Posts Tagged 'Seven Summits'

4,3,2,1 ….we have lift off!

Well gang here we go again-the first of what I hope will be many blogs on the road to the top of the world. I am commencing the journey from a Marriott in LA. I arrived this morning and have a ten-hour lay over and since I slept for a mere hour and a half last night I thought this might be a wise place to hang for the day. There is little suffering involved as I plan to order room service repeatedly, shower at least three times, sleep in a bed and just get all those little niceties in before they become fond memories. My count down to lift off really began several weeks ago as I counted out how many nights I had remaining in my own bed -but I am so looking forward with excitement and anticipation that even leaving the luxuries of my everyday world behind is okay by me.

I am ready!

The gummy bears are packed, the kids at the Donald McKay School have all signed “our” flag and made prayer flags for me to hang over my tent at base camp. My wonderful trainer Jeremee made me cry (no not from a punishing workout) but I found saying goodbye to him the hardest of all. Think Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz saying goodbye to the trusted Scarecrow. For the past seven months Jeremee has been the connection to everything that climbing Everest means. As has always been the case for me, it isn’t just about the mountain. Oh no, it is about so very much more.

To all of you who have taken my mission on as if it were your own I want to say thank you. Your constant encouragement, Sheryl joining me on Saturdays for painful long runs when she wasn’t even training for a marathon yet and really would have preferred to play tennis! To Antonella for running 13.9 miles when she was only planning on running 8, okay maybe a 9! And for stopping to do all those ridiculous push-ups, squats and v-ups every few miles in the dirt went way beyond. To Katie for listening to all the craziness fluttering through my brain, no filter there! To all the incredible women at the B+S power hour who kept me going more than they realize, the cake with buttercreme frosting was a pretty ‘sweet’ way to my heart too. You have my word I will be back to workout with you. And to the “Fish Chicks” you continue to lighten my life even though your year has been challenged and difficult’

I could go on and on since the people I have met along the way have made the road to the top of the mountain so much more. As I have always said, this mission belongs to everyone I’m just crazy enough to have to actually do it.

Yup, I’m ready so let’s get ‘er done!!!

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!

Playing the Waiting Game

Wendy's Recovery Teahouse in Debouche, Nepal

Wendy's Recovery Teahouse in Debouche, Nepal

When the team came down to the valley, they were hoping to only be off the mountain for 3 days, but here we are at 5 days and counting!  The endless waiting is mentally exhausting and who knows when the weather will clear.

Wendy reports that the conditions are really horrible and even in the valley they are experiencing a severe snow storm.  Outside communications and satellite connections have been rare due to the weather conditions.  We had hoped that communication would improve at the lower elevations, but no such luck thanks to the storm!

Wendy is diong well.  She said that a few climbers had decided to leave Everest without trying for the summit, but her expedition is sticking it out and hoping that they will be able to make an attempt by the end of May as planned.  This weather delay will push summit dates back, and we are no longer planning for a possible early summit and homecoming.

Wendy thinks about all of you all the time.  Please know that your support, encouragement, belief and inspiring words mean the world to her!

Climb on,

Trish

Success on Summit #6!

I’m thrilled to report that Wendy and her climbing partner, Brooke, have successfully reached the top of Mt. Kosciusko in the Snowy Mountains of Australia!  At approximately 11:30 on Friday, November 21st Wendy passed one more milestone on her way to the Seven Summits.

The only mountain left is Mt. Everest…

Climb on!

Trish

Mt. Kosciuszko in Australia

Mt. Kosciuszko in Australia

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

Labor of Love

Writing from the highest cyber cafe in the world…  Cost = 30 cents per minute!  Arrived in Dingboche yesterday.  Today we rest again to gain strength and acclimatize.  Tomorrow’s trek will be long and hard with an elevation gain of 2000 feet.  There are many climbers down here from Everest Base Camp as they also use this trek to gain strength and prepare for the climb ahead.  I write this from beneath the shadow of a gorgeous peak, Ama Dablam, it dominates the horizon.

All is well.  I am feeling great.  No adverse affects due to the thinning air.  This email is a labor of love because just getting here took half an hour of climbing.  But isn’t technology great?

All my love …. Namaste.

Climb On!

Namche Bazaar, Nepal

I love waking up in my tent.  The sounds of this village coming alive stir the senses.  Roosters crowing, someone calling their goats, the yak bells chiming and the tapping of the stone cutters already busy at work.  (It takes three years to build a house here.)

This will be the last email until we return to Namche after our climb in about a month.  Mentally I am trying to prepare myself.  I am already filthy as the countryside is pretty dirty and everything sticks to us.  But I have to let that go.  Today we head for Teng Boche then onward toward Everest base camp where we hope to arrive in a week.  From there on to Barunste.

Sleep was difficult the past two nights because of the incessant dog barking.  There are packs of them everywhere, and it seems when one would start he would get everyone going.  After complaining, we found out that the dogs carry on when there are animals about.  Okay… that makes sense, but there are animals everywhere.  Ah, but these aren’t just any animals.  This is Nepal and there are snow leopards and tigers!  So, after some reflection I’m kind of loving those noisy dogs now!

P.S. Today is marathon Monday.  To Maida and Mike – have a wonderful run.  I am with you every single mile.  Because for me it all started on that marathon route!  Wings on your heels you two!!

Namaste!

Climb On!


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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.