Ershler on Everest
As you will find in the
EverestNews.com, in the past 17 years, only 15 American women have reached
the summit of Mt. Everest. I am proud to be a part of this exclusive group.
The list includes great
climbers, such as the first American woman to climb Mt. Everest, Stacy Allison
in 1988, followed by Peggy Luce in the same year. Then, Catherine Gibson, a
wonderful climber from Washington was next in 1990. Ellen Miller climbed
Everest in 2001 from the Northeast ridge and then accomplished the incredible
feat of reaching the summit, again, from the Southeast ridge in 2002.
All of these women share
great determination, focus and persistence. Some attempted the mountain more
than once before becoming successful summiteers. This was certainly true for
In 2001, my husband, Phil,
and I attempted a climb of Everest. After two months on the mountain, we
turned around at the balcony, 27,600 feet, just 1,400 feet from the summit. We
were thrilled that Nancy Feagin, a famous climber, had reached the summit of
Everest the day before we descended.
Determined we could make the
summit safely and successfully together, we returned to Everest in 2002, spent
another couple of months on the mountain and completed our objective at 10:20
a.m. on May 16.
Standing at 27,600 feet was
okay, standing on the summit of Mt. Everest was infinitely better. I now
understand how 14 other American women must have felt at the top. There is no
other sense of achievement that matches the feeling of reaching your dream.
There is a great deal to
learn from these women, when pursuing your goals, blast through the obstacles
and treat setbacks as temporary. Keep going back whenever you get knocked
down. Never give up on your goal. Sue Ershler
Ershler is the 5th American Woman to climb the Seven Summits and the 12th
American Woman to climb Mt. Everest. The Ershlers became the first couple in
history to climb the Seven Summits together."
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