Denali

Denali – First Portuguese Women to Summit (Part 2)

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Day 10

We climb from our 14,000 feet camp up to 17,000 feet.

I can’t lie… it was hard. The fixed lines were surprisingly the easiest to do, but there were high stretches and really thin walking sections along the ridges.

Luckily I felt Jesus had me through this climb. My lead guide had a rope closer to me and brought it in closer on more exposed sections to help me out. Bless him. Made all the difference in the world with my anxiety.

I will have to go back down though, a fact that has not escaped me.

Once we reach the 17,000 feet camp, or camp 4, it’s like a scene from a movie in the wild snowy dessert. There are ice walls everywhere and very few tents.

It’s cold (colder) up here.

There is no kitchen tent here. Ryan and Jason bring us hot water in thermoses to make our food-hydrated meals, noodles and oatmeal.

I have been peeing in my pee bottle and going out to empty it or using the big green bucket.

Summit morning we get up, get ready and are on our way at about 8:30 A.M. The sky is blue with not a cloud in sight.

I am wearing my puffy pants, but I have my parka in my backpack, along with snacks, my thermos of hot water, my inReach, my cell phone in the pocket of my light weight puffy jacket, and of course mittens, goggles, and sunscreen to re-apply constantly.

We set out towards the Autobahn and no, it is not the German highway – it is a steep climb on the side of a mountain, which is slow going. So slow it took us about 2 hours, and my lead guide, Jason was not too happy about it.

I found this section hard. The ingrained steps on the snow, set from the hundreds of climbers throughout the season, were big “risers” in certain sections for my short legs. When I took a higher, longer step, I felt out of breath. I felt we were moving fast, which did not allow me to breath properly during my rest steps. The harder I breathed, the harder it became to climb and thus I became slower.

“Well, let’s continue and re-evaluate at top of Zebra rocks, and we can go from there. We evaluate at every point.” Jason says.

I say nothing and just move. I self talk to myself to pick up my pace, as I do not want to come back here. The huge expense is one thing, but I know mentally I cannot repeat this challenge.

I concentrate on my deep breathing, and keep focus. I beg Jesus to stay with me and push me up, with each step.

When we reach Zebra rocks, Jason announces, “Great push guys. We made great time. Ema, great work. We are back on track.”

I respond with “Ok.”

I know I am the client and I can push back if I wanted to, but I don’t. I hired them to help me and guide me. I am more determined than ever to reach the Summit.

We continue to the next stage, then the next, until we are at the Summit Ridge. Its tall, well obviously – but it is also thin and exposed.

Jason reassures me that Ryan has my rope closer to him and if I feel unsure to let him know and Ryan will guide me. I am not going to sugar coat it – I am anxious. Ryan is a wonderful guide and he constantly reassures me that I am ok and that I am not going to fall. I finally start believing him.

I take a deep breath. I feel as if I am having an out of body experience.

As we are on the summit ridge a couple of other groups are coming down. One is a large group from Alpine Ascents and the other is an RMI group. We stop, and let them pass us on the left hand side. Ryan tries to talk to me about trivial things to distract me as the other climbers pass us.

One of the groups has a female guide among them and she looks at me as she passes, with annoyance and superiority. I don’t care. I am a few feet away from the Summit of Denali and she is inconsequential.

When we reach the summit, the area itself is larger than I anticipated. I take my cell phone out of my pocket to tell the world that I am at the summit. I am so excited and I want it documented. My InReach message is sent with a GPS recorded location. I just became the first Portuguese woman to have summited Denali. I am also the first Portuguese-Canadian woman to have done so.

We have time to take group pictures, individual pictures and with my 6 flags. We are allowed to attempt to call from the satellite phone 3 times, as the call keeps dropping.

Kaylee does a short run and jumps over the summit marker. It’s fun at the Summit!

There is no wind. It’s sunny and so clear you can see all the smaller mountains below you. I was elated. It’s time to descend, as we need to make our way back down.

Jason explains that I am going to be in front, with the 3 of them behind me. His rational and assurance is that if I were to fall, I would have 3 guides holding me and I would not go anywhere. I understand his reasoning and begin to descend.

Ryan is directly behind me and talks to me, “Slowly Ema. Take your time. You got this!” I walk slowly, but somehow confident. I stop when Ryan tells me, so he can secure his share of the rope to the fixed anchors. Then as he shouts back, “Climbing”, we continue.

Before I know it, we are out of the ridge and are making our way down. Amazingly we are going at a pretty good pace. So good in fact, that even with our generous standard breaks, we reach high camp at about 7:00 P.M. This signifies we took about 10.5 hours to summit and back.

I overhear Jason’s delight in his voice, “10.5 hours puts us on the top 30% of top ascents. This is nuts!”

Kaylee giggles, but in a humble voice, says,” Well yeah, but these are abnormal conditions. Usually the weather isn’t this great!”

I think to myself, “Yeah, so?” We did it, regardless of the weather.

The next morning, we start our decent back to basecamp.

We leave early morning to get to 14,000 feet before it’s too hot. We take a long rest at 14,000 feet until the temperature cools down, making easier to walk on the snow.

At camp 2 or 11,000 feet, we put our snowshoes back on replacing our crampons. The descent from here on is not easy. It is about 11:00 P.M. or just passed it.

The snow in some areas is mushy still, even though it’s in the middle of the night. I trip several times. Jason is leading; I am in second position, with Kaylee behind me and Ryan in the back. He has the hardest job, trying to keep all our slides inline.

I keep stumbling, and take a few falls, especially when Jason’s sled pulls me forward. Each stumble I shout. “Stop.” Everyone does. And each time as gracefully as possible, I get up again and we all continue.

Ski Hill is especially hard, as the snow feels slippery. During one of our brief breaks, I ask what time it is, and when Jason says, “It’s 1:30 A.M.” I say to Kaylee, “ It’s your birthday already – Happy Birthday!” The 3 of us make a small attempt to sing Happy Birthday to Kaylee. The sun is rising again behind us, even though it had only set a couple of hours before.

When we finally reach camp one there are several tents set-up, another set of Mountain Trip guides are escorting a group of several Russian climbers.

Jason says, “We are going to take a longer break here, once they retrieved the cache that we had left on the way up.” Ryan asks “Why?” and Jason replies with, “Let’s take our time. We are an hour ahead of schedule.”

I am silently happy we are moving fast, and think that falling so many times is not embarrassing. I actually take it as symbolism of why I am even climbing– you can fall, but you just need to get back up on your feet and keep moving. Is that not what we deal everyday with mental health?

And so we do. The walk out from camp 1 towards basecamp seems endless.
I tried to recall in my memory of walking up 12 days ago, and can’t remember. I know I made it, but with all the snow, I don’t remember the route.

I am careful to keep following Jason’s footsteps, as we walk around crevasses. I pull my trekking poles up, careful not to stab the snow where Jason has just walked over a crevasse wall and move as quickly as a can past it, until the next one.

I kept thinking of Richard Parks, when he was doing a 737 Challenge, and was on Denali in 2011, about the same time of year, when he punched through a crevasse and fell really deep. He had to use his ice axe on the lip of the crevasse to get himself out. So, stabbing the snow was out of the question.

We were back at basecamp at about 5:30 A.M on June 30, hoping to get on a plane to fly out back to Talkheeta, 12 days after we had arrived.

We did it.

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Denali – First Portuguese Women to Summit (Part 1)

Monday, June 17 2019

Day 1 

I arrived in Anchorage in the evening and checked into the hotel. 

I arrived with a very heavy heart. My mother in law, Bonnie, has been diagnosed as ‘failure to thrive’ and moved to a hospice room for the family to say goodbye. I’m not there. I need to be. I want to be.

She passed away Monday June 17th, my day two of this trip; Day 1 of this climb. Heavy sigh.

I feel so conflicted, because I know Steve is dealing with it by himself and I know he is stressed. I pray for him.

In the morning, I met my 3 guides and did my gear check. 

I was feeling a little sick – I ate some vegetarian tacos at the hotel’s restaurant and they did not agree with me at all.  In the middle of the night I managed to throw up, and then start hydrating myself. I can’t be sick for my first day – this is Denali and I feel enough pressure as it is.

 

Tuesday, June 18 2019

Day 2

We fly to basecamp.  This was after an approximately 2 or 3 hour drive from Anchorage to Talkheeta.  Then we take an Air Taxi. It was a short flight, just 20 minutes., with amazing scenery.

Once we arrive, we take all our gear off the runway and set up our first ‘camp’. 

Kaylee gives me my first lesson, with Jason giving his stamp of approval and further suggestions, on how to set-up our tent in our first ‘camp”.   

As we enjoy dinner, sitting on the snow, I marvel on how much snow there is – and take a few deep breaths and silently pray to God that He guide me and ask Him to have my back, because I am scared about what is ahead of me. Every so often you hear avalanches in the distance.  I have butterflies in my stomach, as stories and previous videos I watched in YouTube about climbing Denali weigh heavy in my mind. Not to mentioned the anxiety I am feeling about wanting and needing to Summit, so I can become the first Portuguese/Canadian woman to Summit Denali.

I remind myself – this is Denali. I am on the ‘big leagues’ mountain. I never imagined in my wildest dream I would here. But I am. I am here.

After our tents are made, we take some supplies out to sleep, since we are going to move during the night when the snow is more cold and compact… It’s mushy right now… packing snow.

Then it started snowing.

Hmmmmm……what does that mean …..

 

Wednesday, June 19 2019

Day 3

 We woke up early, 2 am and got ready to start hiking. Kaylee was like a tornado! Within seconds, she had her sleeping bag in its pack and she was ready to head out. All the while I was trying to stuff my mammoth sleeping bag in the compression bag. I step out and she has her harness on.

Yes, she is a supposed to be a guide in training, climbing to make my climb easier, but I am surprised and very impressed. That was fast!

I was thrown off a little by how fast things were moving. I felt agitated. I needed the bathroom and there was someone in the green bucket. I waited.

When we finally got going, pulling the sled was not that challenging, but stepping over a crack (crevasse) that would be wider when we return, was a little unsettling.

We made it to camp one in 4 hours and 30 minutes. Jason our lead guide said it was good time. I am glad.  It was 8:30am local time. 

After tents are up, there was nothing else to do, but lay down and try to sleep or just rest. These forced rests are the not so easy part of climbing. I texted Steve and the kids and felt better.

Steve is making funeral arrangements and it’s hard. 

Part of me wishes I was there to help, but I know I would not be able to in terms of arrangements. Seems they have it covered, even though Steve says everyone seems angry and upset at the moment. I know that’s normal in these difficult circumstances.

Suddenly, the sun came out and we got a great view of Denali.  Wow! It’s a very impressive and majestic mountain. In fact, it’s a giant! 

Then a cloud goes over the sun; the temperature drops considerably. 

As we climb, there is nothing much to do other than count numbers in your head and think. Here life seems surreal, easy. But in the back of my mind is a mild, gnawing tension about what my family is going through without me.

But I’m here to climb the highest mountain in the northern hemisphere.  I need to concentrate. The plan is to move to camp 2 tomorrow, same time – leave around 2 am.

 

Thursday, June 20 2019 

Day 4 

We did not move to camp 2 as we woke up as planned at 2 am, and Kaylee tells us she had been feeling sick all night and had thrown up a couple of times.

I knew it was our dinner from last night – it had been the pre-made salad we had bought at our last grocery/supply stop we made before arriving in Talkheeta – it had mayonnaise -I had passed on mine.

She says we will have to go slowly and well … slow to me is good! She tells her colleagues and the decision was made to stay put and let her sleep and feel better. Reaching a higher camp not feeling well, will drain her and limit her ability to acclimatize and be strong enough to summit. And we may need to turn around.

I hate just waiting around and doing nothing, but there is nothing we can do. I trust Jesus has a reason for it. 

I advise the kids and Steve, even though he has his hands full. Today is his Mom’s viewing and I know it’s taking a toll on him. Tomorrow is the funeral and I wish I could be there to support him.

Again, I make myself concentrate on the mountain. When the sun is out, it’s hot. Sun and snow is like sand and sun. I had to understand how to use the solar panel, since it has a built in battery. it cannot take a lot of heat.

Sebastian and his client, Aparna, the Indian lady that is trying to climb Denali for the 3rd time, arrived in camp.  She has done all the mountains, including Everest and she did the North side. I’m in awe!

 

Friday, June 21 2019

Day 5

This is my official day 5. Seems longer – the climb portion.

I don’t know why. It was a long day. It started with getting up at 1:00am… actually I was up a little earlier. Days and nights are stretched and shortened. It’s difficult …

We packed everything and backpacks and with sleds loaded, about two hours later, we started climbing towards camp 2.

Some teams take caches to about 11,000 feet and then go back to camp one, then the following day go up to camp two with a lesser load. We climbed with our complete loads and honestly I am glad, I was not looking forward to going up and down the steep hill, when it really was unnecessary.

We are doing this tomorrow – moving to the next camp, We plan to take a cache, leave it and then the following day, move up to camp 3 , at 14,000 feet. Then the following day come down to where we cached and pick up the rest of our supplies. Apparently it’s good for acclimatization.

But It’s hard work!

Overall, today was a hard day. It was also Mrs. Beattie’s funeral and I am really sad that I was not there for Steve. I miss him.

Camp 2 is set in a small plateau and we are not allowed to walk very far, because there is a huge crevasse (Crack as they call it). 

It is colder here, even with the sun shining full blast. 

It is very pretty! We are surrounded by smaller peaks with Denali imposing itself in one corner. It’s a breathtaking sight.

The white of the snow and blue skies make it extra magical.

 

Saturday, June 22 2019

Day 6

Ryan, our assistant guide and Kaylee went up to camp 14, which is how everyone refers to it, but really it’s camp 3. They took a cache, which should be called stash instead. It holds some of our supplies and keeps them ‘stashed ‘ so that we don’t have to carry them all at once. I thought I was supposed to go, but then only Kaylee and Ryan went. I stay behind to go over some skills with Jason my lead guide.

After breakfast, I put my crampons on and harness, got my ice axe, and we went through a couple of basics: foot work on crampons, proper ice arrest, how to hold the ice axe, and we were done. The repetition of basic but necessary skills calms me.

So many people here are attempting it for the 2nd and 3rd time.  I really hope I can do this!

I have been silently praying to Jesus, but I need to pray out loud and beg him for his hand holding and good weather!

 

Tuesday, June 25 2019

Day 9

We are at the 14,000 ft. camp and the weather has been ok, but colder.

We had moved Sunday up here and when the inReach froze, I had a panic attack because I could no longer communicate with the kids and Steve. It was hard.

It was a tough push up motorcycle hill, then squirrel hill and on windy corner, we had to put our helmets on, I think this time it did not go sideways. My helmet tends to sit on me sideways. Thank you Lord!

If you are asking yourself what do all these names of the hills mean or who gave the names, I don’t have the answer. I asked a few people and no one really seemed to know. Its not like there are motorcycles or squirrels up here!

Anyways, on windy corner (which this name I can understand), Jason said we could not stop at all, as it is always windy. Hummm, there is a small ledge on the snow to walk on, but I barely thought about it. There was no wind. None. And that was unusual.  Why? My theory is of course that Jesus is next to me holding my hand; is guiding me and taking care of the weather? He Rocks! 

When we finally got to camp 2, or as they call it, 14,000… it was cloudy and the clouds kept rolling by me. To be high in the sky with clouds rolling past you is an experience that is indescribable. You are in the heavens – above the clouds…To my great surprise I meet the Thai lady here that I saw in Vinson. She was climbing with another Mountain Trip team. It was only her and a German male climber. It is a small world.

I am happy I am doing a private trip, since they are sharing a tent. The group that started when we did, Kristen’s, also share a tent with male/female combination. I don’t know if I agree with it. I certainly know I would not feel ok sharing a tent with a stranger of the opposite sex. 

Once the battery from the inReach died, I was able to restart it and charge it. I had BEGGED Jesus during my hike for a couple of hours. I think I got on His nerves and He just gave in.

Yesterday we went to get the cache back after windy corner and came back to camp. Today it was a rest day.  It was nice spending the morning relaxing, since I had time to change clothes and just relax. I learned that relaxing is part of acclimatization, an important mountaineering life lesson. ☺

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What can hinder a skills preparation climbing session? Qu’est ce qui peut vous empêcher de suivre une formation d’escalade de préparation?

(Le français suit)

Many things I suppose, but certainly slipping in the bathtub while taking a shower in your hotel room, and slamming your right side of your ribcage against the bathtub can be a problem.

Yup, especially if during impact you feel the air sucked out of your lungs. I can tell you that this is not a good thing!

That is what happened to me this past weekend. Results = 3 broken ribs.

Saturday morning finding it hard to breath from previously falling while taking a shower in my hotel room, I went to the front desk and I was able to get a bottle of Advil. I knew I had to be on-site for training at 8:45am and I took two Advils, then shortly after another two…. But the intense pain was still a little distracting.

I entered the address that had been provided to me for the location of the training incomplete on my car’s navigation system – which then led me to the opposite direction of where I had to be.

I was then about 30 minutes late for the first day of training with my fellow climbers for the Carstensz Pyramid summit. Not good.

I then mentioned to our guide when he came to get me at the parking lot that I had hurt my ribs taking a shower. I know he could not believe how dumb I was, even if he did not say it, and he sternly reminded me I needed to be careful now, especially so close to our trip.

I agreed and then the paramedic in him looked at my ribs, but I assured him it was really nothing, they were just bruised probably and I already had taken some Advil. I would be fine. I was fine I assured him. So he took my word for it – and in all fairness, I believed whole heartily myself that I was fine.

I am a confident and a strong person and he would have no reason to doubt me. We had a whole day of training ahead of us.

I was trying to feel my confident normal self, while every breath I was taking was hurting on the right side. So I took another Advil. I am at five now, in the span of a couple of hours.

We went out to rock climb and left our backpacks at the bottom of one of the rock faces. I had fun at moments, I learned the best I could and I even challenged myself while blocking sharp pain. I was on-site to learn and train.

However by about 3:00pm when we came back to where we started, I was desperate for my Advil bottle, which I hungrily swallowed two and then a few minutes later another two. Within another thirty minutes I once again felt like I could manage the rest of the training and I was confident that the pain in my lungs and ribs was only bruising. I thought several times that when I got back home to Georgetown, I would go to my local hospital just to make sure my ribs were ok.

However it was not to happen.

At the end of the day when I reached my hotel room, breathing was harder and more painful and I started crying alone in fear. Well – NEVER cry when you have broken ribs… It makes it worse!

I texted my friend and our guide Emmanuel:

“Hey, Emmanuel it hurts when I breathe… I am scared’

He answers back:

‘It will hurt to breath you bruised your ribs…’

‘But I doubt they are broken or you wouldn’t move’

‘You can numb it with ice a little’

‘Try putting a tenser bandage’ – ok when I read this text, I thought to myself – but of course – if I had my first aid supplies with me, which I was suppose to pack and didn’t.  And I cried more.

Mercifully Emmanuel called me and I don’t know if it was my crying or perhaps he heard in my voice how scared I was, but certainly his medical training kicked in and he proceeded to calm me down over the phone, and then decided to come to my hotel room and drive me to a local hospital.

I was given a lecture though on of how I should have said my ribs where hurting, the numerous time I was asked if I was ok. I apologized profusely and honestly. But in my defence, I truly believed during the day I was ok and my ribs were only bruised and this skill training was important.

When we were told in the hospital that I had 3 broken ribs I was not surprised. Emmanuel was.

I have a high level of pain tolerance threshold and when I want to accomplish something, I like to believe I am strong, I just don’t see another option than just to move forward.

I have spent months training for both Mt Rainier and to climb Carstensz Pyramid. This training was important to me.

When Emmanuel said I could not climb Mt Rainier as I had 3 broken ribs, I felt all the air being sucked out of me. The anguish I felt in my heart was greater than the pain on my ribs. I have to – was my response, in between childlike sobs, which I think it should have scared him a bit, in retrospect. I have made a mental note to try to not cry again in front of my guide.

I have to be mountain ready! I have to, that is my determination.

I will rest and I will follow my Doctors orders and I have enlisted the help and support of my family. But on July 10, I am hoping Dr Downey says I can go and climb Mt Rainier, for my Denali Prep Course. Then when I return I plan to continue training for the Carstensz Pyramid climb in the Fall.

I will be careful, attentive and I am going to switch to stand up showers only.

Bathtubs are dangerous!  🙂

_______

Qu’est ce qui peut vous empêcher de suivre une formation d’escalade en préparation de l’ascension de la Pyramide de Carstensz?

Plusieurs choses je pense, mais le fait de glisser dans la baignoire de l’hôtel alors que vous prenez une douche, puis de vous cogner le côté droit de la cage thoracique contre la baignoire, posera certainement un problème.

En particulier si lors du choc, vous expirez l’air de vos poumons. Je peux vous assurer que ce n’est pas agréable!

C’est ce qui m’est arrivé au cours de la fin de semaine du 10-11 juin. Résultat : trois côtes cassées.

Samedi matin, je respirais difficilement à la suite de ma chute alors que je me douchais à l’hôtel. Je me suis rendue à la réception pour me procurer un flacon d’Advil. Je savais que je devais être sur le site à 8 h 45 pour suivre la formation; j’ai donc pris deux Advil, puis encore deux peu de temps après… Mais la douleur intense me dérangeait toujours.

Dans le système de navigation de ma voiture, j’ai entré l’adresse incomplète du lieu de formation que l’on m’avait fournie, ce qui m’a conduite dans la direction opposée.

Je suis donc arrivée avec environ 30 minutes de retard à la première journée de formation avec mes compagnons de cordée pour l’ascension de la Pyramide de Carstensz. Mauvais début.

Lorsque notre guide est venu me chercher au stationnement, je lui ai dit que je m’étais blessée aux côtes en prenant une douche. Je sais qu’il ne pouvait pas croire que je pouvais être aussi stupide, même s’il ne l’a pas dit. Il m’a fortement rappelée que je devais maintenant être prudente, en particulier à l’approche de notre expédition.

J’ai acquiescé, puis il a regardé mes côtes. Je lui ai assuré que ce n’était vraiment rien, qu’elles étaient sans doute juste couvertes de bleus et que j’avais déjà pris des Advil. Ça irait bien. Je lui ai affirmé que ça allait. Il m’a donc cru. En toute franchise, je croyais que j’allais tout à fait bien.

Je suis quelqu’un de confiant et de fort, et il n’avait aucune raison de douter de moi. Nous avions une journée entière de formation qui nous attendait.

J’essayais d’être dans mon état de confiance normal, même si mon côté droit me faisait souffrir à chaque inspiration. J’ai donc pris un autre Advil. En l’espace de quelques heures, j’en suis rendue à cinq.

Nous sommes allés faire de l’escalade sur rocher et avons laissés nos sacs à dos au pied de l’une des parois. J’ai aimé par moments, j’ai appris du mieux que je pouvais et me suis même lancée un défi tout en ignorant la douleur aiguë. J’étais ici pour apprendre et me préparer.

Cependant, vers 15 h, lorsque nous sommes revenus à notre point de départ, il était urgent que je prenne des Advil. J’en ai avalé deux immédiatement, puis deux autres quelques minutes plus tard. Trente minutes après, j’ai pensé que je pourrais profiter du reste de la formation et j’étais certaine que la douleur aux poumons et sur mes côtes n’était due qu’aux hématomes. J’ai à plusieurs reprises pensé qu’une fois de retour à Georgetown, j’irai à l’hôpital simplement pour m’assurer que tout allait bien.

Cependant, cela ne devait pas arriver.

À la fin de la journée, lorsque j’ai regagné ma chambre à l’hôtel, je respirais difficilement et je ressentais des douleurs. Je me suis mise à pleurer de peur. En fait, ne pleurez JAMAIS lorsque vous avez des côtes cassées; c’est pire!

J’ai envoyé un message texte à mon ami Emmanuel, qui était aussi notre guide :

« Salut Emmanuel, j’ai mal lorsque je respire… J’ai peur »

Il me répond :

« Ce sera douloureux de respirer. Tu t’es blessée aux côtes…

Mais je doute qu’elles soient cassées, sinon tu ne pourrais pas bouger.

Tu peux calmer la douleur en mettant de la glace.

Essaye de mettre un bandage serré » Très bien, en lisant ce texte, j’ai pensé que, bien entendu, si seulement j’avais ma trousse de premiers soins, que j’étais censée avoir dans mon sac et que je n’avais pas. Et j’ai pleuré encore plus.

Par chance, Emmanuel m’a appelée, et je ne sais pas si je pleurais toujours ou s’il a entendu dans ma voix que j’avais peur, mais certainement que ses compétences médicales ont pris le dessus. Il a commencé par me calmer au téléphone avant de venir à mon hôtel pour me conduire dans un hôpital local.

On m’a fait la leçon sur le fait que j’aurais dû dire que j’avais mal aux côtes, le nombre de fois où l’on m’a demandé si j’allais bien. Je me suis profondément excusée. Cependant, pour ma défense, j’ai vraiment cru que j’allais bien au cours de la journée et que je n’avais que des bleus. Et cette formation était importante.

Lorsqu’à l’hôpital on nous a annoncé que j’avais trois côtes cassées, je n’ai pas été surprise. Emmanuel l’a été.

Mon seuil de tolérance à la douleur est élevé et lorsque je veux accomplir quelque chose, j’aime penser que je suis résistante; je n’envisage rien d’autre que d’avancer.

J’ai passé des mois à m’entraîner pour l’ascension du Mont Rainier et de la Pyramide de Carstensz. C’était une formation importante pour moi.

Quand Emmanuel m’a dit que je ne pourrais pas faire l’ascension du Mont Rainier à cause de mes trois côtes cassées, je me suis sentie étouffer. Le pincement au cœur était plus douloureux que mes côtes. Entrecoupée de sanglots, ma réponse fut « Je dois y aller », ce qui, j’imagine, a dû l’effrayer un peu, quand j’y repense. Mentalement, je me suis promis de me souvenir de ne pas pleurer devant mon guide.

Je dois être prête pour la montagne! Je le dois et j’y suis déterminée.

Je vais me reposer et suivre les prescriptions de mon médecin. J’ai également demandé le soutien de ma famille. J’espère cependant que le 10 juillet, le docteur Downey me dira que je peux faire l’ascension du Mont Rainier, ma préparation pour l’ascension du Denali. Lorsque je rentrerai, je prévois de poursuivre ma formation pour l’ascension de la Pyramide de Carstensz en automne.

Je serai prudente et attentive, et je vais adopter les douches, les baignoires étant dangereuses! 🙂

Ema

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