Posts in Impact
Namaste from Gorakshep :)

We have had two nights at Base Camp (17,500 feet) and it has been chilly with on and off again snow. Our first night we shared tents and yesterday we were all able to set up our own tents we had brought. So I now have my temporary 2 month home built : ) It is a two man tent- 3 season with my sleeping bag, a foam pad, thermarest pad, and a little mattress like thing they gave us. I am warm enough in my -40 F sleeping bag, but getting up in the middle of the night to go potty is still a process and chilly! Today most of the team went to Kalapatar for an acclimitization hike, but I am still fighting my cold and only hiked to Gorakshep and writing you all (about a 1.5 hours walk from camp).

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Off to our next stop! (we hit 5100 m today)

So it ended up being a very special day as Tristan, from Singapore, saw snow for the very first time!! It was super cute to see her expression as the snow started to fall and she couldn't stop taking photos :) After lunch on Monday we had very long hike uphill in the snow. I was actually grateful as that hill would have been a bear in the heat....so cold was good. Monday was one of those days where you just put your head down and hike...it was a long 7 hours and I was happy to pull out my 'mountain mix' on my IPOD and have some fun dance tunes to get me up the hill to Prembuche. 

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Nameste from Namche (11,300 feet)

We are on day 3 of our trek and at 11,300 feet :) Yesterday was a great day!! We had a beautiful 5 hour hike into Namche, crossed several suspension bridges, got our first view of EVEREST, and I got a shower :) ! Pretty great day if you ask me. The hike up was mostly uphill and going through lots of little villages; it also had a lot of stairs. Thank goodness for Lyon Step training!! I am currently carrying everything I need for the trek into Base Camp, thus my pack is about 45 lbs, so I am happy I trained with weight :) We have been having some YUMMY meals and had noodle soup for lunch and homemade french fries!! Probably sounds like a strange food combo, but all that salt hits just the spot after a long day on the trail. For dinner we had French Onion Soup, Chicken Nepal Style Kebab, and a big piece of chocolate cake :) We are burning up some calories and definitely eating to make up for it-guilty free of course! 

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Kathmandu to Lukla!!

t is so nice to have friends and fellow campaign supporters on the team! Kathy is doing the summit climb on behalf of Climb Take Action and then my dad and Steve are also trekking to BC for the campaign :) Then I have my friends Melanie, Mylene, and Tristan that have joined us from Hong Kong and of course my dear friend and climbing partner Pam! So we are one big happy family here and ready to set of on the next leg of our adventure....get us on that plane please! So for the team there are 13 climbers, about 13 trekkers, then 3 western guides, and our sherpa crews of +25. I must say it is so nice to have friends here...and am so happy to be able to share this adventure with them. It is also nice to have part of the Kili crew reunited here in Nepal.

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The Article That Started It All

There are things that you come across in your life that will dramatically impact the direction your life is headed. In late 2007 I came across mine, an article written by Eve Ensler (http://www.glamour.com/magazine/2007/08/rape-in-the-congo), which introduced me to the daily horrors some women and girls in Congo face, which moved me to find a way to take action to raise awareness to this massive issue of sexual violence and find support to help these women in their fight for survival.

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Life Comes Full Circle~ Everest 60 Days Away!

I normally use this blog to talk solely about the climbs and our efforts to raise funds and awareness for women in Congo, but I thought it was important to add a bit of a personal touch this time, as Everest is very close and preparing for it has opened up a whole new world of feelings and emotions. Training for this bad boy is not only about the physical prep, but also the mental prep and the emotional prep. I have always said climbing is 80% mental and 20% physical.

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Everest on the Horizon and Endless Gratitude!

In just about 3 months time I will set off for Nepal and attempt my 6th of the 7 Summits, Mt. Everest, for women in the Congo. It feels a bit like yesterday that I started the campaign and set off on this incredible journey, not truly knowing how it would all go or whether I would be successful. Today I write with a heart full of gratitude for being able to set off on this journey at all. My first summit was back in July 2008, Mt. Elbrus in Russia. At the root core, I was inspired to set off on this mission in order to raise funds and awareness for a group of women and children in a far off land that had undergone some of the most tragic experiences I had ever heard of. 

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Recent Attacks on Women in the Congo...Aid is Needed

I write to you today with heavy heart thinking about the recent tragedy that has occurred in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. In case you are unaware, reports show that rebels in eastern Congo gang-raped nearly 200 women and some young boys during a four-day period between July 30 and August 3 (young boys are said to be babies aged one month, six months, a year and 18 months). International Medical Corps responded as soon as they could...please see articles below. Details of this massive attack are unimaginable and heartbreaking. Who would think that in 2010 women and children would be victimized in such a horrific manner. It is unacceptable and awareness must be raised!

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Top of North America for the Congo! Denali Summit #5

Denali....aka 'Degnarly'... :) May 19-June 5 2010 
It seems amazing that almost two months ago I stood a top North America (Denali)! Yes, on June 1, 2010 I completed my fifth of the Seven Summits for women in the Congo, benefiting International Medical Corps. Like all of my climbs thus far, it was an incredible adventure and one I will never forget, but different in the sense that this one was a true test of will every day.

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A little more about the women and organization my climbs support…..

I am writing this in route to Alaska…next up is Mt. McKinley or Denali 6,194 m for International Medical Corps and the women and children of the Congo (DRC) and Uganda. I will be climbing from May19-June 8th. 

Last July, I had the privilege of visiting two of the Refugee settlements that International Medical Corps supports in Uganda- Nakivale and Kyaka II. The visit still lives vivid in my mind, and I thought it was important to share with you all a little of what I experienced while in Uganda and why your support is needed for the campaign . . . . 

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Ashley Chapman Summits Kilimanjaro January 2010!!

Ashley reached the summit of Kilimanjaro in January on behalf of International Medical Corps and Climb Take Action to help women and children in the Congo and Uganda. 

We are so grateful to Ashley to taking on this personal challenge for our cause!! Her bravery and dedication are truly inspiring!! She has already raised over $4000 and still going....help her reach her goal of $5000 :)

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Aconcagua...A Great Challenge!! Summit #4

Happy New Year to you all! I reached the summit of Aconcagua on January 10, 2010! Where to begin on this incredible journey of 3 weeks? For starters, it was a lot tougher than I thought and if I never have to climb on scree (lose rock and gravel) again. . . I will be a very happy girl! Yet, the climb allowed me to push myself physically and mentally to a new limit and continue to work towards a cause very dear to my heart. . . .the women and children of the Congo and nearby Uganda. 

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Happy Holidays!! Next Stop Aconcagua!

2009 was an exciting year for us, as our team of 9 successfully summited Mt. Kilimanjaro in July and raised over $30,000 for International Medical Corps. 3 of us (Genevieve Roth, Brooke Warburton, and I) were then blessed with the opportunity to visit the Refugee Settlements in Uganda and able to meet not only the amazing women and children we support, but also the dedicated International Medical Corps staff that is making a significant impact in the lives of thousands of women and children at these settlements on a daily basis.

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Kili Recap- All Summits on the Roof of Africa!

I am super grateful for Genevieve, Brooke, Melanie, Sergio, Steve, Corina, Martin, and my dad (Hector) for signing up for the challenge not only of climbing the highest free standing mountain in the world (5896m), but also to take on the challenge of fundraising for International Medical Corps and their efforts for women and children in the Congo and Uganda!! Neither of these tasks was an easy feat by any means!! Yet they all rocked it and the entire team reached the summit at Uruhu Peak on July 16th at 7:45 AM and 8:15 AM---100% success rate, which is INCREDIBLE!! Climbing Kili set the altitude record for the entire team. . .we all went higher than we had ever gone before!

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Greetings from Moshi!

The entire team has made it safely to Moshi! We all arrived yesterday from various parts of the world. Some of us flew to Kilimanjaro airport, while others like Hector, Corina, Martin, and myself started out with an adventurous 8 hour bus journey from Nairobi to Moshi. This bus ride was unlike any other! The 20 passenger mini bus why flying at 60-80 miles per hour down a dusty, rocky, road that amazingly did support two way traffic (believe me we all gasped a few times when oncoming trucks were headed our way).

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Summit Number 2! Summits in Oz and Fundraising Updates!

On December 30, 2008 one of my best friends, Trisha Haakonstad, and I made it to the summit of Mt. Kosciuszko, 2228m, Australia, to benefit International Medical Corps!

So we are 2 summits down and 5 more to go! I will be posting more details to the hike itself, but it was a cold, cold day in Thredbo with temperatures of 0 Celcius and a -5 to -10 windchill at the top. It was again amazing to make it up there with one of my closest friends all to benefit International Medical Corps and women in the Congo and Uganda.

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Others Committed to Take Action

I would like to thank and highlight Bianca Roman, from San Diego, who trekked Machu Picchu, Peru on November 21st on behalf of International Medical Corps and the women of the Congo and Uganda. Bianca successfully raised $500 is less than one month! After reading about the campaign and crisis in an article she contacted me to see how she could become involved and make an impact. 

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