Saturday, April 25, 2009

Happy birthday, Wendy!

The big double nickel is what she's celebrating today at Everest Base Camp (EBC). We're tickled that you made it past the Khumbu Ice Fields, Wendy, have recovered from the flu and will shortly be on your way to Camp One.

Who's Wendy? For those of you who are reading my blog for the first time and don't know who she is, she's the gal with multiple sclerosis whose goal is to climb the highest mountain on each of the seven continents.

I first wrote about her here ... a little 'teaser' of sorts, where I included a photograph of Mount Koscuiszko (a "little bump", as she later referred to it) - #6 in her quest.

The next day I posted an in-depth piece on Wendy Booker that included how I had come to first hear about her and why she interested me so. I was concerned that she hadn't posted on her blogsite since January and said as much. According to her "Where in the World is Wendy?" site, she was scheduled to be in Nepal in March. I was a little anxious. Overly anxious, as it turns out.

Well, she's in Nepal - see my April 1st entry - and she's been posting like crazy ever since ... well, as much as she can with limited Internet access. Can you imagine having Internet access and posting on your blogsite from Mount Everest? I can't, even though I know it's happening!

One of her more recent posts that I got a kick out of was the one (go to the fourth paragraph) where she was describing how she was able to finally "take a shower". It's a dandy!

Another of her posts that I found really interesting was the one where she was describing some of the frenetic activity at EBC. (Skip down to the 5th paragraph in this post, if that's the only thing in which you're interested.) In particular, she talks about a Discovery Channel team - actually, two Discovery Channel teams are there! - that has 28 clients, 54 Sherpas and 8 guides plus a film crew. Fascinating!

She gives a couple of links to sites that are supposedly sending back photographs from their group's expedition. Hang on a sec here while I check one or two of them out ... ... ... I recommend this one ... Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. And yes, they are sending back photos ... 123 of them so far, as of this writing. It's my understanding that this is their first-ever attempt to ascend Mount Everest. Fantastic photos! Here's the link to their slide show. Just click on the large photo under "RMI/First Ascent Everest Dispatches" to begin your own private viewing.

There were two main subjects in my post of April 16th ... Sherpas, and the 50th anniversary of the first ascent of Mount Everest. A Puja ceremony, with a lama present, is conducted prior to each major climb. It focuses on the weather on the mountain, the gear and the climbers themselves ... a "safe return" type of blessing that Wendy describes in great detail here.

I know that all of you join me in wishing Wendy a happy happy birthday. Oh! And, before I forget, let me give you the link - one more time - to her blogsite.


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