Bayfield climber reaches Everest summitLori Schneider reached her own seventh heaven, the summit of Mount Everest, on Saturday morning
By: By Tom Held, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Superior Telegram
Lori Schneider reached her own seventh heaven, the summit of Mount Everest, on Saturday morning.
A dispatch from Alpine Ascents International reported that the mountain climber from Bayfield was among the first team members to reach the peak, the tallest point in the world at 29,035 feet -- about 7:30 p.m. Friday central time. Schneider has now stood atop the tallest mountain on each of the seven continents.
Remarkably, she climbed six of them after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1999. Schneider is reported to be the first woman afflicted with the neurological disease to reach the Everest summit.
Wendy Booker, another climber who has overcome MS, abandoned her effort on the Himalayan mountain Friday.
Schneider trained for her Everest ascent on Mount Ashwabay, the ski hill that rises a few miles off the Lake Superior shore near her home in Bayfield. The "mountain" peak is only 1,286 feet, but Schneider theorized that a step is a step, no matter where you take it.
The 52-year-old carried significant experience into her first attempt to climb Everest, having endured the minus-40 temperatures in a climb of Vinson Massif in Antarctica late in 2008. In the last three years, she has reached four of the seven summits, including Denali in Alaska, and Mount Kosciuszko in Australia.
Her ascent to the roof of the world began about 9 a.m. Bayfield time under a dark and moonless sky on Everest. The report from Alpine Ascents put her at the peak about 7:30 p.m. Bayfield time, hours after supporters hiked up Mt. Ashwabay to extend good wishes and energy to their friend.
In her last phone conversations before the final push, Schneider reported she was in terrific shape physically and mentally, despite the arduous acclimatization, and several trips to mid-points on the mountain.
Before setting off for the top, she told her father, "It's up to the mountain now."
To read more about Schneider's journey, visit the Off the Couch blog.
-- Copyright (c) 2009, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services