wendy’s amazing guide!

March 30, 2010
11,500 ft.

Hi, this is Seth writing you from the Everest Bakery and Cyber Cafe in Namche Bazaar. It’s a beautiful day in the Khumbu.

Our schedule calls for a rest day today in order to allow our bodies to adjust to the altitude here. It’s kind of strange to have to acclimatize to a location that is a fully functioning town. But a slow and steady approach to basecamp is necessary to keep us healthy for the upcoming climb.

Namche is a beautiful village located in a high amphitheater surrounded by craggy peaks. The town is bustling with trekkers from all over the globe which give it a very cosmopolitan feel. It’s the Sherpa capital and it’s cool to see all of the guys moving through town on their way to basecamp. It must be climbing season.

The team is doing well and everyone is enjoying the trek so far. A few of us were able to get a glimpse of Everest this morning, which was great. It’s as big as I remember!

Tomorrow we are taking a day hike to the village of Kumjung and hopefully we’ll be able to get views of Ama Dablam, Nuptse, Lhotse and of course Everest.

Seth Waterfall

Ciao Ecuador!

I think I could actually pick up Spanish, that is if I lived here long enough. I suddenly find myself actually speaking it. Or that is a form of baby Spanish? Okay. I admit… I use a great deal of charades complete with hand gestures and “sounds like”.

My stay here has gone by all too fast as I head home tomorrow. I definitely plan to return, and have a romantic itinerary planned complete with a romantic hacienda built upon Inca ruins and llamas that eat carrots out of ones mouth (how’s that for romantic? Nothing says romance more than a slobbery animal sharing a carrot or two.) Also a little horse back riding and mountain climbing, beautiful vistas and hot springs. The only piece missing is the man, but I’ll worry about that later.

After spending 11 days with 12 of them I know how a lady should be treated and my “poncho boys” treated me like a queen. You guys were great company, laughter and 8 bottles of red wine later. I thought the motto was one or none?

To RMI, I want to thank you for listening to me since I know that you put a good deal of thought into just the right personality to accompany and guide me in the mountains. Seth is wonderful and I have to commend his parents for raising such a thoughtful and honest son. To me he showed great patience, kindness and guidance. I hope I didn’t test him too much and he still is looking forward to guiding me on Everest this spring.

Time to return to home base and get ready for the holidays. I look forward to enjoying my friends and family and taking time to rest and regroup before heading back to Nepal in March.

This trip was not only to climb with RMI and get acquainted with Seth, but to experience all that is Ecuador and we certainly accomplished that. Again, it really is all about that famous, overused cliche (but I can not help but use it!). It is all about the journey, and mine started nearly 12 years ago with my diagnosis of MS. And it is ever enhanced today as I leave Ecuador taking with me a million memories.

Happy holidays to all and God bless us everyone!

Climb On!

Wendy

Short Documentary Video on Wendy’s Mission

For those of you following Wendy’s Everest climb who haven’t heard her entire story… here it is!

So I Hear It’s Your Birthday

I write this from Kathmandu.  We arrived yesterday via a helicopter rescue from the Khumbu glacier just below Everest base camp.

To fully understand why it is I am here and where I just came from… at 16,500 foot elevation there is nothing.  Rock, ice and yaks.  The yaks are everywhere and the Sherpa use the dung as fuel for their fires.  The air is permeated with the smoke and dust from this fuel source.  We wear cloths over our nose and mouth and I believe hacking, spewing and nose picking to be the number one pastime in Nepal.

Somewhere along the climb I experienced a sharp pain in my lower right side.  True to form I ignored it.  A few days later it was more pronounced so I took a pain pill.  Upon reaching 16,500 it was difficult to stand up and now we became concerned.  We hiked to the village of Penboche to seek the advice of the Himalayan rescue mission where a doctor diagnosed me with possible appendicitis and recommended immediate rescue from the mountain.  The remoteness of the region, and the lack of sanitation or any medical facilities other than a hut surrounded by yak, made this not the best place to find oneself with appendicitis.  A helicopter was dispatched and flew me to Kathmandu and an awaiting ambulance.  I spent the last 24 hours in the Kathmandu hospital on an IV under the care of a Pakistani surgeon who was more than willing to operate.  I am now “out” of the hospital and will be returning to the US as soon as I am “released” from the hospital.  They have kept my passport, visa and Blue Cross and Blue Shield card (not sure why but I think they think I am a US official)

I have to admit I would rather climb Everest backwards and blindfolded than go through what I just experienced the last 24 hours.  I found the hospital frightening to say the least.  Not speaking Nepalese or Hindi (as this was a Hindu hospital to which I was taken) and not knowing what I was being administered nor what they wanted to do was extreme.

I am now happily at a cyber cafe where the Internet is a mere 25 rupees per hour compared to the 30 per minute at 14,000 feet, and am awaiting my trip back to the US.  Oh yea, after I “get released” from the hospital.

The good news!!!  Brooke and I return August 24 to climb Cho Oyu.  I am even leaving all my climbing gear here – although I am taking my appendix home with me.  Guess we were supposed to climb that mountain after all!

As always, the universe truly does provide, and I am ever so grateful that I have once again been so very well provided for.  The Khumbu Valley is magic and the Sherpa who live there are an amazing, warm and wonderful people.  I can’t wait to be with them again.

To Dawa Tenzing my high altitude Sherpa, Dawa Gelising Sherpa our base camp and overall project manager, Nema Sherpa, along with the 20 other Sherpa… you took incredible care of me and I know you will continue to see me through my mission.  I look forward to returning to you in August to experience Cho Oyu and beyond.

On April 24th I celebrated my birthday.  Nothing unusual about this annual event except that the Buddhist religion does not recognise birthdays, so this is something very unfamiliar to our Sherpa.  True to form, Dawa baked me a chocolate cake (remember no electricity, no oven), but there it was a chocolate cake complete with a candle and a huge bottle of Johnny Walker Red!!!  My very best birthday yet with all these Sherpas happily singing something that kind of sort of sounded like “happy birthday to you.”

Another lesson learned was what it really means to be a climber in some of the remotest places in the world.  It’s never the summit that counts – ultimately, it is how you come out after a dangerous and possibly life threatening situation.

Happy Birthday to me… Cho Oyu, I’m ready for you!

Climb On!

Wendy


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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.