Tuesday, October 16, 2012

More Than a Mountain, by TA Loeffler

TA Loeffler writes about her 2007 pre-monsoon Everest climb in More Than a Mountain: One Woman's Everest. She participates in an International Mountain Guides expedition in Nepal. Her book focuses on her life journey up to the mountain in addition to the climb, including earlier adventures, such as biking from Lhasa to Kathmandu and climbing Mount McKinley. Her preparations include a range of physical activities, from running to hockey (She's from Labrador.) to using a Go2Altitude system. She uses her quest for Everest to inspire young people, speaking to over 10,000 school children in the year running up to her climb, and saying that everyone has Mount Everests in their life. Additionally, she writes about her Buddhist spiritual path and the inspiration she draws from the support of others. She has a thing for Tim Horton's Vanilla Dip donuts.

She decides to commit to climb Everest after an attempt on Elburs under Phil Ershler (See his Together on Top of the World for more on his life.), when he admits that she's ready. She has a terrible time raising money for the climb, and ends up paying for most of it herself, though the assistance she gets from friends and schools means quite a bit to her sentimentally. During her trek to Base Camp and during the climb she writes about her interior struggles in addition to the exterior challenge. She spends quite a bit of her climb sick, both with bronchitis and stomach upset, making for a desperate struggle to keep up with the acclimatization rounds. I'll let you read the end, however.

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