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

January 27 - February 16, 2013


Where Lucille has been for the past 24 hours.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Well another expedition over. I will be posting and adding pictures over the next few days. Thanks to everyone who was watching, and for the encouraging comments.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

May 31 - Talkeetna

The travelers managed to get down to Base Camp and also get a flight out to Talkeetna. They are planning to spend the night there, and visit the authorities tomorrow to close out the expedition.

After that, a ride back into Anchorage where they will either hop right on a plane or spend one night before catching a flight home Thursday.

So, they will be home sometime late Wednesday or Thursday. Who needed a trade for Friday?

This will be my last post on the expedition. Lucille will post more once she gets back to civilization.

Thanks for following.

Back at Basecamp


We arrived at Camp 3 - below Motorcycle hill - at 8pm last night and put up the tent. The plan was to get up early so that we could safely get to base camp. Since Denali has had very little snow this year, the snow bridges over the crevasses are almost non-existent so the only way to make it through safely is while the bridges are frozen in the middle of the night. Our friends the French Canadian team of 6 showed up at 11pm in a blizzard. We slept until 0130 when Domhnall woke up noting that the blizzard was over and visibility was good. We quickly packed up and started heading down. The difficult part was keeping the two pulks (sleds) with about 200lbs of stuff on them tracking down the slope.

This was the view of the sunrise.

We arrived at base camp at 9am after almost 7 hours of non-stop moving. Once we arrived we waited about 5 hours for the sky to clear so that we could get picked up. This is a photo of Domhnall resting while we waited for our flight out.

May 30 - Back to Camp 3

Yesterday, the team made it all the way down to Camp 3 at 11,000', collecting all of their gear and extra food on the way.

The plan for today is to get a really early start, descend all the way to Base Camp, and with any luck, get a flight back out to Talkeetna. You might think it is all downhill from here, and you would be mostly right, except for Heartbreak Hill, which is a 690' rise just before they arrive at basecamp.

Then they will reschedule their return flights for home. All I need to know is....what time should I pick them up at the airport tomorrow?

Monday, May 30, 2011

Check-in/OK message from Go Spot Go SPOT Personal Tracker

Go Spot Go
Latitude:63.07439
Longitude:-151.14659
GPS location Date/Time:05/31/2011 09:50:07 NPT

Message:Denali Eh OK.

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/4wx6k/63.07439N/151.14659W

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Down to Camp 3



Today was a long day. We got up and packed up which took about 2 hours then headed down to basin camp at 14,000 feet. I took these pictures out our tent flap before we left. This is where we were only 24 hours ago, making our way to the summit. I counted over 40 people heading up.

We are feeling good after our summit yesterday, but we are moving slower than usual. We headed down the ridge to the fixed ropes. We stopped to speak with many people on our way down, and they were all asking the same questions.....had we summited and how did it go? The temperature was hot and sunny, and were we ever glad to be going down instead of up. At basin camp Domhnall dug up the cache we had left behind, and fried up some cheese sandwiches for us. After about an hour we continued to head down, but now with a sled. Everything was going well until we reached Windy Corner......not sure why it is called that.....other than it is always WINDY!!!!! Just beyond the weather deteriorated and visibility was significantly decreased. I sometimes lost sight of the next wand that is used to keep us on the right track. Eventually we made it down to Camp 3 just below Motorcycle hill.

May 29 - Camp 5 - Summit - Camp 5


Lucille phoned on the Sat Phone after summitting, and with quick breaths described how she still has an in with the weather gods. Despite concerns early in the day about high winds possibly stopping their attempt, she says they had a sunny blue sky with no wind at the summit.

They returned to camp 5 to sleep, but over the next couple of days you can expect a rapid descent. Probably camp 3 today, and base camp tomorrow. They will probably be sleeping in their own beds by Friday night.

Check-in/OK message from Go Spot Go SPOT Personal Tracker

Go Spot Go
Latitude:63.07864
Longitude:-151.05376
GPS location Date/Time:05/30/2011 13:10:28 NPT

Message:Denali Eh OK.

See my blog at http://myfriendlucille.blogspot.com

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/4wRqm/63.07864N/151.05376W

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Go Spot Go

You have received this message because Go Spot Go has added you to their SPOT contact list.

Every day is an Adventure. Share Yours.
http://www.findmespot.com

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Check-in/OK message from Go Spot Go SPOT Personal Tracker FROM THE SUMMIT !!!!!

Go Spot Go
Latitude:63.06913
Longitude:-151.00627
GPS location Date/Time:05/30/2011 09:12:35 NPT

Message:Denali Eh OK.

See my blog at http://myfriendlucille.blogspot.com

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/4wOPR/63.06913N/151.00627W

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Summit!!!!!!





Summit day!!!!

We woke up at 0630 where I started melting snow and making breakfast for us. After about 1 1/2 hours we headed out the tent, ready to head for the summit, but the mountain was not ready for us. It was windy....too windy to go for the summit. We wandered around camp talking with other teams, no one else was prepare to make a move with the conditions we noted on the summit. After a while we headed back into the tent, into our sleeping bags to warm up and Domhnall made us some soup. Around 11am Domhnall noted that the wind direction had changed thus making a summit attempt possible. We rushed to put on our crampons, get our packs and head off. After the traverse it got windy and much colder. I pulled out my down pants and jacket. We all put on all the clothing we had with us including face masks and goggles.
Eventually we reached the football field, and the wind calmed down, making it possible for us to remove our down clothing. Just one more hill and then we were on the summit ridge. After 8 hours we were standing on the summit in calm wind and sunny skies. Beautiful.

May 29 - Run for the Summit.

This is it, the summit push is on.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Check-in/OK message from Go Spot Go SPOT Personal Tracker

Go Spot Go
Latitude:63.07891
Longitude:-151.05389
GPS location Date/Time:05/29/2011 00:56:27 NPT

Message:Denali Eh OK.

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/4vaXA/63.07891N/151.05389W

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May 28 - Rest Day

Just got news that they are officially resting today at 17,200'. Watch for the summit attempt tomorrow.

May 27 - Move to Camp 5 - 17,200'



Today was a move to the high camp at 17,200' (5,200m). They are now staged for a summit attempt, weather permitting. May 28 may be a rest day, but the weather forecast would indicate that if they are rested enough already, that they should push for the summit right away. If they don't go for it this weekend, snow and wind is on the way.

...ABOVE 14 THOUSAND FEET...

.FRIDAY NIGHT...
MAINLY CLEAR.
LOW AT 17 THOUSAND FEET...5° BELOW (-20C).
WINDS FROM 17 THOUSAND FEET TO THE SUMMIT...EAST 15 MPH.

.SATURDAY...
MOSTLY SUNNY.
HIGH AT 17 THOUSAND FEET...5° ABOVE (-15C).
WINDS FROM 17 THOUSAND FEET TO THE SUMMIT...EAST 15 MPH.

.OUTLOOK SUNDAY THROUGH TUESDAY...

PARTLY CLOUDY TOWARD THE SUMMIT.
MOSTLY CLOUDY AT LOWER ELEVATIONS.
SNOW LIKELY BY TUESDAY.
SUMMIT WINDS...EAST 20 MPH OR LESS SUNDAY BECOMING
SOUTH MONDAY...INCREASING TO 50 MPH BY TUESDAY.

Here is what the possible route to the summit would be. Watch the Spot for further developments.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

May 26 - Rest Day

Today was a day to rest up before moving to the 17,200' camp 5 tomorrow. Looking for the right weather to make a summit bid.

May 25 - Carry to 17,000'



Today was a carry of supplies to 17,000' in preparation for the move to camp 5. Returned to camp 4 to sleep and continue with acclimatization. Move to camp 5 is coming soon.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Check-in/OK message from Go Spot Go SPOT Personal Tracker

Go Spot Go
Latitude:63.0699
Longitude:-151.07489
GPS location Date/Time:05/26/2011 11:40:59 NPT

Message:Denali Eh OK.

See my blog at http://myfriendlucille.blogspot.com

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/4uDlG/63.0699/\-151.07489

If the above link does not work, try this link:
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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

May 24 - Rest Day

Today, the guys descended to windy corner to retrieve their cache and bring it up to camp. Lucille took a rest day. The plan for tomorrow, weather and restfulness permitting, will be a carry to near the 17,000' camp 5, and descend back to camp 4 to sleep.

The following voice message left by Lucille is chopped up at the beginning and end, but has some good content overall.

Listen to Lucille.

Check-in/OK message from Go Spot Go SPOT Personal Tracker

Go Spot Go
Latitude:63.06989
Longitude:-151.07547
GPS location Date/Time:05/25/2011 03:06:46 NPT

Message:Denali Eh OK.

See my blog at http://myfriendlucille.blogspot.com

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/4tYi5/63.06989/\-151.07547

If the above link does not work, try this link:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=63.06989,-151.07547&ll=63.06989,-151.07547&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

May 23 - Head Wall


Headed up to the head wall ropes - 15,675' (4777m) for acclimatization in preparation for a move to camp 5. Returned to camp 4 to sleep.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Check-in/OK message from Go Spot Go SPOT Personal Tracker

Go Spot Go
Latitude:63.07001
Longitude:-151.07555
GPS location Date/Time:05/24/2011 09:40:25 NPT

Message:Denali Eh OK.

See my blog at http://myfriendlucille.blogspot.com

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/4tCB4/63.07001/\-151.07555

If the above link does not work, try this link:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=63.07001,-151.07555&ll=63.07001,-151.07555&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

May 22 - Move to Camp 4


Listen to Lucille and then to Mike

Moved to Camp 4 at 14,200'. Tomorrow will either be a rest day, a weather day, or head up to the headwall ropes for an acclimatization day. Watch the spot for the answer.

Only one more camp at 17,200' before the summit at 20,320', and the weather forecast looks good this week.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Check-in/OK message from Go Spot Go SPOT Personal Tracker

Go Spot Go
Latitude:63.07064
Longitude:-151.07542
GPS location Date/Time:05/23/2011 11:30:12 NPT

Message:Denali Eh OK.

See my blog at http://myfriendlucille.blogspot.com

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/4snls/63.07064/\-151.07542

If the above link does not work, try this link:
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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Check-in/OK message from Go Spot Go SPOT Personal Tracker

Go Spot Go
Latitude:63.074
Longitude:-151.14612
GPS location Date/Time:05/22/2011 08:11:15 NPT

Message:Denali Eh OK.

See my blog at http://myfriendlucille.blogspot.com

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/4sFW-/63.074/\-151.14612

If the above link does not work, try this link:
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May 21 - Carry to Windy Corner 13,500'


Carry to camp 4 (Basin camp) – 14,200’ (4328m). Most people carry to just beyond Windy Corner at 13,500' and stash their carry there, just before the actual camp 4. They will pick it up when they move to camp 4 tomorrow or the next day. For now, climb high - sleep low, will allow their bodies to adjust to the new altitude.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Weather on Denali

The team is staying put at camp 3 today, not so much for a needed rest day, but because they are weathered in. They described it as a white-out and are looking for a forecast for the next few days.

Mount McKinley is located in the subpolar low, a region where arctic air moving from the north converges
with warmer air moving from the south at a latitude of 60 degrees (Denali is located at 63 degrees). This convergence creates a belt of unstable weather at this latitude. Associated with the subpolar low is a semi-permanent area of low pressure known as the Aleutian Low, located in the vicinity of the Aleutian Islands. Weather systems generated or passing through the Aleutian Low often take a straight path for the Alaska Ranges and hit Mt. McKinley with little warning. Mt. McKinley also has a reputation for streaky weather with long periods of continuous bad weather or more rarely, long periods of good weather. This explains why inexperienced, clueless climbers may reach the summit while veteran climbers die on its slopes.

As a result of its proximity to the Aleutian Low, the weather on Denali is unlike the weather on any other major mountain in the world. Extreme cold is another hallmark of Denali’s weather and temperatures routinely fall to -40 F (-40 C). Unfamiliarity with McKinley’s weather is an underlying cause of many accidents, particularly among climbers who view the mountain as “just another prize in the trophy case” or as a warm-up for Mt. Everest. Weather patterns generally fall under the following categories:

HIGH WINDS. Mt. McKinley undergoes long periods of clear skies and high winds, and these conditions are most often seen during early part of the climbing season (April and May). During these periods, many of the mountain slopes are swept clean of snow leaving behind solid blue ice and testing the cramponing skills of even the most experienced climbers. Denali Pass and the upper part of the West Rib are especially notorious sites for accidents when these conditions occur.

During such weather, many climbers are lulled by the clear skies into going for the summit. However, these winds routinely exceed 100 mph and have been known to pick climbers up and throw them down the slopes. Windstorms often come with little if any warning and are thus amongst the most feared weather patterns on the mountain. The first signs of increasing high winds are the appearance of lenticular cloud caps over the summit. Many of the accidents in 1992, Denali’s deadliest year, occurred during such a weather pattern.

Check-in/OK message from Go Spot Go SPOT Personal Tracker

Go Spot Go
Latitude:63.07455
Longitude:-151.14767
GPS location Date/Time:05/21/2011 01:40:36 NPT

Message:Denali Eh OK.

See my blog at http://myfriendlucille.blogspot.com

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/4rVZ3/63.07455/\-151.14767

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May 20


It sure looks to me like they skipped camp 2 yesterday, and went straight on to camp 3 – 11,000’ (3300m) distance 1.2 miles – 2km from camp 2. Camp 3 is also called motorcycle hill.


-Ted

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Check-in/OK message from Go Spot Go SPOT Personal Tracker

Go Spot Go
Latitude:63.07467
Longitude:-151.14641
GPS location Date/Time:05/20/2011 11:16:59 NPT

Message:Denali Eh OK.

See my blog at http://myfriendlucille.blogspot.com

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/4rBpf/63.07467/\-151.14641

If the above link does not work, try this link:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=63.07467,-151.14641&ll=63.07467,-151.14641&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Move to camp 2

Move to camp 2 – 9700’ (2900m) distance 3.2 miles – 5.12km. This is a fairly short day. Due to the lowish altitude and relatively small amount of elevation gain most people do a move to camp 2 in one go.

We will still move as a roped team due to the continuing crevasse danger. We also tie in our sleds to the rope to lessen the chance of the sled falling in on us in the event of one of us falling into a crevasse.

Today we should be settled in as a team, getting used to moving together as well as getting more comfortable with pulling sleds. It has been a few years for us since we have done this, but by today we should be feeling comfortable. Despite the putting the majority of the weight in the sleds are packs are still quite heavy. Motrin will help with the aching muscles tonight.

Check-in/OK message from Go Spot Go SPOT Personal Tracker

Go Spot Go
Latitude:63.04401
Longitude:-151.18472
GPS location Date/Time:05/19/2011 23:39:17 NPT

Message:Denali Eh OK.

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/4qwU2/63.04401/\-151.18472

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Denali




Mount McKinley (Denali), 6194 m (20,320 ft)
Mount McKinley (or Denali) is located in the national park of Denali in the central portion of the Alaska Range, which spans much of south central Alaska. It is approximately 130 miles (209 km) north-northwest of Anchorage and 155 miles (249 km) southwest of Fairbanks. Mount McKinley has two significant summits: the South Summit is the higher one, while the North Summit has an elevation of 19,470 feet (5934 m). The mountain is characterized by extremely cold weather, and by an unusually severe risk of altitude illness for climbers, due to not only its high elevation but also its high latitude. At the equator, a mountain as high as Mount McKinley would have 47% as much oxygen available on its summit as there is at sea level, but because of its latitude, the pressure on the summit of McKinley is even lower.

Check-in/OK message from Go Spot Go SPOT Personal Tracker

Go Spot Go
Latitude:63.04404
Longitude:-151.18436
GPS location Date/Time:05/19/2011 13:02:01 NPT

Message:Denali Eh OK.

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/4qiiD/63.04404/\-151.18436

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Denali - info

Mount McKinley (Denali)

Location: Alaska, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 63.06989°N / 151.073°W

Elevation: 20320 ft / 6194 m


The highest mountain in North America, Mt. McKinley has been the goal of aspiring high altitude climbers since it was first climbed in 1913. Its reputation as a highly coveted summit derives from its location near the Arctic Circle and the Pacific Ocean giving it some of the most ferocious weather in the world. Because of its weather and ease of access, some climbers use McKinley as a training ground for climbing the 8,000 meter peaks of the Himalaya, including Everest.

Mt. McKinley is also known by its Athabascan name Denali meaning "The Great One"

Check-in/OK message from Go Spot Go SPOT Personal Tracker

Go Spot Go
Latitude:62.96772
Longitude:-151.17171
GPS location Date/Time:05/19/2011 02:57:37 NPT

Message:Denali Eh OK.

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/4qX8e/62.96772/\-151.17171

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Check-in/OK message from Go Spot Go SPOT Personal Tracker

Go Spot Go
Latitude:62.76203
Longitude:-151.02888
GPS location Date/Time:05/19/2011 02:30:02 NPT

Message:Denali Eh OK.

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/4qWK8/62.76203/\-151.02888

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Check-in/OK message from Go Spot Go SPOT Personal Tracker

Go Spot Go
Latitude:62.32088
Longitude:-150.09744
GPS location Date/Time:05/19/2011 01:41:00 NPT

Message:Denali Eh OK.

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/4qUrt/62.32088/\-150.09744

If the above link does not work, try this link:
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May 18

Today we have an appointment with the rangers at their station at 0830 in the morning. We need to arrive 30 minutes early to pay the remainder of our climbing fee - $200 per person. The rangers meet with all teams prior to the climb. They will go over the map, show us the route, point out any objective dangers such as cravasses and possible avalanche spots. They will also point out the usual location of the camps. This is a very busy mountain with many mountaineers on it all at the same time so as a result the rangers implement rules to keep people safe and the mountain clean.

After after our meeting we will stop off for breakfast at the café on our way back to TAT. Once we have organize our gear if the weather permits we will fly onto base camp - approx. 40 minute flight. Base camp is set at 2200m (7,200ft) on the Southeast fork of the Kalhitna Glacier. Here we will stash 3 days worth of food in case our flight out is delayed after the expedition.

We will

Depending on how we feel and what time we arrive at base camp we can either stay and make camp here or we can head up to camp 1. Base camp – 7200’ (2190m)
Camp 1 – 7900’ (2400m). Distance 5.5 miles – 8.8 km. Descend 690’ (210m) then up to camp one 1400’. Camp 1 is located at the bottom of ski hill.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

May 17

We leave Edmonton at 0640h, arriving in Anchorage at 1130. Arrangements have been made, and we will be picked up at the airport by Tim. The plan is to go to the grocery store, for the last minute shopping for some fresh food and whatever we can’t bring into the country. We will probably also stop at the local climbing shop to look around and pick up whatever we may have forgotten.

The drive to Talkeetna is about 2 hour and we should arrive in the late afternoon. We will be dropped off at Talkeetna Air Taxi which is the company that will fly us to basecamp tomorrow. We will spend a few hours organizing our gear and getting ready for tomorrow. We will head into town for the last fresh food that we will see in a while. The night will be spent in the bunkhouse at TAT.

Added by Ted: Lucille texted that the flight to Anchorage was delayed by three hours, but other than that, everything went as planned. ALL of their luggage actually arrived, so they have all of their expedition gear and food.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Denali prep

Today we are spending the day packing up the food and looking over the gear that we will need for the next 4 weeks. It's not easy packing food that we will need. Estimating how hungry we're going to be, how much we will actually eat while providing enough variety so that we don't get bored. As for the gear we want to bring enough that we don't get into trouble, but again not so much that we get weighed down and move too slowly. It's a fine line, but with both Domhnall and Mike's expertise they will guide me in what we are going to bring.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Expedition members

We are a three member team and our name is Denali Eh!
Here is a brief introdution to the team members.
Domhnall

The youngest team member, but the one with the most experience. He enjoys all sorts of outdoor activities including ice carving and making snow angels. Most days he can be found nursing all over the country including Yukon, BC, Alberta and most recently in Manitoba. On his rare day off he can be found renovating his home and relaxing with his cats.



Mike
He was recently featured in GQ magazine with the above picture. Mike has many interests including riding on his segway and practicing Yoga poses. He can be found most days riding his lawn mower for hours, round and round rain or shine....in the hopes of getting out of doing any real work. He is also very experienced in the back country, and his greatest skill is making everyone around him laugh. Should be a fun trip.


Lucille
Despite appearances Lucille really doesn't like to drink....much. She has many talents, once of which is the ability to find crevasses.....unfortunately she finds them after she has already fallen in, but she is taking one for the team. When she wants to meditate she heads to a hot and stuffy stairwell where it is really easy to zone out. She relaxes by tending her flower garden.....anyone free to water the plants while she's gone? Her goal for this expedition is to learn how to refold a map.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

What's next?

It's hard to believe that it has only been a year since my summit of Everest. In so many ways it seems like a life time ago because I have been so busy. I have visited many schools, talked to several thousand children as well as presented to hundreds of adults in the hopes of inspiring others to follow in my foot steps - achieving their own dreams.

My last presentations were just a few days ago to the nurses at the RAH to kick off Nurses' week. These two sessions were emotional for me as they were on the same day as my summit last year, and in the audience were many of my friends that I have worked with over the years, sharing the fun times and difficult times of nursing.

My Everest summit has changed me in so many ways that I could not have anticipated, and for that I am so happy that I took the challenge. Achieving a goal that for many years I kept secret for fear that if I spoke it aloud it would disappear. A goal that I thought about almost every day for 35 years. A goal that even today brings tears to my eyes when I think about it. The goal that has changed the direction of my life.

Many people have asked "What can possibly top Everest?" while others ask "What's next?"
Well in a few days we leave to climb Denali in Alaska. This time we are a team of three and I will try to take on more of a leadership role, while having the backup of two strong and capable teammates. Follow along as we attempt to climb the tallest peak in North America, situated in Alaska.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Thank You

Just over a year ago I was standing on the top of Everest, looking down in awe at the entire world below and thinking to myself not only that I was very lucky and blessed to be there, but also admiring our beautiful world. I have to thank my family and all my friends who have supported me in my endeavour to reach my dream. I still have friends who come up to me telling me that they followed my blog while I was climbing or tell me the story of where they were when my SPOT stopped working at the most crucial time on summit day or give me a hug with a congratulations. This is not a goal that any of my friends and family members have, but they all recognize and celebrate the achievement of a dream, and that is the most important thing of all.