When you think of “love” – it usually is love between persons, right?
But at our Madison Valley Woman’s Club meeting yesterday,
LOVE was expressed as it relates to nature and the love of climbing.
Our guest speaker was Wendy Gustin.
Wendy doesn’t like climbing.
She doesn’t like it a little bit.
She LOVES it!!
Wendy told us about her adventures in 2017
when she hired a guide and a sherpa
and took off to climb Mt. Everest.
It is the Earth’s highest mountain above sea level,
located in the Mahalangur Himal sub-range of the Himalayas.
Nepal and China run across its summit point.
Wendy reached the summit.
She is one of the 450+ woman in recorded history ever to do so.
The summit is 29,029 feet!!
I had the privilege of sitting this close to the slide show.
After seeing a few slides in the presentation, I grabbed my cell phone.
I knew this was going to be a treat – and I wanted to share it with you.
I didn’t take notes in order to give you exact words,
but the pictures speak for themselves.
Strap on your 20 lbs of boots, and let’s go!
The tiny airport where she landed
is one of the most dangerous in the world.
(Sorry I don’t remember its name)
Miss the landing and you end up in the mountain
sooner than you anticipated!
The steps were steep, but much more doable than
the glacier-covered, steep mountainsides.
Doesn’t look THAT steep, you say?
Those tiny orange and yellow specks
at the bottom of the glacier are the tents
at Base Camp.
Climbers had to connect to a single rope
that guided their path – and required teamwork.
No way you’d catch me climbing that ladder!
(My kitchen stool –
and the circular staircase
to my sanctuary each morning…
that’s my idea of climbing!)
Hats off to the brave souls
who love this kind of climbing!
They had to navigate these kinds of ice flows.
Wendy said to look carefully –
can you find some climbers up there??
Here is Camp 3.
From this 20,000 ft. level, they climbed
up to 25,000 ft. and back down to this camp
several different days to get acclimated
for the final climb to the summit.
The wind at this level was brutal at times.
We saw a video of the tents being blown away
(if they did not have climbers in them to hold them down).
This is the sherpas inside Wendy’s tent.
They greeted her each morning,
“Good Day, DeDe!”
as they gave her the hot tea
they had prepared for her.
(“DeDe is a term of affection and greeting
used by the Nepalese).
They also made her breakfast.
Wendy said she got pretty spoiled!
This is the sherpas’ tent.
Many of them stay the whole season
up there at the 25,000 foot level!!
Some are born at the 17,000 foot level
and are acclimated from birth to these elevations.
It is hard to imagine the exhilaration
of reaching Mt. Everest’s summit!
Have you ever had a hankering
to do something like this?
I have the utmost respect for Wendy,
her team, her courage,
her determination and tenacity,
Imagine the fitness routine,
and savings plan, for 5 to 10 years
to get ready –
strong enough –
and have sufficient funds –
to do this.
Hard to imagine, isn’t it?
Thank you for sharing your passion
and the beautiful slides with us.
My pictures of them often reflect light-
and do not do them justice,
but you, my friends, got the idea, right?
Do you LOVE climbing?
I must say, it’s not one of my passions,
but I certainly enjoyed doing it vicariously!
What is YOUR passion
that you’d train and save money
for a decade to be able to do?
See ya tomorrow.
Have a Fabulous Friday night.