Here’s a Gallery of RMI’s Images from Everest

Get to know the mountain Wendy Booker is climbing!  Enjoy this slideshow of photos courtesy of RMI.

Click here to view!

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Puja Ceremony – an Update from Wendy Booker

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.

Chorten Alter at the Puja Ceremony - Everest Base Camp

Chorten Alter at the Puja Ceremony - Everest Base Camp

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

Wendy has arrived at Base Camp!

RMI Dispatch from Jeff Martin announcing the team’s arrival at Everest Base Camp…

April 7, 2010
17,575 ft.

Our team arrived at Everest Basecamp today around 1 p.m. They left Lobuche this morning on the last leg of their trek. The tents were set up and ready for their arrival. The team spent the afternoon getting moved into their tents, their homes for the next several weeks.

After organizing their gear and getting their bearings around Basecamp, we enjoyed a nice team dinner and everyone has headed to their tents for the first night in their new “home away from home”.

Jeff Martin

Map showing elevation and location of Everest camps

Map showing elevation and location of Everest camps

Photo Slideshow of the Trek to Everest…

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4, 3, 2, 1… We Have Lift Off!

Wendy’s first update from her 2010 Everest Expedition!

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

Wendy’s Inspirational Quilt Entry

Visit the Inspirational Quilt project for the upcoming Extraordinary Measures film and vote for Wendy’s video entry! Her charity could receive $5,000 if we win!
http://extraordinarymeasuresthemovie.com/#/quilt

Wooster students to climb mountains with Booker

Courtesy of the Log Cabin Democrat.
By Holly Latimer, Log Cabin Staff Writer

WoosterElementary_1When Wendy Booker spoke to the fifth-grade students at Wooster Elementary, she stressed that she was just a “regular mommy.”

However regular she may be, Booker has done extraordinary things.

“Everyone can do what I am doing,” she said. “You have choices to make the decision if you want to climb Mount Everest.”

The decision to climb that mountain and others was one that Booker made personally. Booker was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a disease of the central nervous system, in 1998.

After her diagnosis, Booker, who lives near Boston, decided to run in the Boston Marathon.

“At that time, no one with MS was running in marathons,” she said. “I got angry and pushed back at the disease.”

After running that marathon, Booker was asked if she would like to climb Mount Denali or Mount McKinley, the highest peak in North America.

Prior to her diagnosis, Booker had been an interior designer. She was also the single mother of three sons.

“I had to learn to climb,” she said. “I had to stop being an interior designer and learn to use tools such as ice axes, picks and ropes.”

On her first attempt, she didn’t make it to the top of Denali which is more than 20,000 feet tall.

“I wasn’t experienced enough. Many of the people on my team were the same way,” she said.

However, Booker said she had to climb to the peak. She used the mountain as a metaphor in her own life.

“I was climbing a mountain, living everyday with a chronic illness,” Booker said.

When Booker made it to the top of Denali, she was the first woman in the world with MS to do so.

“I am just a normal person who faced a challenge,” she said.

In addition to climbing mountains, Booker began working with a class of fourth-grade students at Donald McKay Elementary in inner city Boston. Originally, she was just to visit the students once, but asked to continue visiting them. She shared photos of her climbs and even talked to the students by satellite phone during her climbs.

The teacher of the class Jim Cleere is even basing a curriculum around Booker’s climbing of the seven summits. At the end of the school year, Booker and Cleere took the students to a small mountain in New Hampshire to climb a mountain.

After climbing Denali, Booker decided to face the challenge of the seven summits of the world. She has mastered six of the seven.

Her next stop was Africa to climb Killimanjaro, then to Europe to climb Mount Elbrus, then to South America to climb Mount Aconcagua. She next climbed Mount Vinson Massif in Antarctica. Her last completed peak was Mount Koscuiszko in Australia. Last spring, she attempted to climb Mount Everest in Nepal.

“Everest is a beast unto itself,” Booker said.

She described the Sherpa tribe who live around Mount Everest in Nepal and help climbers up the mountain. She said each Sherpa is named for a day of the week.

“They have very strong hearts and lungs because they are born and live thousands of feet higher than us,” Booker said.

She added that most were short with short fingers and toes.

Each climber has one Sherpa who stays with them. It takes two weeks to get to the base camp of Mount Everest and two months to climb the mountain.

As Booker prepared for the Everest climb, a Sherpa who worked with another team was killed during a fall, leaving his 19-year-old wife and baby daughter behind. Booker said in the Sherpa culture, women do not normally remarry. Instead if their family cannot take them back, they often have to travel to another town to beg for food. This situation struck Booker and led her to start an organization called The Other Side of Everest. The foundation helps Sherpa children whose parent is killed to have an education. One of the funding sources for this project comes from students in the United States. In Boston, students worked to raise money through Pennies for Sherpas, according to Booker.

“My mission is to make the world a smaller place,” Booker said. “Children from this country can help me raise money for children in Nepal.”

The students in Boston raised $1,000 to educate the young Sherpa girl. This pays for four years of school.

Booker asked the students at Wooster if they would like to help her raise a Sherpa baby.

Students raised their hands enthusiastically. Currently, Booker’s organization is helping eight Sherpa children. The children in Wooster will not only raise money to help the children in Nepal but will benefit from the class material from the seven summits.

Booker did not complete her climb to Mt. Everest because of weather, but plans to go back in spring of 2010 to try to reach her seventh summit.


Welcome to Outposts from the Other Side!

Many hundreds of Sherpa fathers have been killed while climbing in the Himalaya and providing support for foreign climbers. Due to the traditions of Sherpa culture, the children of deceased Sherpa guides and porters are left destitute with few options for care or schooling. Widows are viewed as outcasts and seldom remarry.

The Other Side of Everest Educational Foundation paves a way for these families’ successful reintegration into society, by providing the resources and support necessary to raise healthy, educated, empowered children.

By partnering with public schools in inner city areas of the United States, we accomplish dual goals by educating and inspiring American youth. Following the adventures of mountain climber and founder, Wendy Booker, these children who face their own challenges in life are encouraged to appreciate opportunities, achieve their dreams, and give back.

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