4 of 7
Mt. Kilimanjaro - 19,340 ft. (5,895m)

January 27 - February 16, 2013

Where Lucille has been for the past 24 hours.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Kathmandu - Bhaktapur

Our last day in Kathmandu. Today we will go visit with Neil, another friend from Edmonton, at Bhaktapur, which is approx 13 km outside of Kathmandu.

Bhaktapur is still an untouched as well as preserved ancient city which is a great world to explore. There are very few vehicles here, so it is very peaceful and many visitors stay a few days here to escape the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu. We are told that Bhaktapur is what Kathmandu was like years ago.
After our visit we will get ready for our early morning flight to Lukla and the start of our expedition.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Why do I want to climb Everest when it is so dangerous?

I wanted to thank everyone for all their positive comments. I feel like I could just fly to the summit with just your positive energy. As I go along I will be answering questions from school children before I left. Every school had one question that was the same, and that was why do I want to climb Everest? Check out the blog a few days ago for the answer.

Today's question is another good one I received from Dante who attends the St. Edmund school in Edmonton. Why do I want to climb Everest when it is so dangerous?

Although mountaineering is dangerous, Everest isn't the most dangerous mountain in the world, and many things are being done on the mountain to make it safer. It is similar to riding a bicycle. You do things to make it safer, such as not riding in busy traffic, wearing a helmet, having a bell, use of lights when it gets darker, wearing visible clothing so you can be seen, and most importantly you ride within your limits. It is the same thing with mountaineering. I have taken courses, I have experience climbing smaller mountains, I wear appropriate clothing to protect me from the wind and cold, I am going with a good guide and most importantly I will be climbing smart. This means that I will stay within my limits, listening to my body, resting when I need to, eating and drinking to keep my energy up and realizing that the summit is only the half way point.....I still need to have enough reserve energy to come back down safely.

I have trained very hard over the past years becoming as strong as I possibly can and I am also surrounded by strong men who have been there before and who are very knowledgeable mountaineers. There are fixed ropes on the mountain that I will clip into to prevent me from falling off on the steep sections. I have done everything I possibly can to prepare, but in the end it is the mountain that decides if I can climb her.

I hope that this answers your question.

Le Téléjournal Alberta CBC 2010-Mars-29 En Français

Announcer: “At 42 years old, Lucille de Beaudrap has already reached the peaks of a few mountains: Mount Logan, the highest mountain in Canada, and Mount Aconcagua in Argentina(highest mountain outside of Asia). She is now reaching for the ceiling of the world, Mount Everest. My colleague met the adventurer.”
Lucille: "Ok, here we go. It's been probably about 2 years that I've been training solely for Everest. I decided to do this when I was 10 years old. It took me a few years to be in shape and to have the knowledge to climb a mountain like that. What do I do? I do stairs with a backpack that weighs about 40-50 lbs. Sometimes I do hills with a backpack that weighs up to 95 lbs. Sometimes it's 3-4 hours at a time, sometimes 8 hours. Yesterday was 8 hours.
I'm going to be gone about 10 weeks. So for me to be gone, away from my husband and family and work for 10 weeks, it's really something, so I need to be training to be in shape to be able to succeed. Because I probably won't get a second chance.
I'm a nurse. It's been 20 years, this year. I work for STARS so it's flight nursing, so I go in a helicopter and we go out for accidents, or to transport patients from a hospital outside Edmonton to one here. This is one of my jobs. The other, I work at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Intensive Care. So, between both I work a lot of hours each month, but there is still time to train and spend time with my husband."
Marie Beaupre (Mother of Lucille): "The thing with Lucille, there's nothing that stops her. It won't be work, it won't be fatigue. There's nothing that stops her when she's decided she wants to do something."
Lucille: "In May of last year, I climbed Mount Logan, the highest mountain in Canada. It was amazing! It was so beautiful, with snow everywhere. Mount Logan, the reasons I picked that one is because it's a beautiful mountain, it's in Canada, and also because we spent 17 days on the mountain. We lived in tents, and I wanted to see how my body would function on a mountain, in a tent, during 17 days. Mount Everest will be much longer than that, but it was a good trial.
This is the equipment I'll be bringing with me to Everest. So we'll start with the boots. These are special boots. There are two parts and they should keep my toes nice and warm. These are my crampons, that go on my boots because we'll walk on a glacier. To walk on ice that's over snow, you need crampons so that you don't fall. This is the line that will bring us all the way to the summit. So I'll put the rope between this and it will slide up the rope but won't come back down.
I'd like to bring my father's ashes to the top, all the way to the summit. I was very close to my father. He passed away two years ago, and I'd like to bring him with me on my adventure.
On the summit, there are lots of flags, they're called "prayer flags," and I'll be leaving these on the summit. My friends have all signed my prayer flags and I'll leave these on the summit.
(Laughing) I don't know what he (my father) would think of this! My father was always scared of ladders, and climbing, all sorts of things. Whenever I did anything outside, he would tell me to be very careful and now I'm going to bring him to the highest peak in the world! I don't know what he would have thought; I think he would be up for the adventure.
At base camp, there will probably be about 300 or 350 people. Most of them will try to reach the summit. There aren't a lot of days when the weather is nice and the wind is down so we might all be on the mountain at the same time, so it could be very busy. My strategy is to leave before everyone else and maybe stay in the front. That's my plan for now, but I don't know what will happen over there.
Um, I'm afraid of losing my fingers. Oh boy, I can't... I'm afraid of not coming back. It's always a possibility. But I like to think that I've trained enough to be strong enough, and that I've put enough plans in place that it won't be a problem.
I'll be back in two months! Au revoir!”

Shopping for gear

We have a free day in Kathmandu. I thought that I would do the tourist thing, but instead have elected to relax and catch-up on my blogging.

I plan on doing a bit more shopping today, and get the rest of my gear packed and sent off. All the gear gets sent off ahead of us, and gets loaded onto the plane to Lukla when there is room. People always fly before equipment, so if we don't do this, our packs may be several days behind us. I would hate to arrive at base camp and not have a tent and my stuff!

This morning we met with Elizabeth Hawley, the official record keeper of everything mountaineering in Nepal. At 80+, she is not showing her age. Meeting her is always an honor, and she has many stories to tell.

Yesterday we spent the day wandering around Thamel, which is the tourist area of Kathmandu. There are many mountaineering shops here that are filled with everything you can imagine. Boots, clothing and all sorts of equipment at very reasonable prices, but buyer beware, not all is as it seems. Much of the down clothing is actually filled with feathers and not down, and the fabrics are often inferior thus they fall apart after minimal wearing. If you know what to look for great bargains can be had.

Not to worry, my down suit is being made by a reputable company. Although I had sent in my measurements, they insisted on remeasuring me, as they thought the measurements were too small! It also has a great feature, a zipper to drop the 'seat'! Hope I don't have to use this feature, but it should help to keep the rest of me warmer if I do.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Arrived in Kathmandu

We arrived in Kathmandu last night, and after checking into our hotel - the Nirvana Garden hotel we settled in for a bit of sleep.

This morning I will be meeting with Sonam Sherpa at his store to be fitted for the down suit that he is sewing up for me. I would have loved to have had everything done before arriving, but anything that is sold in North America is too big for me. It's amazing to think that it will only take him 3 days to have it made, and mine is not the only one that he will be working on. The elevation of Kathmandu is 1400m (4600 feet) which is quite a bit higher than Edmonton which is at 700m (2100 feet) so these few days spent in Kathmandu waiting for my down suit to be finished is good for acclimatization.

This afternoon we will be meeting up with Scott and Amy, friends from Edmonton who will be starting their trip to Annapurna tomorrow. Their plan is to come to base camp after their Annapurna trek, so we will be seeing them again in mid-April.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Flying to Kathmandu

After seeing some of the sights in Hong Kong, we board the plane for the last leg of our trip, to Kathmandu Nepal arriving there at 10pm.

This is the flag of Nepal, and it is the only flag in the world that is not rectangular.

Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal, population 1.6Million people including the surrounding areas. All international flights to Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan go through Kathmandu, and despite this the airport is very small, with only a few daily flights.

Kathmandu is a busy, chaotic, polluted city yet mysterious and exciting all at the same time. We purchase our entry Visa for 90 days at the airport, then after collecting our bags we'll head out to our hotel.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Flying to Hong Kong

Luggage arrived in Vancouver OK, so it is all checked in for the next leg and Ted can relax a bit now...he was worried there might be a lost luggage problem at this point.

This is a long leg of the flight. We leave at 0300 from Vancouver to Hong Kong, arriving there at 7:50am. The layover is about 12 hours, so that will give us some time to see the sights, and eat some Dim Sum.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Why do I want to Climb Mt. Everest?

I have been asked on many occasions and it is the one question asked by every school that is following my blog: why do I want to climb Mount Everest? The answer is certainly not as simple as just "because it is there". I will attempt to give you a bit of insight into my thoughts.

As many of you know I wrote a list of things that I wanted to accomplish during my life - bucket list if you will. It went like this:

1. Climb to the top of Mount Everest
2. Run the Boston Marathon
3. Have a career
4. Build a house in the woods without power or running water (!)
5. Hang glide
6. Own a motorcycle

Now these are not just items that I wanted to do once to tick off my list, but rather they have become a large part of my life. I have been running for most of my life, and back in the mid-70's when I wrote this list, Boston was the marathon to run. I have run the Vancouver Marathons twice, and as yet have failed to qualify to run the Boston Marathon, and my old knees won't stand up to training for another marathon.
I have spent the last 23 years on my career, and I have two fabulous jobs as a critical care nurse, one of which I frequently get asked by others when I am going to give it up so that they can have my job! Never, is of course the response.
I'll skip #4 because I live in the real world, the commute to work would be brutal...but trekking in Nepal comes pretty close to this.
I tried hang gliding, but turned to Paragliding instead; they are sister sports. I have been doing this for the past 16 years and really love it. And for the motorcycle, I love riding on the back of Ted's goldwing, and two years ago I took lessons and bought my own bike. I can't wait to get back in June and take her out.
What is the common thread? Most of these require training, effort, discipline and a certain amount of self reliance. The benefit of all of these activities is that I have a lot of good friends that I consider extended families related to each of them.
Now for Everest, well I have spent as much time in the mountains as I can over the past 4-5 years, learning as much as I can from anyone willing to teach me. It has been a great journey so far, but it's not over. Follow along as I make my way.

Flying out to Vancouver

I spent the day with family and close friends, saying good-bye for a 10 week trip is difficult.

Domhnall and I left at 8pm for Vancouver and will meet up with friends there to pass away a bit of time before our next flight.

Mt. Everest 2010 #14

Gabcast! Mt. Everest 2010 #14

Hello Everyone.

Well, we're here at the airport, we're checked in,
everything is going well. We will be flying out in about
an hour and a half. So, just keep following the blog,
talk to you soon, bye.

Bon Voyage at O'Byrnes Pub on Whyte

Last night a bunch of friends and colleagues from STARS and the Royal Alex gathered with Domnhall and I at O'Byrnes pub for a bit of a Bon Voyage party.

John, a STARS medic, made me this incredible cake in the shape of Mt. Everest. At the bottom are three Ju-Jubes representing tents at base camp, and then four more Ju-Jubes on the mountain for camps 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Mini-Marshmallows represent the Khumbu Icefall between base camp and camp 1, complete with aluminum ladders for the crevasse crossings.

And finally, both the Lhotse and Everest summits, covered in snow.

Thank you John, and all that attended. And everytime that I am scared crossing the icefall, I will think of the big seracs as just mini-marshmellows, soft and sweet.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Prayer Flags

These are the prayer flags that I will be carrying with me. They have prayers printed on them and are usually placed on the highest points in Nepal and Tibet where they can flap in the wind. The belief is that everytime they flap, it sends off prayers for the person who placed them there. This set has been signed by my family and friends and I will carry them up with me and leave them on the summit along with two small vials of ashes, one from my father, and the other of my cousin Chantal. I also have a picture of Father Michael Troy who was also a mountaineer who dreamed of climbing Everest. I met him last week and I received his blessing. Unfortunately he passed away a few days after I met him as I would have loved to have heard all his stories. I'm sure that they will all be there helping me along when it becomes difficult.

Getting ready to go.

This is a picture of all my equipment and clothing for the expedition. It's all layed out on the living room floor in some sort of organized heap. It looks like a lot to me but since there aren't any stores at base camp I have to bring everything that I think I will need for the expedition.

My baggage allowance is 30kg and that will be brought into base camp by yak, and up to another 20kg that a porter and I will carry into base camp. The gear list is fairly extensive, and as a result I am not bringing in many luxury items to stay within the weight allowed. One reading book, puzzle books and a deck of cards are the luxury items that I am bringing for entertainment during the rest/weather days that we will have, and they will also be the first to go if I am over weight.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Are you a K-12 teacher?

Would you like your class to follow Lucille's adventure and interact with other classes doing the same? You can post comments on my blog, and after they are moderated, will appear for all to see. If there are questions from the students, then I will try my best to answer them on my blog posts, perhaps with some assistance from my helpers. You can also go to my profile page and send me an email. Although I will have limited access to email on my journey, my helpers will forward information to my sat phone via text messaging.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Thanks for following my blog. I will be updating this blog daily once I leave for Everest, but until then I will only be blogging my trips. To see what I have been doing with my time training for Everest click on the training blog link found on the right side of this page.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


We spent the night at Janet's, got up early 6am and headed off into the Ghost area to play. We decided on Beowolf, and it was a great decision. With the new bridge that was being put in the last time we were here, it cut down the hiking time.

We were a bit chilled waiting as we arrived right behind a party of three. Once we were up the first pitch, the sun was warming us up, and we had to strip down a bit.

A great climbing day.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

David Thompson

We got up early and headed out for some ice climbing. The weather was perfect and we had a great time.